Wallace “Keith” Andrews, 90, of Chatham, IL, joined his beloved wife, Lila, in the Church Triumphant on Thursday, September 20, 2012, following a brief stay at Joanne’s House of Hope Hospice in Bonita Springs, FL. Born April 15, 1922, in Clinton, IL, he was the eldest son of James Harrison and Iris Rae Bradley Andrews. On September 3, 1948, he married Lila Lee Hall.
Mr. Andrews was a fighter pilot who flew missions in the Pacific arena during WWII. His favorite aircraft was the P-38 Lightning. He recounted flying over Hiroshima the day after the atomic bomb was dropped. All he and his squadron were told was not to fly through any clouds. After returning from the war, Keith attended Millikin University and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. He was recalled to the Air Force in 1951 and served as a pilot instructor in advanced fighter pilot training at Air Force bases in Alabama and Texas.
He then served four years as Base Operations Officer in Landstühl, Germany where he flew the F86 Sabre Jet. He received the AF Longevity Service Award and the AF Outstanding Unit Award in 1959. He retired a Major from the United States Air Force in 1963. Keith earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He and his family lived in Carbondale for 15 years where Keith first served as the ROTC Professor at SIU-C and then, with his wife, owned and operated “Lloyd’s”, a hardware and gift store in the Murdale Shopping Center.
The Andrews family moved to Chatham in 1975 where Keith worked for the Small Business Administration as a loan advisor and business counselor. He was a long-time member of the Land of Lincoln Barbershop Chorus and the American Theatre Organ Society.
Mr. Andrews is survived by his children: James (Vicky) Andrews of Troy, IL, Elizabeth “Libby” Hoyer-Booth of Ft. Myers, FL; grandchildren Nicole Andrews of Springfield, Laura Hoyer-Booth of Atlanta, GA and Andrew Hoyer-Booth of Madison, WI; brother Robert Larry (Lynda) of Lake Saint Louis, MO and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his wife, parents, and his sister, Marilyn LaBounty.