Remembrances of George Andres

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

Editor’s Note: George Andres, 73, was killed during a burglary at his home in Clark Fork, according to Bonner County Sheriff’s Office. The Clark Fork Library reached out to the staff, volunteers and patrons to share stories about the type of man Andres was.

I remember George from 20+ years ago when working at C.F. Library. He would come in daily to read the paper and say his hellos to our Library cat. He was a great lover of our cat. As well as we knew each other I found it amusing that no matter how many times I would remind him, he always insisted on calling me Linda. The last 12 years I have just smiled and answered to Linda. He will be missed.

George Andres. Courtesy photo.

-Lynn H.

He was one of our favorite patrons. I talked to Sandy today, she volunteered a lot in Sandpoint (she must have shelved thousands of book as a volunteer) when I was still there every week, and she said the same thing.

As a boy George had a pet raccoon, who, typical of a raccoon, was frequently in trouble, most often with his mom. George was the peace maker, and repairman. He also loved cats and usually had a couple. If he had to be gone I would go to his house to feed them. He always looked up Pete when he came to the library and he took Pete home for a few weeks when the C.F. Library was being remodeled. When I needed a second kayak to take a friend paddling, George loaned me his.

I am saddened by his death, and especially the circumstances of it. May he rest in Peace.

-Diane N.

On Dec. 4, 2017

I lost my best friend George Andres. George was 73 years old. I knew him for 22 years.

George went to school and was raised in New Jersey.

After school he was drafted in the army. He was sent to Vietnam for about 2 years.

After the service George went to work for the telephone company.

George worked throughout the United States and ended up in Clark Fork, Idaho where he built his home up Spring Creek.

He loved hiking the hills and loved the animals.

He had two cats he spoiled and they were his kids.

George was a very private person but he would help anyone that needed his help.

George loved the Clark Fork library and used it often.

He had two close friend he went to school with in New Jersey, one moved to Florida. Every few years he visits them and they come to Idaho to see him.

George went to the animal shelter in Sandpoint to visit the animals which he enjoyed.

George will be missed by his friend in and around Clark Fork community.

-Evelyn A.

George was my sometimes target shooting partner and a friend of mine.When I was a beginning ammunition reloader I would go to George for advice. George was always patient and helpful. George would spend time at the Clark Fork library and we would sit at one of the back tables, read magazines,solve world problems and pet the library’s cat. George would always gloat over what he perceived to be the cat’s preference for him over me. George loved the little community of Clark fork and will be missed by us all.

-Walt R.

In my interactions with George, I found him to be a pleasant, intelligent, polite, low key and gentle man. I always enjoyed seeing and talking to George whenever he came into the library. Such a man will obviously be missed.

-David O.

I knew George as a generally quiet and reserved library patron who has been coming to the Clark Fork branch since before I was a staff member. I came to enjoy and anticipate his visits to read the paper, or the brief conversations that over the years showed George to have a kind heart and a passion for life. I remember how much George loved our late library cat, Pete, and I enjoyed seeing how George would always go out of his way to find Pete for a scratch or two and ask him how he was doing that day. George always had this air of dependability to me and his regular visits are, and will continue to be, very greatly missed.

-Amaryllis H.

I always looked forward to seeing George. He’d always enter the same way, with a jovial smile and a wave before looking for Pete, the Library cat. I’ll always remember George picking that giant cat up, rubbing his belly and hearing the thunderous purr of Pete the cat. He loved animals, and I always looked forward to showing him the new batch of chicks and ducklings on the farm.

George was a model library patron, a Vietnam veteran, a lover of animals and his community. I hope you rest in peace, George. Say “hi” to Petey for us.

– Brenden B.

My fondest memory of George is him coming into the Clark Fork library in the mornings to read the newspapers. It was like a old friend coming to visit. George was a kind person and he is deeply missed coming in the library. He was also a great fan of Pete the cat who resided at the Clark Fork library.

-Melissa D.

George had a very gruff voice but a soft heart. You didn’t want to get him started on the subject of the government or politics because he had nothing good to say. But, if someone needed a hand he would be there to help. All the world’s troubles could be discussed over an ice cream or cup of tea. The library was too quiet to venture into such discussions. George took good care of himself. Despite having heart problems he got out to hike in the mountains that he loved. He even braved the traffic on Spring Creek Road to bicycle to town in the summer. No heart condition was going to slow him down. I always looked forward to seeing George at the reading table in the library and I’m sorry that he won’t be there anymore. I’ll miss you, George.

-Jack W.

