Friday, March 02, 2007

Memories of Andy

Dear All,

Here is the obituary from the local paper about Andy.

Wallace Andrew ‘Andy’ Bortz

Aug. 15, 1946 — Feb. 19, 2007

Wallace Andrew “Andy” Bortz, died of undiagnosed heart disease Feb. 19 at age 60 while working in the Portland area. Andy was born in Springfield to Mary Orla Remus Bortz and Wallace Alonso Bortz, both deceased. Andy is survived by siblings Carma Sue and husband Steve Henry of Seattle, Wash., Ben and wife Pat Bortz of Marcola, David Bortz of Corvallis, and cousin Daryl and wife Yuxi Osden of Texas.

Andy’s tour in the Air Force included Greece, South Dakota and Arizona. He then spent two formative years in San Francisco. Corvallis became his home in 1969. Andy loved education and learning; his college and later schooling included electrical engineering, botany and art at Oregon State University. A posthumous Limited Renewable Energy License has been awarded, as Andy was very close to becoming a licensed solar electrician at Linn-Benton Community College.

Andy was a gentle, kind man with many friends, and he was also a man of commitment and convictions. Andy’s passion for sustainable energy began in the early 1970s, leading to the formation of his business, Solar Design and Construction. He served as treasurer and longtime member of Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association. In his middle years, Andy was arrested several times for participating in non-violent protests against wars or for environmental preservation, particularly old-growth forest preservation and anti-nuclear action. Andy was instrumental in the creation of the Middle Santiam Wilderness Area. Last year, he acted as the general contractor for a solar, energy efficient home in Brookings, and he was very proud of this accomplishment. He had most recently been employed by Mr. Sun of Portland as a lead solar installer.

Andy’s wonderful tenor voice was appreciated by friends in Corvallis, Brookings, Eugene, Portland and especially through his participation in the Corvallis Peace Choir. Cross country skiing, science fiction, camping, visiting with friends, and hiking were some of his hobbies. Andy’s beloved dog Snow preceded him in death by just a few weeks. Snow and Andy were inseparable, and perhaps they are together again. We will miss the warm spirit, gentle nature, singing voice and commitment to world change found within our friend and brother, “Solarman.”

A memorial service for Andy will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 11, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on 2945 N.W. Circle Blvd., in Corvallis, followed by a reception at 3 p.m. Donations in honor of Andy can be made to SafeHaven Humane Society, P.O. Box 2018, Albany OR 97322.