John was born on September 14, 1956 in Wausau, Wisconsin, to Jack and Lois Andrashko. As Gary’s little brother, he became a big brother to Sue, Craig, and Mary.
Gary remembers … Some of you may (or may not) know that I’m six years older than John. When I graduated from high school and went to college in the fall of 1968, John was 12 years old. The family had just moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota. I remember growing up in Wisconsin, John had a lot of friends, he liked the outdoors and sports. He was active and determined. He was athletic even at a young age and had what it takes to be successful in any sport. His competitive nature, his drive and the will to win drove him forward. Gary always admired the “can do” attitude John adopted when he was doing something difficult. John would go for it and be successful, or be satisfied that he had done his best. He was active even as a boy and probably gave our parents seizures at times when he was concentrating on something because of his curiosity and persistence. All of these qualities have served him well throughout his life. His sister Mary recalls that John had a paper route and proved to be a hard worker from a young age.
Athletics was one of his strengths, and John enjoyed high school sports. He was discovered by college recruiters in his sophomore year playing football. John wouldn’t have bothered, but his skills got a lot of attention. After being hit hard one too many times, he turned to skiing. John joined the high school ski racing team where he became a captain in his junior and senior years. He teased everyone, but was a respected and popular leader with everyone. His sister Sue recalls being harassed about high school connections because the girls all wanted to take a look at John and find out where he was living. His love of speed also inspired him to become a seasoned motocross racer. With his experience in riding he passed this love on and also taught his youngest sister Mary to ride.
After John graduated from high school, he moved to Berthoud, Colorado. He worked hard in the construction industry as a framer. Growing up and living in the beautiful countryside, John was an outdoor man at heart. He brought his love of nature with him and developed a passion for fishing and pheasant and goose hunting.
John was also a car lover. One such car was a 1971 Trans Am that he bought during a Christmas visit to Minnesota in 1979. His family feared the car wouldn’t make it to Colorado, but it did! John would spend hours washing the car weekly only to roll it back into the garage until he washed it again the following week. This love for cars turned out to be a lifelong hobby among the many collector’s cars he enjoyed. Any neighbor can probably remember seeing him in the driveway washing his current pride and joy.
John’s interest in cars and love for Jack Daniels led to some friendships that would last him for a lifetime. He combines many hobbies, nature and beer and spent time with John Botterill, Jim Brehm and Bob Yale. The epic adventures that followed with these friends have created lifelong memories.
He later moved to Loveland, where he welcomed the birth of his daughter Kristina in July 1984. He was a stepfather to Bryan and Billy Stumbaugh. Life was very busy and he always made time for fun activities with his family. He understood the importance of leadership as a father figure and taught life lessons that flow into the many lives he touched. John lived on family and friends. If you needed help, he was always the first to show up and the last to leave.
John was a man who loved everything to do with mechanics. He attended Colorado Aero Tech and graduated as an aircraft mechanic. After graduating, he worked for Continental Airlines and bought his first home. Once again, his love of cars led him to make another lifelong friend who was next door: Lee Standiford.
John was a hard working man, a reliable neighbor, and the best friend one could ask for; he welcomed everyone to his life and home. After working in the aviation industry, he returned to the construction industry. He founded KLA Construction and became a general contractor where his work and reputation earned him the respect of his colleagues. While John was a hard worker, he enjoyed playing hard even more! John took his love of water to the next level and bought a boat. He also returned to his love of snow with snowmobiles and once again felt the need to speed through the powder snow. John shared his joy in these activities with his family and friends and was always ready for the next trip or adventure. When the open road called him, he returned to two wheels on his Harley too, to let the wind blow through his then thinning hair.
With so many adventures going on, John decided to take the plunge into his next adventure when he married his best friend Lori. On August 9, 2014, John and Lori exchanged vows in their backyard, surrounded by their closest friends and family. The couple had met many years earlier and dated a few times. While life took different paths in the years in between, the two always stayed in contact and supported each other as best they could. Love is a truly magical thing, and when their ways reunited they decided to make it official forever.
John and Lori enjoyed so many of the same things and they bought a fishing boat together. In the first few years of their marriage they were never home because they were always out fishing. The couple enjoyed the outdoors and shot at targets together, but perhaps what they loved most was watching their children and families grow up.
In 2014, John began working for Landmark Homes as Superintendent, a familiar position that he was well suited to. Everyone celebrated the feeling of accomplishment and pride in the position. He oversaw the completion of many high-end homes in northern Colorado.
John was enjoying life with his wife by his side, but suddenly he was faced with the greatest challenge of all. In 2019 he was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy of the cerebellum (MSA-C). A rare neurological disorder rapidly changed John’s life. After retiring from Landmark Homes, John focused on spending time with his family. With the love of his family and friends, John faced the many challenges of an incurable disease. John and Lori got a dog, Zoey (a Yorkshire Terrier), who quickly became John’s best friend. Zoey sat like a parrot on his shoulder and kept him company when his mobility was restricted. He was hoping for a cure, and if he didn’t, Joyce, one of his caregivers, could always find a way to lift his spirits.
John was able to celebrate Christmas Day 2021 at home with his closest family, but on December 27, 2021 John passed away peacefully at home with his family and close friends.
He leaves behind his beloved wife Lori Andrashko, daughter Kristina Swegan (Clifford Case, grandsons Parker and Cooper Swegan), stepchildren Ashley Davis (grandson Joshua Kobobel, Jason Speyer, Violet Capra) Cody Davis, Kiley Davis, Bryan Stumbaugh (Ashley, grandson) Ethan and Lucas), father Jack Andrashko, siblings Gary (Faye) Andrashko, Susan Chenard (Kevin Busse), Craig Andrashko, Mary Andrashko, nephews Caleb Andrashko, Jared (Allison, son Miles) Andrashko and niece Hailey Andrashko (Tyler Wilson).
The family is currently planning a celebration of life to take place in late spring or early summer 2022.
The family especially thanks Pathways for the excellent hospice care.
Instead of flowers, the family asked for donations on John’s behalf to the MSA coalition. To learn more or to donate, please visit https://www.multiplesystematrophy.org/donate/
Published by Viegut Funeral Home on January 5, 2022.