Obituary of Daniel Sherman Andrews
“Danny” Daniel Sherman Andrews walked over the rainbow bridge too soon Thursday, August 11th, 2022. We lovingly refer to Danny as our family's clown. He considered himself a comedian and a writer and loved to be the center of attention. He was random, weird and funny and often pushed the limits to make people laugh. He was witty and intelligent; a man of many hats, both literally and figuratively. Danny was a big personality, the frontman of our family. His friends are countless. Anywhere that Danny went, he would run into someone that he knew or someone who had a mutual acquaintance or he would make new friends. He was very personable. Once you were a friend to Danny, you were never a stranger. He had great empathy and compassion for his fellow humans. He will be remembered for his big hugs and even bigger heart. Mom was so proud of his kindness. Danny loved a good discussion on the subject of history or politics. Danny was an emphatic liberal. He only praised the previous presidency for the endless material it offered to comedians. Not everyone got Danny, but those who opened their minds to his uniqueness were rewarded by true friendship that would last a lifetime. Danny was born on June 11, 1987 in Shakopee, MN to Pete and Debbie Andrews. While Danny was shy as a youngster, he quickly discovered his confidence in being the center of attention as the Ring Bearer at his Aunt Sandy and Uncle Steve’s wedding, lighting up with the attention he received from his cuteness in his fancy suit. Danny’s love of games started at an early age. Growing up an Andrews meant sitting down at the kitchen table playing games together as a family. Whether it was a rousing card game like Oh Hell, or Hearts, multiplayer video games in the days of Nintendo and Sega or epic board games in a battle of world domination. Playing games was serious business and they would often go on for hours, even stretching over the whole day on weekends and holidays. Danny was always up for a hand of cribbage, a poker game, playing Dungeons and Dragons, a board game or any game that could last hours and spark good conversation. Growing up as the only boy of three children, Danny found brothers in his cousin Teddy DeVaan and neighbor William Clawson. Teddy and Danny were inseparable. Teddy spent several weeks every summer visiting his cousins in the Cities, and they remained close into adulthood. They looked out for each other and knew how to give each other the gears. They went to concerts and music festivals together and enjoyed going out for sushi. Last summer they embarked on a 6 week road trip out west making stops to see the sights and visit friends along the way in South Dakota, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Olympic National Park, Portland, Washington and the Redwoods. Danny’s love for travel started with many family road trips. Visiting family in Missouri, Massachusetts and more exotic grand adventures west to experience nature in our national parks. He also enjoyed the adventures and friends he made while visiting his sister Kacie when she lived in Canada. A memory close to his sisters’ hearts was a backpacking trip the three siblings took together in 2009 to Glacier National Park with future brother-in-law Rob. Danny would jokingly threaten Erin that if she didn’t marry Rob, Danny would have to do so just to bring Rob into the family. Plus he always claimed that he would look amazing in a wedding dress. Danny loved his family dearly. Danny attended grade school at Marion W. Savage Elementary in Savage, MN, middle school at Eagle Ridge Junior High (Savage), and his sophomore year at Burnsville High School in Burnsville, MN before transferring to the School of Environmental Studies (SES) “The Zoo School” in Apple Valley, MN in 2005. In grade school, Danny was the king of sleepovers. It seemed as if he was either hanging out or having sleepovers with his friends nearly every weekend. Danny spent several years in Boy Scouts, which fostered his love for camping and the outdoors. As a kid, Danny was not the outgoing attention monger we know and love today. In 6th grade, Danny entered the game of elementary school politics. Dad was his campaign manager and strategized that he should garner support from the lower grade levels with his catchy slogan, ‘Dan Can’. The dedicated candidate came to school early to hand out decorated pop cans to potential voters. There were even stories from lunch ladies about how lower classes chanted Danny’s slogan in the lunchroom and the noise echoed down the halls. “Dan Can! Dan Can!”