I have never written an obituary before and I never anticipated having to do so for my Andy. As the time drew near we talked about writing it together, but we wanted to focus on his life, not his death. It took me a few days to put together the right words to honour my extraordinary husband but finally, Andy’s obituary was published in the Calgary Herald, the Ottawa Citizen, and the Montreal Gazette on Wednesday, 20 June 2012.
GENEST, Andrew Ralph
January 26, 1965 – June 14, 2012
Andrew Genest of Calgary, Alberta passed away peacefully and surrounded by love on the evening of Thursday, June 14, 2012. He was born Ralph Andrew Genest in Montreal, Quebec on January 26, 1965. In addition to being the best husband a girl could ever hope to have, he was a committed father, a thoughtful son, a generous friend and all around phenomenal guy. He was honest to a fault, he was a man with great integrity; one could count on him for anything, anytime. He was always the first to lend a helping hand and would only offer his advice or wisdom if one asked for it. His love of food and fine dining was unequalled, he enjoyed everything from cookies to corn dogs to foie gras. He was an amateur connoisseur of wine, beer, and scotch and loved tipping a glass with like-minded friends. He loved to experience new things, and take pleasure in any activity as often as possible. If we were going to go somewhere, his first question was always, “what are we going to do there?” He loved to laugh. He was a developing rock star having found the passion for guitar a few years ago, he enjoyed a round of golf now and then, he pitched our softball team to victory many a game and could still send a few over the fence, he loved skiing any slope, he was happy riding his bike, in any direction, over any terrain. He was a dedicated and professional employee, giving his best to the office every day. He was generous, intelligent, funny, thoughtful, silly, and wonderful. He was so wonderful. He was someone we were all incredibly fortunate to know. Because he lived, there is more love and kindness in the world. Andy was diagnosed with a severe and disabling cancer. He bravely battled a brain tumour for fourteen months before it ultimately took his life. The cancer may have taken him, but Andy won. He was strong and courageous every damn day. He didn’t ever complain, he never asked, “why me?” He stood toe-to-toe with cancer and continuously shoved it back. Our doctors and nurses were impressed with his resilience and expected him to go much sooner than he did. He was able to communicate and speak to me until the day he died. Andy was a warrior. I am so proud of him. He leaves in love his dearly beloved wife, the other half of his heart and soul, and every breath, Lisa Genest. He is survived by his son, Daniel Genest, student to the master; by his stepmother, the lovely Cyndy Genest, who brought Andy and Ralph so much closer; by his in-laws, Art and Judy Jepps, partner in golf and cookie enabler; by his sister-in-law, the thoughtful and talented Jodi Jepps; by his sister, Tanya Genest, and stepsisters Christy-Anne Leef and Megan Ewing; by the best kisser in town, Miss Sophie Sopherson Jepps; by his dear friends the Gianfelice-Bohen’s, the Kindt’s, the Pich’s, and the Kelley’s; and countless other family, friends, neighbours, golf buddies, softball team, and co-workers. He was predeceased by his father Ralph Allen Genest of Ottawa, Ontario who loved him and raised him to be the tremendous man we all knew him to be. The family wishes to thank the staff at the Foothills Medical Centre, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, and our Palliative Home Care team for their compassion as we fought against this cancer; especially Dr. Jacob Easaw for understanding and keeping it real. Thanks man. Cremation has taken place. Family and friends will be invited to gather and celebrate Andy’s life – watch the blog at www.andyloveslisa.com for details. If friends so desire, donations in Andy’s honour may be made to your local SPCA. Andy would love it if he could save an animal’s life.