Peter Van Etten Andrews passed away peacefully at his home in Louisburg on Saturday, November 14, 2020. He is survived by his wife of 56 years Carolyn, his sons Robert, David and Mark, his grandchildren Katie, Emory, Chelsea, Stella, Julian, and Silas, his brother Michael and his wife Louise of Williamsburg, Virginia, and his daughters-in-law Kristi Andrews and Lisa Rowe, and Samantha Evans, and extended family and friends.
Peter was born in Charleston, South Carolina on March 13, 1936 to Robert and Eleanor Andrews. He grew up mostly on nearby Edisto Island. In 1957, he graduated with a BA in English from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. On March 15, 1964, Peter married the love of his life Carolyn West of Columbia. The couple settled in Rochester, New York where Peter worked for Bausch and Lomb. In 1968, Peter began working for IBM, first in Poughkeepsie and then in Raleigh. Peter retired from IBM in 1992.
Peter believed in family and took great pride in collecting and retelling family stories. He wrote a book about his maternal great grandfather Almont Barnes who was at the Battle of Gettysburg, and republished several of his mother’s books that had gone out of print.
Peter was active in the local Democratic Party, volunteering in many campaigns in Raleigh and Louisburg. He deeply believed in civil rights, environmental protection, and equal rights for all. He believed in building community and served on the Raleigh Housing Commission and the East Raleigh Neighborhood Taskforce. He was never shy about giving his opinion and enjoyed expressing his views in letters to the editor.
He loved old cars and old houses. He and Carolyn restored a house in Raleigh’s Oakwood neighborhood in the 1990s and in Franklin County in 2000s. He served on the boards of the Franklin County Historical Society, The Person Place Preservation Society, and the Cherry Hill Historical Society. Peter spent many years restoring his 1931 Model A Ford and was active in the Tar Wheel A’s, a local Model A club in the Triangle.
He loved country and western music like the Carter Family and Hank Williams and especially loved hearing music played by his two sons, Robert and David. He was clever at making up silly songs for the grandchildren. He loved to talk and never met a stranger. He truly made friends everywhere he went, easily striking up conversations and engaging people from all walks of life. He will be remembered for his great optimism, his kindness, and his great stories.
The family thanks Lisa Perry for her care of Peter and all the support she has given the family.
The family will hold a private service at their home in Franklin County.
Arrangements are by Strickland Funeral Home & Crematory, Louisburg, www.stricklandfuneralhome.net.
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