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Obituaries » Andrew C. Alway-Cooper

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April 26, 1990 - October 27, 2023

There will be no funeral. A private family gathering is planned for a later date. Andy would have been honored by anyone who wishes to support local artists or his favorite charity. He supported the Zeldathon, a videogame marathon that supports a range of charities. The next Zeldathon begins on the 27th of December in support of Make-A-Wish America. Direct donations to Make-A-Wish and past Zeldathon charities are also welcome and can be found at Family and friends may share a condolence message online at The flow of time is always cruel. Its speed seems different for each person, but no one can change it. A thing that does not change with time is a memory of younger days.

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Andrew “Andy” Clayton Alway-Cooper, 33, of Otsego, Michigan passed away on 27 October from unknown causes. Known to his friends and family as a gentle giant, Andy carefully explored the world and shared his discoveries through his art and the treasures he collected.  He was a wizard who reveled in the true magic of the world. Andy was born on 26 April 1990 to Martha Alway and Murray Cooper in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The youngest of four children, Andy chose to go his own way in life and was unabashedly quirky and nerdy. He developed a love of art starting with his cherished Pokémon cards. His sister introduced him to anime, which fueled a lifelong passion for drawing. He learned to love video games from his brother and kept building his game collection for the rest of his life. In high school, Andy contributed to several theatre productions, culminating in his one-act production that he wrote, directed, and starred in his senior year. After graduating from Gull Lake High School in 2008, Andy enrolled at Michigan State University and earned a fine arts degree. His enthusiasm for the arts snowballed as he explored a multitude of artistic mediums. He wrote and illustrated comic books about divorce and model rocket safety. He admired Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano and emulated Amano’s stylized character drawings in his own sketches that could be found scattered about his room. As an adult, Andy struggled with the practical realities of life while creating the art that he truly loved. In his last years, however, Andy found a home as a circuit board tester at Safari Circuits. He enjoyed working quietly while listening to podcasts and indulging his love of learning and the arts. He worked like an ox, slow and persistent, especially when something captured his interest. He loved technology and was keenly aware of how the modern world depends on the many contributions of the everyday worker. Andy was quiet and reflective yet loved to explore the world around him. He learned to hike in the Boy Scouts. He hiked the Appalachian trail and camped with the Scouts and his dad on several trips to Northern Michigan. He often took long walks with his trusty walking staff. He enjoyed his hometown, visiting stores and restaurants from which he would bring back new foods, drinks, and trinkets for his family. He joined his uncle’s model rocket competitions whenever they needed an extra participant. Andy was always prepared in his signature gray vest with seemingly endless pockets from which he could produce his phone, sketchbook, PSP, charging cords, and headphones. When not exploring in real life, Andy explored his imagination through video games or various Dungeons & Dragons type campaigns with his friends. Andy was predeceased by his father, Murray, and his sister Becky. He is survived by his mother, Martha; sister and brother, Anna and Ben; his uncle Bob; his brand-new niece Maddie; and many other extended family members who will miss him. In addition to his creativity, they remember Andy as kind, supportive, and a good listener. And when he was truly comfortable, he would unleash a boisterous laugh that brought a smile to anyone wise enough to earn it.