. He was elected class president to the dismay of the more popular kids in his class. Danny played the trumpet in band class and later developed an interest in guitar after spending countless nights hanging out with friends at the Garage, a music hangout venue for youth in Burnsville, MN. His love for guitar continued throughout his life and it was never unusual to see him with guitar in hand, working out tabs and playing a riff. As his interests expanded, so did his circle of friends. Danny always spoke fondly of his time at SES, often wishing that he could have continued on in high school, because he had so much fun while he was there. He met many friends there, was challenged academically and had many opportunities to try new things like winter camping in the Boundary Waters, kayaking in the Florida Keys and biking the highlands in Scotland. There he founded the Stacking Club, a group of pranksters that would see how high chairs could be stacked and move them to strange locations to get a rise out of people. Danny had many fond memories of his adventures with Sam Vorderbruggen and Tony McCulloch and often referred to the trio as the “three musketeers”. They shared a common interest in music, forming several bands together. Shortly after high school (unbeknownst to their families) they took an impromptu road trip to California that included an overnight trip to Tijuana. Danny’s version of the story always included shenanigans in Mexico and bribing the Federales to regain entry into the USA. A couple of years later the three would take another slightly more planned trip to the east coast, visiting Acadia National Park and New England. They were together through the good times and hard times, including the tragic loss of Sam to a car accident in 2011. Danny tried his hand at many jobs. Among his favorites were the time he spent working at Video Update and Hollywood Video in Savage, MN, where he could share his love of movies with his coworkers and customers. Also Chuck and Don’s in Highland Park in St. Paul, MN, where he would often have trouble balancing his desire to greet all of the animals that would come in with his workload. And of course his fireworks tent where he shined as a salesman. For the last eight summers leading up to the 4th of July, Danny would run his fireworks tent with the same passion as somebody operating a Fortune 500 company. All with the help of friends and his cousins, Jeff and Teddy. He especially enjoyed his six years in Hilltop, MN, where he was a staple on the corner of NE Central Ave and 45th Ave NE in Central Plaza. He was able to attract many customers and, as always, some interesting characters that would provide him with stories for days. Danny graduated with an Associates degree with an emphasis in History from Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN in December of 2016. Danny was very proud of completing his Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing at Hamline University in St, Paul, MN in 2019. He often contemplated continuing his education to a more advanced degree. Danny’s creative inspiration was driven by his heroes, author Hunter S. Thompson, comedian Mitch Hedberg, Mel Brooks, Conan O’brien and Stephen Colbert and his love of the comedy of Monty Python, the Kids in the Hall and The Simpsons (seasons 1-8) because, as Danny would say, “That new stuff is garbage”. Danny, his sisters, their father and uncle Paul could communicate in Simpsons quotes and movie lines, often to the dismay of Mom who would struggle to keep up. To her, it was as if we were speaking our own language. Danny was also well read. His love for literature started with bedtime stories read aloud by Dad from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and Mom reading tales of All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. He loved Alice in Wonderland, often saying that if he would ever have the joy of having a daughter, he would name her Alice Iris, after one of his favorite characters and his favorite flower. Danny also loved movies. Among his favorites were: Young Frankenstein, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, This is Spinal Tap, The Big Lebowski, Princess Bride, Muppet Christmas Carol and Milo and Otis. He also loved music and was known to tote around an early generation blue iPod Shuffle, filled with his favorite artists: Electric Six, Neutral Milk Hotel, Mars Volta,Tenacious D and an eclectic mix that would influence his creativity. Music festivals were Danny’s jam. He was a regular in Harmony Park in Harmony, MN, Plunderfest in New Richmond, WI, among others. The experience, antics and the lasting friendships made were more valuable than the music itself. Danny was known for his outlandish eclectic mix of karaoke renditions at the Eagles Club 24 in Minneapolis, often performing in costume with an energy that would conquer the room. Some of his songs were: All These Things by The Killers, The Lumberjack Song by Monty Python, Sex Farm by Spinal Tap, Rasputin by Boney M, Danger by Electric Six, Most Beautiful Girl in the Room by Flight of the Conchords, Sweet Transvestite from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Ghetto by Elvis Presley and You Can’t Always Get What You Want by the Rolling Stones. While only a few of his poems had been published, countless notebooks are filled with his poetry, musings, jokes, book ideas and comedy sketches. Always the performer, Danny teamed up with his filmmaker brother-in-law Rob and father Pete to star in the short film, “Midwestern Cowboy” as well as a couple of other video projects. The combination of his passion for comedy and his confidence led him to dip his toes into the world of stand-up comedy at several local open mic nights. He was most pleased with his insect joke which won him a $6,000 prize and a trip to Las Vegas, NV, which gave him the opportunity to tell everyone, “I’m a paid and award-winning comedian!”