Significant Sig Robert O. Andrews, Beta Phi ’50, a respected physician and anesthesiologist of La Jolla, California, entered the Chapter Eternal on Nov. 26, 2015. He was 89.
Dr. Andrews was born Nov. 11, 1926 in Phoenix, was raised in Yuma, where he graduated from Yuma Union High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 17 and, after specialized training he was attached to the 41st infantry as a rifleman based in the Philippines during World War II. In 1945, Dr. Andrews was assigned to the Recovered Personnel Detachment Unit in Hiroshima, Japan, assuming responsibility for the retrieval and care of U.S. soldiers.
After an honorable discharge as a sergeant, he entered the University of Arizona in 1947 when he pledged Sigma Chi. He became a Significant Sig in 2013. “He has never lost his appreciation for Sigma Chi, its brotherhood and ideals,” said his son-in-law Mark Skeen of Alpha Upsilon at USC. “He is the epitome of what a Significant Sig represents and what it tells the world about our cherished fraternity.”
He obtained a bachelor’s of science degree in biology and a master’s degree in zoology at the UA and then enrolled in 1953 at the Washington University medical school in St Louis, where he served as president of the medical fraternity.
During medical school, Dr. Andrews met his future wife, Tillie Jean Micheletto on a Valentine’s Day blind date. In 1956 she competed in the Miss America pageant as Miss Illinois. Upon graduating in 1957, the couple married and headed west where he completed an internship at LA County/USC Medical Center. The Andrews would have eight children in 10 years.
After internship, the couple settled in Yuma as a general practitioner. In 1964, Dr. Andrews was recruited by Anesthesia Service Medical Group in San Diego, where he served as an anesthesiologist for more than 32 years. His service included chairman of Scripps Hospital department of anesthesiology, chairman of ASMG, member of the Scripps Hospital Executive Committee and head of the Physicians’ Well-Being Committee.
“He was the patriarch of the Anesthesia Service group at Scripps,” recalls a colleague, Dr. Joseph Shurman. “In a way, [Dr. Andrews] was a Renaissance man with interests in all aspects of medicine, psychology, and hypnosis, and he was a mentor to the younger anesthesiologists. He exuded confidence and strength under the most adverse conditions.”
Another colleague, Dr. Robert Brucker, remembers, “Bob was most proud of ASMG’s growth and reputation for quality care. His partners remember him for many attributes, but foremost as the daily mentor he was to all around him.”
In 1996, Dr. Andrews retired from ASMG but that lasted only three months. For the next 12 years, he returned to work in pain clinics in Brawley and Temecula, assisting in regional anesthesia cases and managing chronic pain patients.
Dr. Andrews is survived by his eight children and 16 grandchildren. His wife predeceased him.
A celebration of Dr. Andrews’ life was held at All Hallows Catholic Church in La Jolla on Dec. 21, 2015
All Honor to His Name.