Andy T. Kawakami

Andy T. Kawakami

Andy passed away Saturday, December 12, 2015 at his home.

He was born December 22, 1967 in Kalamazoo to Edward and Aurora (Olivares) Kawakami. Andy served his country in the US Army in the Middle East. He had lived in Cape Canaveral where he was a chef and enjoyed watching the rockets go off.  After returning to the area he had worked at Plainwell Paper, Bell’s Brewery and most recently at Clausing Industrial, Inc. Andy loved taking care of people and was a supporter of the Wounded Warriors Program and had earned his black belt and many trophies in Tae Kwon Do. In his spare time he enjoyed the outdoors, following NASCAR and traveling with his special nephew Ethan, they recently had taken a trip to Disney and had gone on many camping trips.

Surviving are his children, Thomas Kawakami and Kayla Kawakami both of Otsego; granddaughter, Alannah; mother, Aurora; siblings, Edward Kawakami of Shelbyville, Tammy (Tim Lane) Maurer of Plainwell, Betty (Michael Brooks) Blackburn of GA, and Penny (Bryan Smith) Kawakami of Otsego; friends, Doug Wood and Patty Blakemore along with many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Edward; sister, Tsuruko Kawakami; nephew, Travis Pickett and by his brother-in-law, Larry Penny.

According to his wishes cremation has taken place.

A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church of Otsego on Monday, December 21, 2015 at 11am with Pastor Darin Youngs officiating. 

In lieu of flowers contributions in memory of Andy may be made to his family for expenses.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Messages of Condolence

  1. sherry Collins Cunningham says:

    You will be greatly missed Andy and may you rest in peace! Prayers to the Kawakami family.

  2. David LaFountain says:

    My Deepest sympathies in your time of loss. I have lost one of my old crew you shall be sadly missed !!!!

  3. Leslie DePauw Giuzio says:

    My thoughts go out to Andy’s family. Our families go way back, I only hope you find peace during this difficult time.

  4. Leslie DePauw Giuzio says:

    My heart goes out to Andy’s family…May peace find you in the days to come.

  5. gary burd says:

    My deepest condolences to Andy’s family. What a GREAT guy…you will be missed by so many bud. Never once did I see anything but a smile on your face…rest in peace my friend. -Gary Burd-

  6. LaRayne Sweet says:

    May you be at peace my dear sweet will be missed.. Love you

  7. Mandi Landstra says:

    I have many memories with Andy, starting as a child in Tae Kwon Do to just over a year ago over drinks. Andy will be missed.
    To the family: May the memories and comfort in knowing he is no longer in pain make this difficult time, easier.

  8. Deb farmer says:

    So sorry to here this Penny my thought and prayer are with you all. If you need to talk remember your Perrigo family are here for you .

  9. Todd Fisher says:

    Sorry to here this Penny

  10. Lori Burrows says:

    Condolences out to the family – so sorry for your loss. Andy will be missed.

  11. Sherine Miller says:

    Andy shared his kind heart and joyful smile in our little neighborhood, and we will miss him very much.
    The constant love and support of his mother,Aurora, as well as the many family and friends that were there for him, made it very obvious how special Andy was.
    With prayers of peace and love,
    God bless, Andy.

  12. Jodi (Reynolds) Shaw says:

    I first met Andy in elementary school, he was a friend to myself and to many in our class. I’m grateful to have known him and very sorry to hear of his passing at far too young of an age. Heartfelt thoughts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time…

  13. Ruth Marie says:

    My thoughts are with all of you guys Andy was an absolute delight every time we crossed paths. His thoughtful personality and smile will be missed.

  14. Susan Laduke says:

    My condolences to the family so sorry Kayla

  15. Rck and Mary Howrigon says:

    Dear Aurora and Family
    We are saddened to heat of Andy’s passing.
    Please know we are just around the corner if you need anything.
    Sending love and Prayers for all your Family.

  16. Peggy Veld-Lomonaco says:

    So sorry to all of you family & friends alike. Always sad to hear of a class mate passing. Your in my thoughts & prayers.

  17. Mary Brewster Brennan says:

    So sorry to hear this news. Andy was a great guy always with a smile on his face. My prayers go out to the family.

  18. Becky Digby says:

    My prayers go out to the family. Andy was always a true friend to so many of us. Many years went by after we left school, but when we came together again, you wouldn’t know they he wasn’t our best friend. He truly had a heart of Gold. He will be missed.

  19. Craig Thomas says:

    Andy was a good friend. I enjoyed the time I worked with him at Plainwell Paper. The pictures & Stories of the Middle East were very interesting. He always had a smile and was ready to chat whenever he ran across you. Andy had a great ❤. I sure will miss him.