I’ve worked at the Clark Fork Library for many years and as staff I’ve come to know George Andres because he was a Clark Fork Library patron and big supporter. He came in often and we would often chat. George was a huge fan of critters, he liked them a lot, possibly more than many people. He and I shared a love of critters. He would tell me about running into a bear while hiking or recommend a library movie on dinosaurs, history or the world’s amazing animals and I’d share the latest on how Ripley, my dog, taught our cat to ring a bell to let us know he wanted to go out. George once helped me rescue our stick bug who was stuck in a molt and couldn’t get rid of its old exoskeleton. He was kind that way.

When I told him of our recent good luck catching Dungeness crabs off the Oregon coast he told me about how he used to catch Blue crabs in the Atlantic when a boy.

George took advantage of the glorious place we live and when his health allowed he both hiked the hills and kayaked the river. The kayak on his pickup parked in our library lot was my heads up that he had been out that morning.

George loved our library cats and when Pete, our last cat, passed away it darn near broke his heart. He did have two cats years ago and after losing them he was afraid to take more on because he felt he wouldn’t outlive them and he didn’t want them to be without care or it could be that having and losing them was just too painful. But Pete, the Clark Fork Library cat, filled that hole in his heart for a time.

We’re really missing George, he was murdered and we can’t wrap our heads and hearts around that, it was far before his time. We’ll hear his deep voice and see him cross in front of our circulation desk to our reading table for a long time to come.

-Sharon W.

On Dec 4, 2017, my friend George Andres was murdered outside his home in Clark Fork, Idaho.

I met George about 15 years ago when I bought a handgun from him. We have been good friends ever since.

We had a lot in common as we both enjoyed our guns and we had both worked for the phone company. When we met we were both retired from the phone company but George worked all over the country for different phone companies and I worked for only one. We had done a lot of the same types of jobs, so we compared funny stories about our experiences with customers. He really loved a funny story.

We went to a lot of gun shows together. We never turned the radio on because we would either talk about guns, about the work we used to do at the phone company or politics. He hated politics but felt he had to keep up or we would lose our rights to keep and bear arms. There were other guys who would go to gun shows with us but lots of times it was just us. The last gun show George and I went to was in Kalispell, Mt. On Sat. Dec. 2 2017.

Sometimes when we went to the gun show he wouldn’t bring much cash so he wouldn’t spend it but he saw something he really wanted so he borrowed cash from me. He always paid me back in a day or two as he was one of the most honest people I have known.

George loved going out to eat and whenever we went to a gun show we would stop for breakfast on the way. He lived alone so he didn’t like to cook. Over the years he had told me ate right out the can sometimes but I think in the later years he used his microwave a lot.

A funny story is when George came to our house and my wife asked him to take his shoes off. He was not to happy about it. From then on he would only come to my garage or the porch. He didn’t get mad but just didn’t want to take his shoes off.

I have lost a good friend who my wife and I will miss.

-Rod and Carol F.

I met George about the same time I moved here in 1999, so I knew him both as a neighbor and as the grumpy old curmudgeon sitting at the Clark Fork Library table reading the newspapers and judging my story time activities. George was old school. He came from the generation of men and women who defined by honor, integrity, and high standards. That’s George. He also knew right from wrong and he was always quick to inform me when I was wrong. Like when my energy and animated storytelling infused the pre-schoolers with equal energy that spilled out into the library. George let me know that was wrong: it disturbed his concentration. Or when I used puppets, played instruments or sang songs and the children joined in, that was wrong too. He thought he should be enshrouded with silence like the libraries of his youth. But Clark Fork was different. We still had to share the same space, the same library time. Most of the time, George would tell Diane about my errors and then Diane would tell me. After a couple years of this, we’d joke about George and my poor ratings. In fact, I began to judge my own story time success based on George’s complaints. When I took over the summer reading programming, George nearly altered his schedule to avoid running into one of my many energetic patrons making kites or preparing for a zombie apocalypse. Boy did George complain then! Every June I’d explain that summer reading would be starting soon, the time, and the day, tacitly implying that it might not be a good time to come and read the newspapers. But, of course, he would inevitably forget and come in at the wrong time. He never left. He stayed, gave the wary eye and trusted that I wouldn’t let him down. I did, almost every time. I love kids; George did not. But he made me a better person, more self-aware, more compassionate. And he reminded me that libraries still need to have the quiet place of solitude where you can focus and think, and most of all, read in silence under the natural light from the surrounding windows. I like to think we formed a truce. I’d like to think that he never gave up on me and continued to hold me accountable to his high standards. I’d like to remember him that way.

-Dawn S.

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