Andrew "Andy" John Lubbers
Andrew “Andy” John Lubbers passed away suddenly at his home in Auburn on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. Born on June 21, 1960, he was in his 56th year.
Andy was a well-known member of both the Auburn and Blyth communities and beyond, working extensively with both the Royal Canadian Legion, Blyth Branch 420 and as a member of the Blyth Campaign 14/19 Committee.
His involvement with the Legion began in March of 1993, when he first joined the Blyth Legion as an affiliate voting member. A few years later, he was able to obtain the wartime service records of his father Roelof and became a Legion associate member in March of 1996.
Over his two decades with the Legion, Andy served as the chair of many departments, including Youth and Education, Veterans Affairs and Sports. He also assisted with the Legion’s annual poppy campaign for many years.
In 2008, he was elected second vice-president of the Branch, stepping up to become president in 2010 – serving for four years until taking ill, but returning one year later to reclaim his positions.
During his years as president of the Branch, Andy attended many seminars and conventions on behalf of the Legion within both the zone and the district. He was also very involved with catering activities both by the Legion and by the Legion Ladies Auxiliary, often acting in a leading role.
Andy’s strong presence with the Legion led those involved with the 14/19 campaign to seek him out and represent that part of the community on the project’s committee.
Project Manager Peter Smith said Andy brought “an energy and sense of humour to the endeavour that kept us all buoyant.”
Through Campaign 14/19, Andy was heavily involved in project initiatives such as Fare on 4, Follow the Light and the Huron Sound and Art Festival. And through his work with both 14/19 and the Legion, he pushed to create Cenotaph Day.
It was Andy’s vision that the day would celebrate cenotaphs across Canada, to be held on July 28 – a day of significance both internationally, as the day World War I began, and locally as the day Memorial Hall was opened and the day those behind Campaign 14/19 announced the details of their ambitious project.
The first Cenotaph Day was held last year and the evening’s speakers were Keith and Linda Loder and their son Cpl. Nathan Loder.
This year the tradition continued as the second annual celebration of the cenotaph was held in the Memorial Hall courtyard and featured Travis Lubbers, Andy’s great-nephew, as a guest speaker. Travis spoke about Roelof, Andy’s father, and his experiences in active duty.
Andy was described by those who knew him as a thoughtful person who was of the community and worked for the community.
Someone recently said of Andy, “I believe he woke up every morning, looked out his window and asked the question ‘how can I help to make my community better today?’”
An avid dart player, Andy will be remembered by many through his love for the sport, which he could often be found winning both through the Legion and privately.
Spanning nearly his entire life, Andy was known to many locals as Bubblegum – a nickname bestowed on him by a fellow community member. As far as Andy could figure, he was given the nickname for his love of the treat, which he would often buy at a local gas station on his walk to the cadets clubhouse and it just stuck, with locals referring to him as Bubblegum until his final days.
Andy was the loving brother and brother-in-law of George and Cathy Lubbers of St. Thomas, Tony and Sylvia Verburg of Belgrave and Jean Lubbers of Clinton.
He was predeceased by his parents Grace (2003) and Roelof (2015) Lubbers, brother Henry (2008) and sister Roely (2010) and will be fondly remembered by all his aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
Friends and family were received at the Blyth Christian Reformed Church on Thursday, Nov. 19 from 6-9 p.m. where Huron Chapel Pastor Mark Royall officiated and the Blyth Legion Branch held an official service before the visitation.
The funeral service was held on Friday, Nov. 20 at 10:30 a.m.
Interment of ashes will take place in the spring at Hope Chapel Cemetery, Hullett Township, Ontario.
Memorial donations to the Blyth Christian Reformed Church or the Blyth Royal Canadian Legion Branch #420 would be greatly appreciated.
Messages of condolence for the Lubbers family may be sent through the funeral home at www.falconerfuneralhomes.com