In Memoriam: Douglas H. Andrews III


Douglas H. “Terry” Andrews III, a machinist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who manufactured hundreds of intricate, one-of-a-kind metal components used on deep-sea instruments and vehicles for science research worldwide, died of heart complications while driving near his Sandwich home Saturday, July 29. He was 56.

Andrews was born December 19, 1949 in Hartford, Conn. At age 17 he joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Japan, where he learned how to weld and machine metal for installations on submarines. He served three tours of duty during the Vietnam War before returning to New England in the early 1970s.

He completed a metal work apprenticeship program at Al Prince Technical High School in Hartford before working as a machinist, toolmaker, and engineering technician for industrial corporations in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Andrews’ first two marriages ended in divorce. In 1995 he met Kathleen Care through an online dating service. They e-mailed and dated long distance for two years before he moved from Attleboro, Mass. to her home in Hyannis on Cape Cod. They married in 2002.

In 1997 he joined WHOI as a machinist at the shop in the Smith Laboratory in Woods Hole. He worked on a variety of projects, turning expensive, solid pieces of titanium into complex domed caps, grooved O-rings, and other components used for robotic vehicle built and operated by WHOI scientists and engineers, including the vehicles Alvin and Jason.

 “He enjoyed the challenges presented to him by scientists, who would come in and say ‘can you make this for me?’” said Andrews’ supervisor, lead machinist John Fetterman. “He would sit and think and work until it came out just right. There wasn’t much he wasn’t able to handle in terms of complicated design.”

Family members often teased him for his single-minded dedication to crafting metal components.

 “The man could cut a piece of titanium to a thousandth of an inch, but he could not cut a piece of wood straight,” his wife said.

Andrews was known for his extensive T-shirt collection, more than 200 at last count, his wife said. All hung in hangers in their closet, she said, at his insistence. Most bore insignias from WHOI, NASCAR auto racing, or the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “After his family, his work, auto racing, and motorcycles were his loves,” his wife said.

He carried a red and black plastic lunchbox bearing a picture of famed auto racer Dale Earnhardt, Sr., and had his armed tattooed with Earnhardt’s number—3. Andrews loved country western music and insisted that Friday in the WHOI machine shop was “country western day.”

Andrews and his wife spent weekends touring New England on his green Harley- Davidson motorcycle, which he bought in March. They vacationed abroad, traveling to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and this winter to France. “Everywhere we went he wore his WHOI T-shirts and WHOI hats, and he would tell people ‘I work for the Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole,’” she said. “It was such a point of pride.”

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Melissa Zinz of North Stonington, Conn., a son, Scott Andrews of McFarland, Wisc.; his father, Douglas Andrews Jr. of Groton, Conn; a sister, Lynn DeNoia of Charleston, RI ; and five grandchildren.

Visiting hours are set for 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, August 4th, at Doane, Beal and Ames Funeral Home, 160 West Main Street, Hyannis. A memorial service at the funeral home will follow at 7 p.m.

For the visitation and memorial service, his wife said Andrews would have preferred that “no one wears a suit, or anything black, unless they want to because it makes them look thin.”


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(Photo courtesy Andrews Family)