Hundreds of people gathered at the St. Jude Parish church in Redmond last Friday afternoon for Sen. Andy Hill’s memorial funeral mass.
The overflow crowd packed the church and the large lobby. A color guard displayed the American and Washington state flags and a bugler played at the end of the ceremony as the family gathered outside.
Hill, 54, died on Nov. 7 after a battle with lung cancer. Hill (R-Redmond) served the 45th Legislative District for six years.
“Andy touched so many people in his lifetime,” his wife Molly told the attendees. Molly said he asked her and their three children to treat people as they would want to be treated.
Gov. Jay Inslee, Redmond Mayor John Marchione and many other Washington state politicians attended the service.
Wayne Hill said his brother performed his job honorably in Olympia and included politicians on both sides of the Republican and Democratic party aisle.
“We need to see more and more of it in this nation of ours,” said Rev. Timothy J. Clark, a family friend, during his homily. “He wanted to make a difference and give back in some way.”
Another brother Rob Hill said that while by Andy’s side, “Molly soared above us with positivity and joy.”
Dipping back into Andy’s childhood, Wayne said that his brother was mischievous, spirited and compassionate. Andy repaired cars and was proud of his rides, and was deep into science and technology.
Andy worked for 11 years at Microsoft, where he helped bring Windows 95 into existence and was named the company’s rookie of the year. In the community, he was a soccer coach, math tutor and PTSA treasurer and president.
In the government realm, he chaired the Senate Ways and Means Committee and was one of the principal budget writers. On the legislative program front, he was proud of the Vulnerable Individual Protection (VIP) Act, which provided aid to the developmentally disabled, and the 25 percent tuition reduction in Washington state universities and community colleges.
Rev. Clark praised Andy for his involvement with the VIP Act and said he was always reaching out to others with “a greater good in mind.”
“Andy was the kind of person who made everyone feel very welcome and at home,” Rev. James Johnson told the attendees.
Johnson added that Andy’s legacy will live on in the years ahead, within his family, friends and colleagues.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks people to make a donation in Andy’s name to Cancer Pathways, Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education (GRACE) or Dr. Jed Gorden’s outreach to underserved communities through Swedish Medical Center in Seattle (www.swedishfoundationorg/andy-hill).
People can share any memories of Andy or messages to the family by emailing RememberAndyHill@gmail.com.