UNCASVILLE - William Frank Andrews, a Mohegan tribal member and past member of the Tribe's Council of Elders, passed away at age 68 on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, after a long illness.
Mr. Andrews, who resided in Uncasville, Connecticut, was born in New London, Connecticut, on Sept. 7, 1944. He moved at an early age with his parents, Frank William Andrews and Lydia Lenora Andrews, to San Diego, California, where he spent much of his life.
"Uncle Willie" or "UW" as he was known to his nieces and nephews and his many friends and family members, was a star athlete at Sweetwater High School in National City, California. He was a swift halfback on a league champion football team in 1961 and ranked among the fastest in San Diego County, running the 100 yard dash in 10 seconds and tying a school record in the 180-yard low hurdles.
Mr . Andrews graduated cum laude from Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California and spent several years in the airline industry. A former U.S. Marine Corps Reservist, Bill also held a small aircraft pilot's license. Mr. Andrews embraced his ancestry early in life and for 30 years studied Native American cultures on reservations of the Viejas, Sycuan, Barona and Manzanita tribes of Southern California and throughout the Southwest.
In later life he immersed himself in artwork and created numerous illustrations depicting Native American life and customs. His "pointillism" style has been critically praised. Some of his artwork can be viewed at the world's second largest casino, Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Bill relocated to Connecticut in 2000 and was elected to his first of several terms on the Mohegan Tribe's Council of Elders in 2003. His work as an artist and musician enriched many of the Tribe's programs and events, including flute lessons for Tribal children.
Mr. Andrews is survived by his mother, Lydia Andrews of Uncasville; sister Susan Smith and her husband Rick of San Diego, California; nieces Allison Johnson and her husband Jeff of Griswold, Connecticut, and Courtney Toller and her husband Mick of San Diego, California; grand-nephews Connor and Drew Johnson of Griswold, Connecticut and William Toller of San Diego, California and many cousins.
Graveside Services are scheduled Friday, Oct. 19, at Fort Shantok, Connecticut, at 10am.
The family would like to thank the staff and nurses at Regency Heights of Norwich for their wonderful care.
In lieu of flowers, donations in William's memory may be sent to Hospice of Southeastern Connecticut, 227 Dunham Street, Norwich, Connecticut 06360.
To leave an online condolence, please visit www.montvillefuneralhome.com