  20. Carla (Howard)Samuel says:

    Sorry for your loss sister. Shocked to hear the news this morning. Our family is here for your family. Praying for you and your family.

  21. Greg and Cindy Radcliffe says:

    This world will miss your smile and kindness. Our prayers go out to your family.

  22. Conni Pierce says:

    Sorry for your loss,, may God bless your family and friends , he was a good guy, God bless you

  23. Sara Badiner says:

    Kayla and Tommy,
    I am so sorry to hear of this. You and your family are in my prayers.

  24. Gary and Sandy Cronkright says:

    We are so sorry for your loss and were keeping the family in our prayers at this difficult time. May God Bless you all.

  25. Janelle Turner Oberhill says:

    My prayers go out to the family. I remember Andy fondly from the early days of my teaching career. Way too young.

  26. Will & Alicia Fawley says:

    Peace and prayers to all of Andy’s family and friends at this time. Andy was a wonderful man and neighbor. He will be greatly missed in our little neighborhood. God bless.

  27. Cheryl, Terry and Sarah Pickett says:

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to each and everyone of you. We are so sorry for your loss. Andy was such a kind, funny, wonderful man.
    He will be missed.

    Love The Pickett Family

  28. Sharon Enos says:

    To the Kawkami Family & Troy Pickett, My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Just know Andy will always be with you as an angel on your shoulder.

  29. Dora (Cox) Watson says:

    My prayers go out to the family and friends. Andy will be missed.

  30. Kelly and Joe Bohl says:

    We are thinking of the entire Kawakami family. So sorry to hear about Andy. He was a sweet, kind and funny friend to all of us as we attended Otsego Schools. Hugs to you all.

  31. Tonia (Leonard) Forney says:

    I remember Andy from school. He will be greatly missed….His family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  32. Larry & Betty says:

    Aurora, Penny, Ed,Tammy, Betty, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time of great loss. We love you all and we are here for you. Andy was a great man.

  33. Starr Adams says:

    I will miss his smiling face. Always upbeat and happy. Prayers to all the family.

  34. Steve, Kathy, Jamie, Joey and Jenna Penny - Olivet, MI says:

    To all of Andy’s family and friends,

    Thank-you so very much for making Andy the person that he was and for sharing him with the rest of us.

    Andy was a very special man and always treated others the way he wanted to be treated.

    Andy was like another member of our family and could always be counted on.

    I’m thankful for his service to our Country and for being a role model to Ethan.

    He will be missed greatly, but never forgotten!

    Please let us know if there is anything that we can do to assist any of your during this difficult time.

    Love and Prayers to you all…..

  35. Cindy Black Trammell says:

    My sincere condolences go to Ed and Tammy and all of Andy’s family. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  36. Rose Sharrard says:

    So sorry to hear this about Andy. My prayers go out to you Aurora and family.

  37. Doug DePauw says:

    My heart is broken for the family and friends of the Kawakami’s. Andy and I were best friends as kids, but lost contact in the later years. There will always be a place in my heart for the friendship we shared. May God bless the Kawakami Family always!

  38. Greg & Carrie Penny says:

    Andy was a great person! I remember how excited he was when he bought his “little” camper and shared this camping experience with Ethan. You were a perfect role model and perfect uncle to Ethan and I am positive he will never forget this! Rest in peace Andy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kawakami family.

  39. Tom TerMeer says:

    You will be greatly missed Andy and may you rest in peace 🙁

  40. Brad Tyler says:

    R.I.P. My Friend and co-Worker From Plainwell Paper

  41. Diana Whitney-Head says:

    Such a sweet, amazing man. He will be missed greatly!

  42. miles and betty fifer says:


  43. Cheryl Wrobleski says:

    Thoughts and prayers to all of Andy’s family. He is a great man. He would do anything for anyone. Warm, kind, all around a sweet man. Love him and miss him.

  44. Jim & Joyce Wilson says:

    Our thoughts & prayers are with all of the Kawakami family. Andy was a wonderful man; loved by so many. He was a great Uncle & role model to Ethan, and friend to our entire family. He will be greatly missed.

  45. Annette Crawford Liskovec says:

    I am so saddened and sorry to hear about your loss of Andy.. My thoughts and prayers are with your family!!!

  46. Cindy Cramer says:

    Dear Penny and Ethan,
    I am so saddened to hear of your loss. I know your uncle meant so much to you, Ethan. I’m so glad you had him in your life and I’m sure you will grow to be so much like him.

  47. Michelle Immekus Kintz says:

    Prayers for peace and comfort for family and friends touched by the loss of Andy. May he rest in peace.