. Danny’s humor knew no bounds. No subject was off limits; the time for a joke was never too soon and everyone was fair game. He made fun of everyone. While he didn’t take life as seriously as his family might have liked, he was always unapologetically himself. Danny had a special place in his heart for kids. He especially cherished his nephews James and Luke Taverna and his nieces Willow Theoret and Crystal Rock. While many people can lose their youth with the pressures and challenges of adulthood, Danny did not. He often would say he wanted to be the fun, crazy, carefree Uncle that our Uncle Paul was for Kacie, Danny and Erin. He loved spending time with the kids, whether it was walks around the zoo, sliding down the slides at the park, letting the kids crawl on him like a jungle gym, dressing up and trick or treating, playing games, or getting on the floor and playing with toys. Danny’s family would like to thank all of the friends that he had along the way for their kindness and friendship that meant so much to him. Especially his present roommate Mark Hustedde who opened his home to Danny and was more than just a roommate, he was a big brother and a true friend. Danny’s passing was tragic and his family is heartbroken. While Danny’s life was short compared to most, he filled his days following his own pursuits and adventures. He lived more in his short 35 years than some do who reach a ripe old age. Danny was one of a kind and will be truly missed. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Russell Andrews of Milan, MN, Mary (Sullivan) Andrews of Providence, RI, Bernice (Sherman) and Floyd Ascheman of Clontarf, MN, his Aunt Maureen Deignan Bloomington, MN, his cousin Cody James DeVaan, friend Sam Vorderbruggen and many others that died before their time. And many beloved pets, including his cats Steve McQueen and Mia. He is survived by his parents Peter and Debbie Andrews of Savage, MN, his sister Kacie Taverna and brother-in-law Mike Taverna of Burnsville, MN, sister Erin Andrews and brother-in-law Rob Theoret of Webster, MN, nephews, James and Luke Tavera, nieces Willow Theoret and Crystal Rock, Aunt Sandy and Uncle Steve DeVaan of Degraff, MN, Uncle Paul Andrews of Pheonix, AZ, Uncle Rick Deignan of Bloomington, MN and Uncle Ray and Aunt Glenda Ascheman of Elbow Lake, MN, many cousins and countless friends and his cat Delilah. Our family invites everyone who was touched by Danny’s friendship to join us on September 11 at Hidden Valley Park in Savage, MN to remember Danny’s life and share stories in collective healing. The casual gathering will be an open house from noon to 10pm. Reflections and Memories will be shared at 2pm with a meal to follow. The hot meal will include one of Danny’s favorites, Indian cuisine; alternative options will be available for those with a less adventurous palate. At this time a final resting place for Danny has not yet been determined. Danny always talked about his remains being ejected out into space in his birthday suit. As Elon Musk has declined to accommodate that request, a water cremation seemed like the next best thing, because he loved baths and it is a more eco friendly alternative to traditional cremation. A portion of his remains will be interred within a Capsula Mundi, a biodegradable urn that can be planted with a tree to nurture new life. Danny’s family is erecting a memorial bench in his honor at Community Park in Savage, MN near his childhood home where his parents walk daily and many memories were made riding the rope swing on McColl Pond, so family and friends have a place to reflect and remember one of our favorite comedians. In lieu of flowers, to honor Danny’s memory donations can be made to one of the following nonprofits: Animal Humane Society, providing direct care and services to help nearly 100,000 animals in need across Minnesota annually https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/, Simpson Housing Services, to support and advocate for people experiencing homelessness https://www.simpsonhousing.org/, or The Garage, providing equitable access and opportunities for young people to see, experience, and participate in the Twin Cities music community by booking All Ages (no 18+ or 21+ restrictions) shows across the metro region https://thegaragemn.com/. Most of all to honor Danny, share your memories of him, embody Danny’s spirit, reach out to an old friend or relative, tell an inappropriate joke too soon, give big hugs, give your pets extra snuggles, be silly, have fun and LIVE.
Remember George, no man is a failure that had friends. –From It’s a Wonderful LIfe. Inscription in book to George from Clarence. Watching the film was a family tradition every Christmas Eve.