John Andrashko

Obituary of John William Andrashko

John was born September 14, 1956, in Wausau, Wisconsin, to Jack and Lois Andrashko. A little brother to Gary, he became a big brother to Sue, Craig, and Mary. As Gary recalls . . . Some of you may know (or not) that I am six years older than John. When I graduated from high school and went off to college in the fall of 1968, John was 12 years old. The family had just moved to Minnesota from Wisconsin. I remember when growing up in Wisconsin that John had a lot of friends, he liked the outdoors and sports. He was active and determined. He was also athletic at an early age and had what it took to be successful in any sport. His competitive nature, drive, and the desire to win propelled him forward. Gary always admired the "can do” attitude John took when doing something difficult. John would tackle it and be successful or be satisfied that he had given it his best try. He was active as a boy and probably gave our parents fits at times because of his curiosity and tenacity when focused on something. All of these qualities served him well during his life. His sister Mary recalls that John had a paper route and proved to be a hard worker from a young age. Athleticism was one of his strong points and John enjoyed high school sports. In his sophomore year playing football he was scouted by college recruiters. John could have cared less, but his skills attracted a lot of attention. After he was hit hard once too many times he turned to skiing. John joined the high school ski racing team were he became a captain his junior and senior year. He teased everyone but was a well-respected and liked leader by all. His sister Sue recalls that she was rushed for high school sororities because the girls all wanted a glimpse of John and to find where he lived. His love for speed also inspired him to become an expert motocross racer. With his expertise in riding, he passed along this love and taught his youngest sister Mary to ride, as well. Once John completed high school, he moved to Berthoud, Colorado. He worked hard in the construction industry as a framer. Growing up and living in the beautiful countryside, John was an outdoors man at heart. He brought his love of the outdoors with him and developed a passion for fishing and pheasant and goose hunting. John was also a car enthusiast. One such car was a 1971 Trans Am that he purchased during a Christmas visit to Minnesota in 1979. His family worried the car wouldn’t make it all the way back to Colorado, but it did! John spent hours washing the car weekly, only to roll it back into the garage until he washed it again the following week. This love of cars proved to be a lifelong hobby with the many collectible cars he enjoyed. Any neighbor can likely recall seeing him in the driveway washing his current pride and joy. John’s interest in cars and love of Jack Daniels led to some friendships that would last him a lifetime. Bonding over many hobbies, the great outdoors, and beer, he spent time with John Botterill, Jim Brehm and Bob Yale. The epic adventures that ensued with these friends are the kind that created lifelong memories. He later moved to Loveland where he welcomed the birth of his daughter, Kristina, in July of 1984. He was a stepfather to Bryan and Billy Stumbaugh. Life was very busy and he always made time for fun activities with his family. He understood the importance of guidance as a father figure and taught life lessons that are instilled in the many lives that he touched. John thrived on family and friends. If you needed help with anything he was always the first one to show up and the last one to leave. A man who loved all things mechanical, John attended Colorado Aero Tech and earned his degree as an airplane mechanic. After graduation he worked for Continental Airlines and purchased his first home. Once again, his love of cars led him to make another lifelong friend who was just next door: Lee Standiford. John was a hard-working man, dependable neighbor, and the best friend you could ask for; he welcomed all into his life and home. After working in the airline industry, he returned to construction. He formed KLA Construction and became a general contractor where his work and reputation gained him the respect of his colleagues. While John was a hard worker, he enjoyed playing hard even more! John took his love of water to the next level and purchased a boat. He also returned to his love of snow with snowmobiles, and once again felt the need to race through the powder. John shared his joy in these activities with his family and friends and was always ready to go on the next trip or adventure. When the open road called to him, he also returned to two wheels on his Harley to let the wind blow through his then thinning hair. With so many adventures under his belt, John decided to take a leap into his next one when he married his best friend Lori. On August 9, 2014 in their backyard surrounded by their closest friends and family, John and Lori exchanged wedding vows. The couple had met many years earlier and dated a few times. While life took their paths in different directions for the years in between, the two always kept in touch, supporting each other as they could. Love is a truly magical thing, and when their paths were reunited once more, they decided to make it officially forever. John and Lori enjoyed so many of the same things, and they purchased a fishing boat together. In the first few years of their marriage, they were never at home because they were always out fishing. The couple enjoyed the outdoors, and shooting targets together, but perhaps what they loved most was watching their children and families grow. In 2014 John began working for Landmark Homes as a superintendent, a trusted position for which he was well suited. Everyone celebrated a sense of accomplishment and pride in this position. He oversaw the completion of many high-end homes in Northern Colorado. John enjoyed life with his wife by his side, but suddenly he was faced with the greatest challenge of all. In 2019 he was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy of the Cerebellum (MSA-C). A rare neurological disease began to rapidly change John’s life. After he retired from Landmark Homes, John focused on spending time with his family. With an outpouring of love from all of his family and friends, John faced the many challenges of a disease with no cure. John and Lori got a dog, Zoey (a Yorkshire Terrier) who quickly became John’s best friend. Zoey would sit on his shoulder like a parrot keeping him company when his mobility was limited. He maintained a sense of hope for a cure, and when he couldn’t, one of his caregivers, Joyce, could always find a way to lift his spirits. John was able to celebrate Christmas Day 2021 at home with his immediate family, but on December 27, 2021, surrounded by family and close friends, John passed peacefully at home. He is survived by his beloved wife Lori Andrashko, daughter Kristina Swegan (Clifford Case, grandsons Parker and Cooper Swegan), stepchildren Ashley Davis (grandchildren Joshua Kobobel, Jason Speyer, Violet Capra) Cody Davis, Kiley Davis, Bryan Stumbaugh (Ashley, grandsons Ethan and Lucas), father Jack Andrashko, siblings Gary (Faye) Andrashko, Susan Chenard (Kevin Busse), Craig Andrashko, Mary Andrashko, nephews Caleb Andrashko, Jared (Allison, son Miles) Andrashko, and niece Hailey Andrashko (Tyler Wilson). At this time the family is planning a Celebration of Life to be held in late spring or early summer of 2022. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Pathways for their excellent hospice care. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in John’s name to the MSA Coalition. To learn more or to donate, please visit https://www.multiplesystematrophy.org/donate/
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