  48. Pwggy Lane says:

    Condolances, thoughts and PRAYERS go out to the entire Kawakami family and sll who knew him . I know that this indeed is a very big, precious loss for all of you. He was definately a very sweet and kind person. May the strong faith that he had give everyone GOD’S peace that surpasses all understanding…knowing that Andy’s eternal destiny was sucure and we know for sure that he is now in a better place that God prepared fir him…he now at peace now and will be missed very much. Hold those beautiful memories close and live well in honor of him. Blessings Hugs and love from Peggy Lane

  49. Theresa Sours says:

    I met Andy at Plainwell Paper. I cherish the times we spent together. He was always so sweet and so happy. I am devastated to hear he is gone from this earth. I will miss him. His family has known heartache before and my thoughts and prayers go out to them.

  50. Mike Thomson says:

    R.I.P. Andy

  51. James Lowery says:

    Rest In Peace My Friend.

  52. Peggy Thompson says:

    May all the good times that you shared come shining through everytime you think of Andy…

  53. Sally Thaxton Betzner says:

    To all the family am sending prayers, so sorry for your loss.

  54. Ron and Darlene Hoover says:

    Condolences to the entire family Rest in peace Andy

  55. Kim Baker says:

    My deepest condolences to the entire Kawakami family. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Andy will always be near watching over you all. My thoughts are with you Tammy.

  56. Kim Baker says:

    My deepest condolences to the entire Kawakami family. Thoughts and prayers are with all of you

  57. Soni Boss says:

    R.I.P. My dear freind!!! My heart goes out to the family…

  58. Kim Kawakami says:

    To my loving children Thomas, Kayla and my granddaughter Alannah. Hold your heads high and your memories close and each other even closer. In times like this you will always have each other to lean on. I’m so very proud of the both of you. And for my granddaughter Alannah I wish that your grandfather got to know you better, he would have falling in love with you like the rest of us have. Remember your dad will always be with you, in spirit and in your hearts.

  59. Kim Kalchik says:

    Andy was a great friend and part of our family for many years. He will be missed greatly. My deepest sympathies to his family during this difficult time.

  60. Stacey (brown) Leon Barrantes says:

    Goodbye friend. …..

  61. Jane (Loedeman) Timmerman says:

    So sorry to hear of Andy’s passing. He was a wonderful person with a warm heart. To Andy’s family, I never met you, but please accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss. Cancer touches so many in terrible ways. Deepest sympathy.

  62. Cindy Carrigan Roberts says:

    Andy was an amazing person. He was full of laughter and smiles. Andy was a good friend who had a big heart. He cared about those around him. He will be missed by many but will never be forgotten. My husband Jimmy and will keep his family in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers.

  63. John Leland says:

    I was greatly saddened by Andy’s passing. I saw each of you through the school years and your mom and you always bring such joy to our meetings when I see you now. What a wonderful family. My condolences to you all. Andy will be missed.

  64. Tim Karmon D.C. says:

    Rest in peace friend. I hope you enjoyed your experience. You will be missed.

  65. Terri Hogue-Long says:

    Sorry to hear of Andy passing, I send well wishes to his family. Andy always had a smile, he loved to tell his stories. He will be missed by many.

  66. Fred & Sue Bosma says:

    Dear Gloria and your whole special family, We send our sympathy and love to all of you. We will always remember Andy’s beautiful smile and warm heart,and feel so lucky to have been one of his many friends.

  67. Sherri (Brown) Vassau says:

    My Heart Bleeds for your family. So Young, but by the comments above You have Left many memories and the dash between the dates with an impact on many lives. Never seen you without a smile, May God Be with your family in the healing process, and may you Rest in peace Andy.

  68. Jackie, Scott, and kids says:

    Aurora, Penny, Ethan, and family,
    We are so sorry for your loss… The many losses you’ve endured is so heartbreaking.

    Andy was definitely a gentle, loving soul, and such a wonderful role model for Ethan! We am so thankful to have known him, and for all of you, for being a part of our family!

    Andy will be greatly missed! Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you! If you need anything at all, please know we are here for all of you!

    Love you all so much!

  69. Angelina and Floyd Eshbaugh says:

    We are so sorry for Andy and the family! May God give you strength during this difficult time!

  70. Lara (Keeler) Van Dis says:

    My deepest sympathies to Andy’s family. I remember him as a happy, fun loving person who was always there for people. My family is sending thoughts and prays to you during this difficult time.

  71. Barbara Easterling says:

    I miss you Uncle. Although we weren’t in the same branch or war. I am blessed that you have served and worked hard trying to bring family together by tracing our roots. I am also blessed that you have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior years ago.

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