Aug. 12, 1936 – Dec. 3, 2019
Roger W. Andrews Sr., of Wheatfield, a retired criminal investigator for the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department, died Dec. 3 in Niagara Hospice House, Lockport. He was 83.
Born in North Tonawanda, the second of five children, he was a 1955 graduate of Niagara Falls High School, where he played on the football team.
He enlisted in the Navy and took basic training prior to his senior year, then became a crewman on the cruiser USS Newport News, the flagship of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. There he served aboard the vice admiral’s gig, taking officers into ports from the ship.
Returning from service, he found a factory job in Niagara Falls. He and Irene G. Clark were married in 1958. Three years later, they built a home in Wheatfield.
Mr. Andrews began as a road patrol deputy with the Sheriff’s Department in December 1961 and went on to become the sergeant in charge of the radio room, the jail and the daytime road patrols.
While he was a sergeant, he founded the department’s Honor Guard and taught classes in accident investigation at police departments across the state.
Assigned to the sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, he became one of the original seven members of the Major Crime Task Force, working in cooperation with police agencies in five counties. He retired in 1996.
“He was known for being meticulous,” his son Roger Jr. said. “He never lost a case that went to court.”
He served on the Niagara County Ethics Committee and the Niagara Tobacco Asset Securitization Corp., which oversaw funds the county received from the 1998 tobacco settlement.
Active in many civic and community affairs, he was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Niagara County-Central and was a Paul Harris Fellow.
He was an active supporter of the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School athletic program and, with the late Harry Hanna, was instrumental in the construction of the original Andrews Hanna Building, which provided much-needed locker rooms and restroom facilities adjacent to the football field.
Working with the Rotary Club and then-high school vice principal Fred Barone, he helped establish and served as chairman of the annual senior citizens breakfast at the school, which has been named in his honor and serves 200 to 300 meals on the Saturday before Mother’s Day.
He was honored by the Wheatfield Town Board in 1997, which proclaimed a Roger Andrews Day in recognition of giving “unselfishly to provide youth with worthwhile activities.”
In retirement, Mr. Andrews assisted his son with his business, Evans Ace Hardware, at its locations in Derby and Medina.
His wife, a purchasing agent for many years at TAM Ceramics in Niagara Falls, died in 2017.
In addition to his son, survivors include two sisters, Joan Malaney and Shirley Wirth; and two granddaughters.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in St. John de la Salle Catholic Church, 8477 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls.