Andrew was born in Pella Iowa on June 24th ,1993. As a child Andrew was full of life, his sparkling blue eyes, and mischievous grin could light up a room. Growing up, he enjoyed many things in his life, trips to the zoo in Omaha, he loved almost all animals (Otters where his favorite and he detested grasshoppers and frogs), he enjoyed learning to cook and experiment with food. (Family meals where among one of his favorite things). He could make a delicious hamburger and his favorite Grilled Italian chicken Pizza. He was a dinosaur fanatic, hoping to be like Dr. Grant from his beloved Jurassic park movies. As he grew, he loved football (GO Falcons) He spent many of summer days, weekends playing football with his buddies over at the East elementary playground. Our house was always full of laughter with his friends hanging out playing video games. As he got older, he enjoyed working out and lifting weights. He was passionate about fishing. Often his family would tease him about the amount of fishing line he needed as he always had at least a dozen spools of it with his tackle (line that was rated for 100lb fish). He was always hoping to catch “that monster fish”. He did finally land a few whoppers this summer while out fishing. The smile said it all in his photo that his Step- dad sent me. He gave the best hugs!
Like a typical child who grows into a teenager. He became the typical “know it all.” Those years were full of “I KNOW MOM” you know the typical defiant behaviors, and on those Rare occasions he would say “you were right mom. As he grew and gained independence, he began to experiment with drugs and alcohol, like most teens do. Unfortunately, his paths lead him down a dark road.
He struggled for many years with this. He believed in 2nd chances, his family often believed in 3rd, 4th, and more chances. If a family’s love could provide a cure for this disease, NO child would ever become an addict. When sitting to write this, as his mom I debated on telling his truths, what some might consider his weakness. Addiction is unfortunately not suffered by just the addict but also the entire family. As his mom, I choose to speak out about his life and leave no mysteries to how he died. Some might find it uncomfortable, but I do hope that it helps provide openness to talk about addiction, and the stigma that goes along with it. As his mom, I sat silent for years, feeling alone in this battle. No parent or family should feel that loneliness. No one is immune to this disease. Some say it’s a choice, but for some that choice becomes a disease, that causes a lifetime of pain and struggle for those suffering as well as the family that loves them.
Those that truly knew Andrew knew he had a love for his family and friends, he was kindhearted, and fiercely loyal to all that were close to him. His addiction and past mistakes do not define who he truly was. He wanted to beat addiction and live a sober life, but his demons often won over his desire to live sober. He struggled with depression, and anxiety. He wanted his family to be proud of him, (and we were even through the struggles and mistakes made because of that lifestyle) He would often write letters to me, stating he was going to do whatever it took to overcome this. He tried several times, yet that life always managed to sneak back in. We will always cherish the short time we had him. 27 years was just not long enough. God decided he needed him and chose to call him home on Oct 4th, 2020. He is finally free of his pain and struggles. He will always be loved and cherished by those that knew him.
Andrew is survived by his mother, Rebecca “Becky” (Ryan) Hochart of Knoxville; father, Jason Roorda of Pella;; maternal grandmother, Janie Salsberry of Knoxville; paternal grandparents, Dottie and Elmer Roorda of Pella; Uncle Robert (Joy) Salsberry of Knoxville; Aunt Jolynne Roorda; step-siblings, Caitlin Vance, Ryan Hochart, Crystal Hochart, and Michael Hochart; also many other aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Andrew is preceded in death by his grandfather, Richard Salsberry, and Uncle Randy Salsberry.
Visitation for Andrew will be held on Saturday, October 10, 2020 at Winfield Funeral Home in Knoxville from 9:00 A.M. to 10:30 A.M. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:300 A.M. Burial will follow at Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville. Face masks and social distancing are recommended.