It is with great sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of my beloved nephew, Andrue Steven Earl Heather on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Andrue was 19 years old. He graduated from DeKalb High School in 2018 and was working at Upstaging, Inc. in Sycamore, building stage tresses and assisting with lights. Andrue brought so much laughter and joy into our lives and to those around him…he was loving, wickedly playful, loyal and was growing up to be a kind-hearted young man. He always seemed to look out for his older sister and often put others before himself. He enjoyed video games, skateboarding, playing tennis and being outdoors. He was loved dearly by his family and those who were close to him.
Andrue was born on May 25, 2000. He is survived by his mother, Sindy Marx, stepfather, Dennis Marx, sister, Alysha Tippy, grandfather, Steve Heather, Aunts and Uncle, Stephanie Reinard-Heather, Sandee (Chancey) Coffelt, Vicky Heather, Valerie Heather and Virgil (Butch) Steven Heather and his cousins, Kaitlynn Wilson, Anabelle & Claire Coffelt. He is also survived by his fiancé, Samantha Davis of DeKalb and her son, Christopher.
He is preceded in death by his grandmother, SueAnne Heather.
The family is in the process of planning a celebration of life service for Andrue in early September, as soon as it is safe for group gatherings and travel. Details will be shared here when available. He will be interred at Oakwood Cemetery in Dixon, IL, next to his grandmother.
I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge that Andrue struggled with depression and ended his own life. In October of 2018, he shared a Facebook post that said, “Depression is living in a body that fights to survive, with a mind that tries to die.” – Unknown
Suicide is hardest on those who are left behind and while everyone grieves in their own way and searches for answers as to WHY, those efforts are usually futile. As with all loss, there is love, sadness and grief, but there is also confusion, shame or an angry search for explanations; guilt and soul-searching about what we could have done to help change the outcome also weighs heavily on our hearts. No matter how much those of us who cared about Andrue reached out to try and help him establish a strong support system, Andrue lost this dark battle and finally found his own peace. We still loved him and cared for him and the tragic end result of this young life should not be judged by the final page in his story. Instead, I ask you to remember all of the good times and happy moments you shared with Andrue. Pour your energy into the light and transform this into something positive. Reach out and help others. Offer a hand or a hug, even when you don’t understand what someone is going through. Listen without judgement. Love openly and forgive.
I was at the hospital the day Andrue was born and was instantly mesmerized by him. His smile could light up a room and he had a belly laugh that was contagious. As a family, we played jokes on each other, wrestled, went to movies or the skate park. We spent time at the driving range hitting golf balls and even though I never did get any of mine up in the air, we enjoyed just being outdoors and trying new things (I believe Grampa Heather threw his hip out with his first swing). When his grampa was out in the yard, mowing grass with the tractor, little Andrue was out on his own John Deere, driving around the yard helping by picking up sticks. I remember a day when we went to Herrick Lake for a picnic and Andrue and his sister talked me into taking canoes out on the lake. I was hesitant because I knew that neither of them have ever been out on a canoe before but we went anyway. Alysha bumped her head on a tree branch and freaked out, thus tipping me out of the boat into the murkiest, stinkiest green slime of a lake I’ve ever been in! Andrue retrieved my Oakley’s and couldn’t stop laughing! I smelled so bad, we had to drive home with the windows of the van down and Andrue wouldn’t stop teasing me, so I wrapped him up and covered him with slime, too. He was growing up and living out on his own for the first time. He was working, engaged and learning how to navigate through life as a young adult and there’s not a day that goes by that I wasn’t proud of him. Rest in peace, sweet Andrue. Give gramma a hug for me and hold her hand until we get there. I love you! Aunt Stephanie
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