Obituary of Andrew Robert Southam
It is with profound sadness the family of Andrew Robert Southam share his passing on Wednesday November 15th at the age of 47. He passed peacefully in the arms of his wife, with family and friends present at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester due to heart failure.
He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Pamela L Southam. His step-sons, Matthew Gomes, Christopher Gomes, and Daniel Gomes. He is the beloved son of his mother, Harriett Swarttz and his step father Richard Swarttz. He is remembered fondly by his in-laws, Ron and JoAnn Martin, and Pamela's two sisters and their families. On his mother's side he is also thought of by many aunts, uncles and cousins. He is preceded in death by his father, Robert Southam. He cherished his dogs, Arthur, who passed in February, and Bella.
Andrew was born and raised in Philadelphia where over time his closest friends became his secondary family. Drew was the keeper of stories, a profoundly warm and stoic man who brought laughter to us all with his truth-telling. His timing and wit with a clever quip or commentary was unsurpassed.
He loved to collect media in all its forms, his music library was legendary. He would curate many types of music for us that included every genre imaginable. He could always find a perfect song to share in the most unexpected moments.
A movie aficionanado, in his youth he worked at a drive-in theater as a projectionist and he personally collected 35mm reels of film. He had many fond memories of the friendships he built there. In later years he worked many technical jobs, one of his proudest being as a project manager for many years at Motorola.
Andrew enjoyed video games, where he met the joy of his life, his wife Pamela, in an online game they played together. He often called her the greatest "loot" he ever found in a game. It was a hobby he shared both with his wife and his longtime friends which allowed them over time to keep in touch and still continue to have little experiences and laughter and moments together, since physical distance often separated them.
Andrew had a passion for all forms of pop culture. One of those he held dear since childhood was the british TV series Doctor Who.
He always liked finding old or new and interesting things, animated series, unusual or bizarre Christmas films, old b-movie horror flicks. It always thrilled him when he would get to share those types of things with people. Be it a book or an audio & visual medium, if it was a story that caught his eye in any form, he wanted to share them with us. Andrew could orate a story as if on a stage, often an unbelievable yet wholly true tale of his life and experiences. He could find the humour in things morose, yet in a way that could be very profound or whimsical.
We deeply feel the loss of not being able to have him continue to share his love and tales together with us. But we know the story of him lives on with his family and in all our hearts.
A memorial will be held with friends and family on Saturday Dec 9th at the Beers & Story Funeral Home in Palmer, Mass. Visiting hours for those wishing to pay their respects will be between 2pm and 4pm, with a service to follow during which people will be welcome to share their remembrances of him.
Andrew cared deeply for dogs, especially elder dogs needing care and shelter. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor him may make donations in his name to the Dakin Humane Society https://www.dakinhumane.org/ or via mail at Dakin Humane Society PO Box 6307 Springfield, MA 01101