Reginald Andrews, Sr., Reggie, Big Reg, Reg, The Big Fella, Chief, Big Daddy -- We all knew him by many names but he was the same person with a heart bigger than life. He was a terrific husband, son, father, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. He touched so many lives and will continue to live on in all of us.
Reg grew up the youngest of seven children (6 boys and 1 girl) in Concord, North Carolina. He followed his brothers in playing sports starting in the backyard learning how to play with the older kids and continuing at the Boys and Girls Club of Cabarrus County.
He was very inquisitive and loved to read his sister’s textbooks while growing up. He absorbed knowledge from his siblings, their friends and family and used that knowledge in his adult life.
Reg continued playing sports in middle school and high school, concentrating on football and track at Concord High School, Concord, North Carolina.
He received outstanding academic achievement award in 1982 and lettered in football and track at Concord High from 1980-1982. He was voted to the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in 1981. His life, legacy and contributions shed light on athletes in Concord and paved the way for Division I colleges to notice Concord on a larger scale.
He received a full scholarship to Duke University and continued his football career as a defensive lineman from 1982-1986. He achieved most outstanding defensive lineman in 1984 and 1985 as well as most valuable player-Defense- in 1985.
To this day, he still holds many records at Duke University including:
He mentored players coming in on the dos and don’ts of playing college ball. He also was big brother to his cousins that attended other schools in the area. Reg graduated from Duke University in 1986 and started working at Duke University Hospital. He went home every other weekend to spend time with his son (born in 1982), nieces and nephews.
After working all night Friday, he would drive home to Concord and the kids would be waiting to ride and spend the day with him! He would fill a cooler with juices and snacks and take them all (2 nephews, 2 nieces and son) to the park for the day.
After his second son was born in 1988, his “pack” became 6! They would all pile into his car for a trip to the park to play ball.
Reg continued spending quality time with his sons, nephews and nieces over the years. He fought (and won) custody of his sons in 1993 and began raising them on his own in Durham, North Carolina.
Reg and I met when I started working at Duke’s Tranfusion Service in 1992. We played softball together in 1993 and started dating shortly thereafter. Our weekends were filled with taking the boys to the park for the day to ride their bikes, play on the playground and play ball.
Reg worked third shift and didn’t get much sleep while raising his sons, but he always made sure they did their school work and were cared for in every way possible! He would take them to the YMCA to play basketball and was very supportive when they wanted to play football and basketball in middle and high school. He also continued to help other young children by encouraging them to do what they wanted as long as they were doing well in school.
He was fun loving and always had a smile on his face no matter the situation and always shot from the hip with advice for everyone!
He supported me while obtaining my master’s degree and proposed in July 1999 at a Charlotte Women’s Basketball game! Now that is a way to propose! The boys were with us that day and it was one of the most special days for us as we became a family!
Reg and I married in July 2000 among many family and friends. It was the BEST day of our lives! Becoming a family and starting our own traditions-that was awesome!
We continued our tradition of supporting the boys in sports and academics and supporting nieces, nephews and friends as they grew up.
One of the things I love most about Reg was that he was willing to be adventurous--whether it was driving with me through the mountains of Tennessee, visiting my hometown in West Virginia (back woods and narrow roads) or visiting Niagara Falls (he thought it was just a lot of water until we went there in 2000) and took it all in stride! He loved to surprise me with beautiful roses (for no special reason) and loved buying things for me when I least expected it!
He will truly live on in all of us!