Donald “Don” R. Andree, 72, of Elburn, passed away at his home surrounded by the love and prayers of his family, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Don courageously battled Alzheimer’s and the effects of several strokes that plagued his body but never his spirit.
He was born Dec. 8, 1940, in Chicago, the son of Henry and Margaret (Vollmer) Andree. When Henry passed away when Don was just a baby, he was adopted by his aunt and uncle, Arthur and Charlotte (Vollmer) Timmons, who loved and raised him as their own in the Rockton, Ill., area.
Don attended local schools and graduated from Hononegah High School, where he made a name for himself on the football field, as well as the local street racing scene.
Don left his heart in the hands of Kathy Clankie, after taking her out for a Coke in 1957. She gave hers in return and after five years of courtship, they were united in marriage on Jan. 20, 1962, in South Beloit, Ill.
They began their new life together in Downers Grove, Ill., for a time before moving to Glen Ellyn, Ill. They called Winfield, Ill., home before settling in Elburn, where they raised two children and were blessed with three granddaughters, one great-granddaughter and a “grand-dog,” Guinness.
Don’s aunt and uncle owned a variety store in Rockton, where Don helped to clean the floors, dust and stock shelves for little to nothing, but it gave him the foundation for a strong work ethic and, more importantly to his aunt and uncle, kept him out of mischief. After trade school, Don became an accomplished plumber and pipe fitter for Union Local No. 514. Thirty-seven years of hard work took its toll, and at age 55, Don retired following open heart surgery.
Don, better known at work as “Tiny,” was a proud life time member of Local No. 514, now No. 501, several Edsel Car Clubs and the Fox Valley Camera Club. He also had the dubious distinction of helping out the jolly man from the North Pole when he dressed as Santa for various holiday functions.
Don was full of love for his family, as well as many well-worn sayings—some of which can’t be repeated in mixed company. He spoiled his children any way he could, and that extended to his grandchildren and great-granddaughter, as well. Those favorite times were chronicled with his prized Canon AE-1 camera. His favorite car was the infamous Edsel, the only car in his youth he couldn’t beat in a race.
Burnt popcorn and hamburgers were a staple in his diet, as well as knife-fulls of peanut butter straight from the jar. However, it was his love of antique clocks that took the cake. Don had dozens of clocks adorning the walls of his home. All of them were set minutes apart so that each chime or cuckoo could be enjoyed separately throughout the day. Don was one of a kind, a hardworking man who loved his family more than himself. He will be missed greatly by all who knew him.
He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Kathy; two children, Dorene (Bob) Stanley and Karen (Jeremy Lake) Andree; three grandchildren, Karris (T.J.) Foster and their daughter, Kathryn, Amelia (Michael) Stahl and Hollyann Stanley; two brothers, Henry (Vi) Andree and Robert (Karen) Timmons; many nieces, nephews and a community of friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Charlotte and Arthur Timmons.
Visitation was held Tuesday at Grace Lutheran Church in Lily Lake. A funeral to celebrate his life, with an additional time of visitation, was held on Wednesday. Rev. Ernst Rex, pastor of the church, officiated, with interment to follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Don’s name to benefit his favorite charities, including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and Alzheimer’s Research. Checks may be made to the “Don Andree Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com, where you can also find his full-life story.