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Andrew “Andy” Pinard, 43, of Oxbow, Oregon died at his home on Sunday, February 17, 2019. On Friday, March 15, 2019 a social hour will begin at 5:00 p.m. The Celebration of Andy's Life will begin at 6 p.m. at Wild Bills in Halfway, Oregon.
Andrew Michael was born March 15, 1975 in Portland, Oregon. He spent his first three years in Gresham Oregon before the family relocated to Eastern Oklahoma. He spent those primary years running barefoot and shirtless with his brothers Graham and Mitchell through the open fields and wild places surrounding their rural homes. He was lovable, curious, adventurous, and fearless. Those traits would follow him throughout his life and would often land him into trouble, especially during those early years. On one outing with his brothers Andy found himself exhausted from the day’s adventure and scouted for a suitable place to take a break. Finding a “natural chair” he energetically seated himself on a large dirt mound not realizing it was the dome of a fire ant hill. Within moments he realized the folly of his resting place and found himself screaming, ripping off his shorts, and running naked through the open field trying to flee the assault he was receiving from the ants. This is how Andy addressed adversity throughout his life, loud, boisterous, and with comical fanfare for the rest of us to admire and remember him by.
Andy moved back to La Grande Oregon where he attended Greenwood Elementary School and La Grande High School. Andy was active in wrestling, football, and a member of the choir program while attending LHS. Whether in the choir or onstage in the musical “Oklahoma” and the “Little Shop of Horrors” his personality and enthusiasm were always shining. After graduating high school Andy attended the Western Culinary Institute to pursue a culinary career. Andy loved flavor! More important Andy loved sharing his culinary creations and quickly found that cooking was his gift. After school Andy worked in Portland Oregon for a short period. In 2003 he moved to Pine Creek Oregon where for over a decade he helped run Thompson’s Hells Canyon Inn with his family. Whether it be his smoked prime rib, snake bite burger, or hand cut French fries Andy aimed to bring zeal and authenticity not just to food but to serving others. Most recently Andy worked for Wild Bills in Halfway Oregon. Andy loved Hell’s Canyon. It was his heart and soul and the place he considered home. He genuinely loved and cared for all the things the canyon had to offer except for the damn squirrel that became his constant nemesis outside his window every morning at 5:30 am.
When not working Andy loved to fish. It didn’t matter if he was reeling in a tiny small mouth bass off the dock on the river, hooking a colorful steelhead below Hells Canyon dam, or fighting a barracuda off the shores of Mexico Andy loved the thrill of the catch. It was when he was fishing with friends and family that he found his true happiness. He was a loving son, brother, Uncle, and friend. As a dedicated Uncle he wore many bruises from play sessions in the back yard with his niece and nephews, as well as the countless “adopted” playmates and children of his friends and extended family. Andy will be remembered for his sense of humor that knew no boundaries and his genuine, kind, and playful spirit. As many will attest Andy was a fierce and loyal friend and if you were fortunate to be in his “pack” you were well protected. His loyalty to his friends was rivaled only by his devotion to the Oakland Raiders. As a diehard fan Andy’s mood on a Sunday during football season was set by the success or failure of the Oakland Raiders. Unfortunately, it was hard to be around Andy most Sundays these past few football seasons but that never stopped him from hoping and believing that success was one play away.
Andrew is survived by his mother Lynne Thompson; father William Pinard and his wife Bonnie Pinard; brothers Graham Pinard, Nathan Pinard; sister Stacy Campbell; Nephews Drew Pinard, Parker Pinard, Garrett Miller; Nieces Emmeline Pinard, Sarah Feldhacker; Uncles Joe Langella and Bob Turk.
He was preceded in death by grandparents Theresa Langella, Ruth Pinard; stepfather Stan Thompson; brother Mitchell Thompson; one feisty squirrel, a handful of fire ants, and the Oakland Raiders.
For those who would like to make a memorial donation may do so to help defray service expense through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home & Cremation Services PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834. Online condolences may be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com