Westfield mourns loss of City Councilor Andras

The city is mourning the loss of one of its greatest daughters with the death of Patti Andras.
City Councilor Andras lost her battle with cancer yesterday at the age of 57, and those who knew her said she was Westfield’s biggest cheerleader.
“First and foremost, she was not only my campaign manager and my first administrative assistant, she was my best friend,” said former Mayor Richard K. Sullivan Jr., currently secretary of the state office of energy and environmental affairs. “I always said when she left City Hall she would be missed much more than when I left.”
Sullivan said Andras was an integral part of numerous positive events in the city. Andras organized the first Night Out Against Crime and the Mayor’s Easter Egg Hunt, was involved in fall festivals, created the tree lighting event, organized the annual city fireworks, and supported many organizations.
Over the years Andras served on the boards of Amelia Park, The American Red Cross, The Boys & Girls Club, The Forum House, the 104th Fighter Wing Community Advisory Board, Noble Hospital, Westfield State University, The Hampden County Estate Planning Council, The National Trust School Advisory Committee and many more.
Andras was employed by Heaphy Investments and was a Westfield City Councilor since 2009, which Sullivan said had been a longtime dream for Andras. Andras made no secret, however, that her biggest source of pride outside of her husband Stephen A. Andras, Jr. and their son Stephen, was the time she spent serving on the Westfield Police Commission.
“When Patti left as my administrative assistant, she only asked me for one thing – to be appointed to the Police Commission,” said Sullivan. “It meant the world to her.”
Westfield Police Chief John Camerota said this morning “Yesterday when I got the news it was a sad day for the Westfield Police Department. She was our greatest supporter and our true champion. When something wasn’t right she let us know; and when the opposite was true she was quick to commend us.”
Sullivan said Andras’ touch can be seen all over Westfield.
“So much of the good things that happened in Westfield in the last 20 years had something to do with Patti,” said Sullivan. “She had her hand in everything good in Westfield.”
Sullivan said he was deeply affected by the loss of his friend, a woman, he said, who was like no other.
“I feel blessed to have ever known anybody with the characteristics of Patti,” he said.
City Council President Christopher Keefe said he knew Andras first as Sullivan’s assistant and later as a fellow councilor.
“I thought she would make a great councilor, and she proved me right,” Keefe said. “She was one of the most approachable councilors I’ve known.”
Rotary President Mark Boardman called Andras’ death “a huge loss” for the city.
The Rotary took over the responsibility of the annual July 4 fireworks celebration last year, with help from honorary chairperson Andras.
“This year, we are dedicating the fireworks in Patti’s memory,” said Boardman.
Firtion-Adams Funeral Home is handling Andras’ funeral.
James Adams said Andras wrote her own obituary and planned her services.
“It will be a simple celebration of life, just like she wanted,” said Sullivan.
The celebration will take place Sunday, June 10 at 3 p.m. at Amelia Park Garden. There are no calling hours. Andras requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Westfield Police Department, 15 Washington Street, Westfield, MA, 01085, for the designated use of technology improvements.
Andras leaves her husband, son, his fiance, Elizabeth, a sister, Sandra Duffy, three brothers, Robert, Richard, Jay, and a stepsister, Diane, an extended caring family and, in her own words, friends beyond the ability to count.

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