OBITUARY

Andrew Wallace Olin

December 3, 1975September 18, 2021

Andrew Wallace Olin, age 45, of Houston, Texas passed away on Saturday, September 18, 2021. Andrew was born December 3, 1975.

By Andrew Dansby:

Andy Olin looked out for me for years. He was my copy editor and later my editor at the Houston Chronicle. Because I’m a writer, he was for a long time my last line of defense between things I thought and things someone would read, which means he protected me from my worst impulsive inclinations. Lest this seem like a clinical task, he also wrote headlines for stories I wrote. “Look at this thing, it’s worth your time . . .” His headlines always sang, even when he had space for only three words. He was a protector and an advocate with more than a little artistic magic.

When someone looks out for you with such empathy and intellect, you can’t help but feel intertwined with them even when they move on to different work, as Andy did. But these attributes speak to Andy far beyond his professional life. He was a father and husband and son and friend and colleague whose gallery of loved ones was formidable because he was so quietly formidable and attuned to us.

He loved people, clearly, because he was a traffic jam of a Venn diagram: circles representing family, friends, friends of family, friends of friends, various co-workers from different jobs, high school and college classmates, cycling buddies, music enthusiasts.

Andy tended to people the way he tended to words, whether he was writing, editing or copyediting – each a specific skill he somehow mastered. He did so in ways you appreciated in the moment, and more so afterward.

He wasn’t omnipresent because that might seem intrusive. He simply had a feel for communication. It made him great at his work. It also made him great at family and friends. He was always there when you needed him. He’d meet wild enthusiasm quietly but sincerely, and he’d subtly tamp down your outrage. In an age defined by unprecedented communication and stimuli, his currency was empathy. No listener made you feel more heard. He would sit with you around your fires, but he didn’t pour fuel on them. He’d help you find what to do next.

Andy’s life was defined by the beautiful people he shared with us: his wife, his daughters, his parents. They were threaded through his existence. They were who he was. An engine for connection and sharing good things: people, travel, music, cycling. To know Andy was to know those who loved Andy, and this system he created effortlessly continued its existence – Andy spread goodness.

A Pearland native, born Dec. 3, 1975, and a graduate of Texas A&M, someone who worked for the Houston Chronicle, MD Anderson and the Kinder Institute: These are the formalities that speak to some of the environments where Andy connected to others. Those connections are his lasting legacy. He died Sept. 18 doing something he loved: riding his bicycle.

Andy is survived by his wife Emily, daughters Grace and Emma, parents Hazel and Tommy, and a community of friends and family who loved him.

In lieu of gifts or flowers, please consider making a donation in honor of Andy, who was a Type 1 diabetic:

https://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?fr_id=8506&pg=personal&px=12977688

Services

  • Celebration of Life ~ Masks are required

    Wednesday, September 22, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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Memories

Andrew Wallace Olin

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Dana Lee

October 14, 2021

Andy and I worked together at MD Anderson. Over the years, our paths crossed more and more, and I found him to have a quiet kindness and be a talented writer. I am so sad to learn of his passing and extend my deepest condolences to his family. He was a gentle soul who left this world far too soon.

Rest in peace, Andy.

John Arcidiacono

September 23, 2021

I only worked with Andy for a short time at MD Anderson but realized quickly he was a great writer and a really wonderful man. He will be missed.

Susan Krusel

September 23, 2021

Emily -
I'm so sorry about the loss of your husband and the hole it will leave in your heart. Please know you and your family are my thoughts and prayers. Susan Krusel

Larry Terry

September 22, 2021

I worked with and, briefly, for Andy on the Houston Chronicle Features copy desk. He was erudite, of course, and a man of impeccable manners, both of which made him eminently likable.
Such a loss is beyond our human comprehension, but my prayer is that those closest to him find that their memories of him eventually bring more smiles than tears.

Barbara Ellis

September 22, 2021

I am heartbroken to learn of Andy's passing. It seems like just yesterday that he was that cute, quiet(most of the time), smiling, gifted writer and performer in
our fifth and sixth grade classroom. I am so lucky to have been his teacher. He inspired his classmates and me in so many ways. May your wonderful memories of Andy bring you comfort and make your heart smile. Barbara Ellis

Jim Newman

September 21, 2021

I worked with Andy at MD Anderson. In fact, we started the same week. We quickly became friends. I think we leaned on each other quite a lot, being the new guys at such a big place. Thankfully, we stayed in touch, even after we both left MDA. And I am so glad we did. Andy was an amazing person and I am proud to be his friend.

Krishnaswamy Venkatesh Prasad

September 21, 2021

I blanked out for a few minutes when I heard the news this morning and woke up to the reality of this unfathomable loss.

Our deepest condolences.

If there is anything at all we can do, especially in the context of education for the girls, please do count on us.

Though we are a bit far away in geographically, you and family are in our thoughts and prayers.

-Prasad and family
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Katherine Foster Stimson

September 21, 2021

Tommy and Hazel - My heart hurts for you - too much tragedy for you to endure. We can’t lean on our understanding because we don’t understand. I pray that the two of you will hold each other close . Love those grand girls because they reflect him. It sounds like you raised quite a young man . Such pride !

Mike Damante

September 21, 2021

I worked with Andy at the Chronicle, and he was such a great man. I remember being intimidated by Andy at first when I would pitch stories to him, since he always looked so serious, but it was his movie star good looks that made him have that demeanor. Andy was a kind soul, and an amazing example of a man. You will be missed.

Christopher Madeksho

September 21, 2021

Once upon a time Andy and I were very close friends. He was my best friend and perhaps closest friend yet in this life. We constantly searched for ways to render life more exciting, fulfilling, meaningful. At the start of summer between our sophomore and junior year at Pearland he and I had found this hidden lake in Friendswood by some subdivisions close to NASA rd 1. We each brought an old, broken watch to “throw the time away” in the lake. We had such a blast that day. Swimming in the lake. Listening to New Order, the Smiths, the Cure and other treasured groups. Hopeless idealists in a shrinking world. I miss you old friend.