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Andrews funeral arrangements finalized

Funeral arrangements for fire chief Steve Andrews have been finalized. Visitation with the family will be in two sessions Thursday at Steve’s church, Calvary Baptist. The first is 2-4 p.m. The second 6-8 p.m. The funeral will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at the LC Fine Arts Center. Burial with full honors will follow in Greenwood Cemetery here. Andrews died at his home, Rainbow Ranch, around 1:30 a.m. Monday just hours after a sunrise service was held there at his request. Andrews died after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 64. Andrews had been in fire service for 43 years. He retired as a battalion chief from the Dekalb County fire department in the 1990s. He took over as chief of both the Barnesville and Lamar County fire departments in 1995 and served until April when he was hospitalized. Subsequent testing revealed his pancreatic cancer diagnosis. He was hospitalized at Cancer Centers of America in Newnan in April but was sent home under hospice care on May 24. His newborn grandson, Waylon Andrews, joined him there the following day. He described being with Waylon and 16-month-old Wyatt Andrews as being the ‘best medicine ever’. He requested Sunday morning’s sunrise service at his home and it drew about 90 people despite threatening weather. Chief Andrews was positioned in a hospital bed in a doorway so he could watch and hear the service. He was devoted to his church, Calvary Baptist, and his home church pastor Allen Newman paid homage to him, noting Steve had a van ministry and would pick up young people on Sunday mornings and take them to church. One of those children was Jennifer Taylor who sang at the service. ‘I grew up on this farm, just like Luke,’ Taylor said tearfully. Rev. Newman encouraged worshippers to break up into prayer circles and pray for Andrews and his family. The chief’s wife, Hope, was at the center of one circle. It was a somber scene and worshippers walked back to their cars parked in pastures remembering the fire chief’s many accomplishments. Just 17 hours later, Chief Andrews was gone.

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