Andrew S. Cray, of Washington, D.C., formerly of Chippewa Falls, died on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 at age 28 from complications of cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
Andrew, the son of Ardis Cray (Richard Sweeney) and Steven (Deb) Cray of Chippewa Falls, was born on June 11, 1986 in Eau Claire.
He was a valedictorian of the Chippewa Falls High School Class of 2004. In addition to excelling academically, Andy was an enthusiastic and talented musician who played the drums, clarinet, keyboard and trombone.
He was a student director of the school concert band, the recipient of the John Philip Sousa award and a proud drum line member of the Chi-Hi Marching Cardinals.
After high school, Andrew received his Bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Northwestern University, and his law degree, also with honors, from the University of Michigan. During and after law school, Andy worked at various agencies in Washington, D.C., advocating for the LGBT community.
Andrew met his wife, Sarah E. McBride, at the White House in 2012. At the time of his death, both he and Sarah were working at the Center for American Progress, where Andy was a policy analyst.
Andrew was a brilliant, witty and loving person, who devoted his adult life to his passionate belief in equality and LGBT rights.
He is survived by: the love of his life, Sarah; his parents; stepparents; brother Scott Cray; stepbrothers and stepsisters; grandmother Verene Crane; grandfather Alfred Audorff; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by: his grandfather, Seymour Cray; his grandmother Charlotta Audorff; and aunt Diane Gieseke.
In addition to his family, Andy is mourned and deeply missed by his numerous friends in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, who hold his memory close in their hearts and honor him every day with their ongoing work of obtaining equality for all.
Andrew’s funeral was held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Aug. 30.
A memorial celebrating his life will be held at Wildwood Retreat in rural Chippewa Falls on Sept. 20, commencing with presentations at 1 p.m., followed by an informal social hour.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations will be sent to the National Center for Transgender Equality.