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Barbara Lou Andrews
Sept. 19, 1927 - July 28, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS â€” Better known as Bobbie to her family and close friends, Barbara Lou Andrews peacefully passed away on July 28, 2014, at the Bethany Village Nursing Home in Indianapolis. She was surrounded by her two children, her oldest granddaughter and her youngest great-granddaughter. She had been a South Bend-area resident for over 60 years before moving in 2008.
Born on Sept. 19, 1927, in Argos, Bobbie was the first-born child to the late Ernest J. and Mary Ellen (Feikert) Castleman. After Bobbieâ€™s father became ill and passed away in 1943, she was inspired to help others and decided she wanted to become a nurse. The death of Bobbieâ€™s father left a lifelong impact on her, and she missed him dearly throughout her life and spoke of him quite often.
After graduating from Argos High School in 1945, she desperately wanted to attend nursing school but could not afford the expense. Determined to fulfill her dream of becoming a registered nurse (R.N.), she accepted a position at NIPSCO in Plymouth, knowing that her job would not turn into a career. By 1948, after working hard, being very determined, and receiving a scholarship award, she enthusiastically entered the three-year School of Nursing program at Memorial Hospital in South Bend and graduated on Sept. 13, 1951. While it was hard work, she truly enjoyed her time in nursing school and established lifelong friendships that she cherished through the years.
Bobbie married Raymond T. (Przybylski) Pierson on Oct. 13, 1951, exactly one month after graduating from nursing school. In November 1952, their daughter Mary Elizabeth was born and in May 1958, they welcomed their son Patrik Louis. Like many couples, their marriage had its ups and downs. Eventually the downs outweighed the ups, and they decided to go their separate ways after being married for more than 20 years. Because of their strong love for their family, they were able to maintain a respectable, almost friendly, relationship until Rayâ€™s death in 2011.
On July 10, 1976, Bobbie married Dr. Otho V. â€śAndyâ€ť Andrews. He was very good to her, made her very happy, and they had plans to grow old together. Sadly, Andy died on Sept. 29, 1979. While their time together was short, they loved each other very much, and these years were among the happiest of Bobbieâ€™s life.
During Bobbieâ€™s career as an R.N., she worked at Memorial Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital (Mishawaka), Osteopathic Hospital, and Childrenâ€™s Hospital. She held several positions and titles over her career and was well-respected by her colleagues. Her one true passion in life was nursing, and she spent nearly 40 years as an R.N. before she retired in March 1991.
Bobbie lived life to the fullest for most of her 86 years. She was very adventurous, almost always active, and willing to try just about anything. She enjoyed knitting, crocheting, sewing, cross country skiing, gardening (she really loved her garden), watching movies/TV, playing cards (pinnacle and bridge mostly, but she knew many card games), crosswords, puzzles, games, attending concerts, festivals and parades, traveling, reading, fishing, and bowling. She was an excellent cook and baker and was famous for her kieflies, chop suey, lasagna, chocolate mint brownies and her macaroni and cheese. She also looked forward to watching the college basketball playoffs each spring and watching and attending some Notre Dame football games in the fall. Bobbie was a lifelong Democrat, supported the Democratic Party, and took great pleasure in following local and national politics. She especially had a fondness and admiration for President Bill Clinton, and was overjoyed when she was able to see him in person in Michigan City in 1996. She loved her People magazines and would read The South Bend Tribune daily from front to back. She especially enjoyed reading interesting obituaries, but who doesnâ€™t?
After retiring, she volunteered for the St. Joseph County Libraryâ€™s Adult Literacy program teaching others to read and write. She was also very active in the Christian Appalachian project and sponsored several families. This charity was very special to her. Whether in life or in sports, she always rooted for the underdog. She believed it was better to light one candle than to curse the darkness, but sometimes the darkness deserved cursing.
Bobbie had a contagious laugh and a wonderful sense of humor. She had said that she had a good life, and for the most part, she did. She compared life to a long visit but knew that all visits must end. She believed the best part of the whole visit was having two children that she was proud of. She is survived by her daughter Mary (Carlos) LeBold Alvarez of Indianapolis, son Patrik (Karen) Pierson of New Bern, N.C.; Â grandchildren, Elicia (Joshua) LeBold Clements of Zionsville, Kristofer Pierson and Ingrid Pierson both of New Bern, N.C.; and great-grandchildren Jacoby, Kiley, and Caroline Clements all off Zionsville. Additionally, she is survived by her sister Rebecca Warren of Quincy, Ill., and brother Larry Castleman of Portland, Ore. She was preceded in death by two siblings Rex Castleman and Rosemary Swihart.
Bobbie had fun, and instead of counting the days, she made the days count. For those she may have wronged, she would ask for forgiveness. For those she helped, she would have liked to have done more. For those she could not help, she would have asked for their understanding. For those who helped her, she was grateful.
Bobbie was a giver in life, so it is only fitting that she chose to continue giving after she passed away by bequeathing her body to Indiana University for medical research and education. Private services will be held at a later date at Poplar Grove Cemetery in Culver. Everyone who remembers Bobbie is asked to celebrate her life in their own way; raising a glass of their favorite drink in her memory would be quite appropriate. Bobbie would hope that you will do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for some poor unfortunate soul in her memory. Condolences may be made online at www.earlgrossmanfuneral.com
Above all, Bobbie Andrews was a very special and exceptional grandmother and was very loving and went above and beyond in this role. Furthermore, she was also a devoted mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. She was very much loved and will be greatly missed. She would likely have been embarrassed by this long obituary, but she would have been amused and honored.