Andrew David Koller, 53, of Pittsburgh PA passed away on May 19th, 2021 from arteriosclerosis. Born July 15, 1967 to David and Myrna Koller in Dayton, WA, Andrew earned an MA in French from Washington State University and MA in Teaching from Western Washington University. He and his first wife settled in Richland, WA. He often said the greatest days of his life were when their two daughters were born. Andrew resurrected the French Program at Richland HS where he served as World Languages Chair and was active in the union. He married Cynthia Croot on September 8, 2012 in Sandpoint, ID, and the two lived in Pittsburgh where Andrew taught French at Shaler HS, led study abroad tours to France through the Language and Friendship program, and helped train instructors with the College in the High School program at the University of Pittsburgh. He was a joyful and inspiring teacher, beloved by students. To fellow educators he was a trusted mentor unafraid to speak up and speak out.
Known as Andy or Drew to those close to him, he revered nature and felt most at home surrounded by the elemental beauty and power found there, especially in the mountains or by the sea. A true outdoorsman, his passion began early, tracking elk on horseback for the forest service. Andy found humor in nearly every situation, was a passionate social justice activist, and found life-changing fellowship through AA and Native American Wellbriety where he offered support to others in turn. A WSU football fan (Go Cougs!), he also loved fostering dogs, vintage cars, announcing at athletic events, and casting a deep line into clear waters. Andrew is survived by wife Cynthia Croot, (2) daughters Sloane and Kate Koller, parents David and Myrna Koler, (3) sisters Michelle Mitchell, Brenda Hoon and Tammra Koller, and countless others touched by his remarkable kindness, generosity, and joie de vivre. Drew, you are sorely missed, but live on in our hearts. We love you and cherish the brief time we had.
ABOUT THE PITTSBURGH MEMORIAL – June 27
The Pittsburgh memorial will be held from noon to 2pm on Sunday, June 27th, 2021, and is open to anyone who would like to attend. Directions and more details on the memorial itself will be posted here soon. We invite people in attendance bring a written remembrance (a tale of adventure, a joke, a quote, a few words of appreciation) related to their time with Andrew. We will collect these, and share them with the rest of our family.
ABOUT THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST MEMORIAL - TBA
For information about his memorial in the Pacific Northwest please check back in a couple of weeks – we will post dates and further information as soon as we can, but not before the first of July.
POSTING A TRIBUTE HERE
Feel free to share your thoughts and post photos or videos about Andy/Drew/Andrew here. It is a comfort to our family to see the impact he had on others, and to hear the stories people remember from their time with him.
OTHER WAYS TO SHOW SUPPORT
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the GoFundMe site set up by Carey Smith to aid Andy’s widow Cynthia Croot during this difficult time. Drew also loved trees with a great passion. Planting a tree in his honor would be a beautiful gesture. To plant a tree in his memory, please click here.