James Irvin Andrews, the youngest of five sons, was born on a farm in Camargo, Okla., May 17, 1927, to William Irvin Andrews and Maude Gracena (Hemstreet) Andrews. He passed from this life on Aug. 27, 2007.
James loved growing up in Camargo with its small town values and generous people. Through the years he was sought out as a local historian of sorts. He was very mechanically inclined, as were his brothers. While a student at Southwestern Oklahoma State College, he was asked to become an assistant instructor of the vocational mechanics program he was enrolled in after the instructor suddenly quit. He held that position for two years. He courted and married a hometown girl, Miss Betty Jo Cleveland. They were married in the home of her parents on Feb. 18, 1951. James was a very loving and dedicated husband to Betty for nearly 55 years until her death on Jan. 21st, 2006. He was her biggest fan and she adored him as well.
James and Betty were the parents of four children: Holli Mechelle, James Monte, Douglas Michael, and Stephanie Megan. The family enjoyed many activities together through the years. James was always making something for the kids to enhance their play time. He could build or repair most anything and they always knew if it broke "Dad could fix it"! They taught their kids to swim at the old Camargo sandpits, and they learned how to dance by watching their parents waltz in the living room.
James was drafted into the military twice. The first time was in 1945; however, he was given a medical discharge after basic training due to a heart murmur. Five years later he was drafted again but this time they found no murmur and he was sent to Germany. A year and a half later he was honorably discharged. James worked as a mechanic in Camargo before taking a job with Elliot Brothers Construction of Perry, Okla. building many of the highways in Oklahoma. In 1961 he moved the family to Vici and leased the Phillips 66 station from his father-in-law. In 1967 he took a job with the Tulsa Public Schools teaching Vocational Auto Mechanics at Central High School. In 1972 he moved the family back to Vici when he bought the Cleveland Oil Company. He remained in that business until 1979 when he sold his interests in Vici and Camargo to the Vici Farmers Coop.
After a year of retirement he went to work as the service manager for Pierson Chevrolet in Vici, and also began working as relief mail carrier for the US Postal Service. When Pierson's closed its doors he became a full time mail carrier in Woodward, later transferring to a rural route in Vici. He carried the mail daily until his retirement in March, 1993.
James was very active in many civic organizations throughout the years. He was a member of the Lion's Club, Chamber of Commerce, the Masonic Lodge, American Legion, Volunteer Fire Department, and on the board of the First Christian Church of Vici. He held many offices in these organizations and had a tremendous sense of responsibility to do his part.
James was proud to be a Veteran of the U.S. Army. He and longtime friend, Sherman Pierson, worked diligently to design, build, and gather donations to erect a memorial dedicated to all the veterans of the Vici community. James was especially proud of his family. He found great joy in being a grandpa and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He did not take this role lightly and enjoyed making many wonderful memories for them all.
James is preceded in death by his wife, Betty Jo (Cleveland) Andrews; his parents, W.I. and Maude Andrews; by brothers, W.H. and Kenneth L. Andrews; by sisters-in-law, Ethelene Andrews, Merle Andrews, and Jane Andrews; by parents-in-law, Orville and Myrtle Cleveland; by grandson, Timothy Matthews; by brother-in-law, Floyd (Tommy) Ramsey; and by good friend, Niles Young.
Those left to honor his memory are children, Mechelle Andrews of Woodward, Okla., Monte Andrews and wife Denise of Vici, Michael Andrews and wife Jennifer of Vici, Megan Paddock and husband Geoff of Yukon, Okla.; by grandchildren, Tabetha Worsencroft and husband Brad and children, Tristan, Tatum, and Timothy, Tucker Andrews, Joseph and Karla Thompson, Jacob Thompson, Montana Andrews, Rachel and William Paddock; by brothers, Philip Andrews of Cape Coral, Fla., Gilbert Andrews and wife Aroneta of Ft Worth, Texas; by sisters-in-law, June Miller and husband Joe of Elk City, Okla., Anita Peck and husband Vernon of Vici, Okla., Judy Betancourt and husband Roland of Greenbriar, Ark.; by good friends, Jerry Young and children, Linda, and Mick and Charles and Joy Shaw, all of Vici, Okla.
Funeral services were held Friday, August 31, 2007 in the First Christian Church, Vici, with interment following in Riverside Cemetery, Camargo, Okla. Services arranged by Shaw Funeral Home, Vici.
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