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Home Alton News Tribute to Andy Kates

Tribute to Andy Kates

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Tribute to Andy Kates
Tribute to Andy Kates
Tribute to Andy Kates
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Tribute To Andrew Kates

(The following is the eulogy given by Paul Kates, Andy Kates' brother and Alton alum)

The entire Alton family was saddened to learn of the senseless death of Andy Kates in the World Trade Center attack.
Below are the tributes to Andy by his cousin, an Alton alum, Kenny Deckler, and brothers Paul and Seth, You can also view a fitting tribute to Andy on Fortune.com by clicking here .

My father Lew used to like to say "It's as simple and sweet as that". It usually meant that arguing was fruitless because what he said was final. He used to make these pronouncements when Andy, Seth, and I were wrestling in the backseat of his Cadillac convertible on the way out to family dinners. Actually, Andy and Seth were usually beating me up. In a huff my dad would warn us a few times that he was turning around if we didn't stop, which only egged my brothers on to find ways to blame me, the youngest one. Finally, Lew would pull over to the side of the road yelling that we were going home. And when we tried to change his mind he would say "it's as simple and sweet as that". Seth, Judy, and I would get quiet but Andy would challenge my father to get him to justify his anger. That was Andy. When everyone else gave up, he would take that as the bottom line for negotiation. Not only would he succeed in getting us to dinner but dessert at Carvel as well. Like me Lew had a sweet tooth so on that he was an easy sell. While stories don't do justice to the person, a few incidents about Andy shed light on the brother who was my role model and friend. The five chronological years between us meant that he was close enough to be an ordinary brother, but the vast difference in maturity meant that he could also be my protector, guide, coach, and bright example on life's path. He protected me at camp when my parents chose to send me for the entire summer at age 5. He taught me to drive a stick shift and paid the bills for the poor tree that met its end in the process. He set me on the path to business school. He even ghostwrote a few essays when he could have been spending time with baby Hannah instead. I knew that I should do it myself but who better than a brother to catalogue the strengths and weaknesses the applications required.

Recently the gulf between us narrowed as I began to enjoy a parallel life as a working person in New York. I began running in 1994 and that gave me time to be with Andy who was an accomplished runner. I always wanted to run a race with Andy - not to win but just as a shared experience. After my father passed away in January 1998, I committed to becoming a better runner and trying longer distances. I had never competed but that July Andy invited me to run with him in the Manhattan Half Marathon in Central Park. 2 laps around the park - 13 miles total. I didn't think I could do it but Andy encouraged me to keep my eye on the person next to me. Toward the end I was ready to hit the wall when Andy came rushing over. After finishing his race in one and a half hours he helped me reached the end of mine.

Andy was always rushing to my side. One of the earliest rescues I remember was at age 5 when he rushed over to save me from a swarm of bees. He probably sustained 50 bee stings to my one or two. But recently we've enjoyed a relationship as equals. We kept in active touch through e-mails and his final correspondence with me sums him up as a father, husband, and brother. It gives a window into his life in New York where he found time for family, friends, business, and good times. I read this on Thursday at the burial so indulge me if you've heard it already. Andy was always the eloquent spokesperson on family occasions. And I wanted to give him the chance to speak to us one last time.


Sorry about the weekend. Sat around and then went for a run later Saturday afternoon when I should have been in the Park with you. Sunday did brunch at the Vinegar Factory with some of Ilene's friends and then
had many beers while watching football all afternoon. I will make it up somehow.

Paul