Good Samaritan Care Clinic in Mountain View, Missouri, extends its deepest sympathy to the family and friends of longtime community servant Robert Andrews, PA. Mr. Andrews, affectionately known as “Bob” by all who were blessed enough to know him or be served by him, died at Cox Medical Center in Springfield, Missouri, on April 2, 2021, at the age of 70.
The legacy left behind by Bob has affected many people, both near and far. The staff members, board of directors, and volunteers of Good Samaritan Care Clinic (GSCC) are especially saddened by the loss of this friend, coworker, and humanitarian. Bob served as a volunteer at GSCC since 2007 and was recently voted by GSCC’s board of directors to take on the additional role of co-medical director of the nonprofit facility which has provided free medical and dental services to uninsured individuals in rural south-central Missouri since 2004. Bob was a valued medical volunteer at GSCC and at the “drop of a hat” would gladly serve as a fill-in medical provider for someone who was not able to fulfill their volunteer obligation at the clinic.
Bob took numerous mission trips to Haiti where he was also a big hit among the Haitian children. Friend and GSCC co-volunteers Dr. Jon Roberts and Tamme Conner, CRT-RCP, fondly recall many Haitian toddlers and children clinging to Bob and hugging his neck during those mission trips where Bob and other volunteer medical providers would treat hundreds of sick and underserved Haitians. During every trip to Haiti, Bob and other members of the Mountain View medical missions team would work alongside missionaries Rod and Deb Wray to feed 1,000 or more starving children during the Renault Sunday School program near Les Cayes, Haiti.
Bob came from a military family and followed in his father’s footsteps by serving his country in the Vietnam War. His lifelong love for the medical field blossomed when he served as a medic in the war and following his discharge from the military, he completed a physician assistant program in Texas. Around 1999 Bob moved to Cabool, Missouri, and began his career as a PA in Mountain Grove, Hartville, and Willow Springs. Many patients in southern Missouri came to know and love Bob for his personable spirit and caring attitude. While in Vietnam Bob was exposed to Agent Orange and he eventually contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In addition to cancer, Bob lived with other medical issues and the consequences of a hunting accident in the early 2000’s, yet he rarely allowed his health problems to keep him from going to the office on a daily basis or volunteering at Good Samaritan Care Clinic.
This “never-quit” attitude was accompanied by an inherent desire to make people smile with his good-natured humor, words of encouragement, and hugs. Bob was also very generous. Longtime friend Connie Strunk, MA, served as Bob’s medical assistant for many years, both at Valley Medical Center in Willow Springs, Missouri, and Mountain Grove Medical and Laser Center in Mountain Grove, Missouri. She remembers Bob reaching into his pocket on numerous occasions to pay for the prescriptions or office visit fees of patients he knew were having a difficult time paying for their needed medical care. Bob was also known to keep his pockets full of candy which he generously shared with children and adults he happened to come into contact with. He especially loved filling plastic Easter eggs with small treats for the children of his church, Trinity United Methodist Church in Mountain Grove, or the children he would treat in his medical practice.
Bob Andrews (1951-2021) was a good friend to many and a great colleague. He is survived by two brothers, a son, granddaughter, extended family members, and a supportive church family, as well as many devoted and lifelong friends. The character of the life he lived might be summed up in a few words: he was earnest, loyal, and had a big heart. Adlai Stevenson, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1961-1965), once commented about a man and his contribution: “It is not the years in a life that counts; it is the life in the years.” The sorrow of those who knew Bob is lessened only slightly with the comforting thought that they had the privilege of knowing him.
Condolences to his family may be sent to Good Samaritan Care Clinic at P.O. Box 160 in Mountain View, MO 65548.