By Colleen Carow
The Russ College of Engineering and Technology and Ohio University community are mourning the loss of a mechanical engineering student who was just a week away from completing his degree.
Dylan Andrews of South Vienna, Ohio, died Monday after the ATV he was driving collided with another in an overgrown field Sunday evening. The other driver was not injured.
Andrews participated in Ohio University's June commencement exercises and would have completed his coursework this week. He was to begin work as an engineer at Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. in Marysville this fall.
Faculty and friends remember Andrews for his quiet wit, strong work ethic and interest in automobiles.
"Dylan was normally reserved, but any time the subject involved cars, his eyes lit up and he would eagerly share his wealth of knowledge," said Greg Kremer, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. "He had great hands-on skills and was a natural in the machine shop."
Andrews and his fellow senior design team members worked with ATCO, a local work training center for adults with developmental disabilities, to develop a ballpoint-pen assembly jig for an older gentleman with severe mobility limitations.
"You could always tell that Dylan put his heart and soul in everything he did and that he cared about the final results, viewing them as an extension and reflection of himself," said fellow "Team Redundancy Team" member Micah McCreery. "The pen assembly jig would not have been the same without him on the team."
Another team member and classmate, Alex Conatser, called Andrews' sense of humor legendary. "One Halloween, he dressed up as Dale Earnhardt Jr., to whom he had an uncanny resemblance. After getting into his red jumpsuit, he went straight into character and kept everyone laughing for weeks," Alex recalled.
A member of the university's student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Andrews had completed three quarters of cooperative education assignments at Honda.
"Dylan was a pleasure to work with and a great addition to our team, and we will miss him very much," said Brittany Lafuse, who is responsible for the co-op/internship program at Honda.
Andrews' personal biography on his senior design team's Web page conveyed his passions: "I grew up living in the country and plan to always live there. I'm into all sports and cars/trucks/motorcycles/four wheelers."
Conatser noted that Andrew's infectious smile made it evident to all when he was having a good time. "The lasting image I will have of Dylan is as I saw him on graduation. As he stood in his cap and gown in front of Stocker Center, it was plain to see the pride and strength in his and his family's eyes. I hope we can all remember him in such a light," Conatser said.
Andrews is survived by his parents, Dana and Connie Andrews, and his brother Blake, who graduated from the Russ College in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.
Family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Ingling and Williams Funeral Home in South Charleston, Ohio, where the funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Cemetery.