CENTERVILLE MA William Andrew “Andy” Carothers, 78, passed away at home on July 17 , 2013. He was the devoted husband of Virginia “Ginger” Rice Carothers. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three loving daughters: Michele Theberge and Christine Theberge of Oakland, California, Valerie Theberge of Washington, DC and his adored grandson Sayid Talishkhan.
He left behind his sister, Lucy Vollet of Dallas,Texas and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his sister, Carol Flegal. He loved them all.
Andy was born in Sulphur Springs, Texas to the late William Andrew Carothers and Ina Maye Ashcroft Carothers. After graduating from Sulphur Springs High School, Andy headed north to attend Yale where he participated in the Directed Studies Program. After graduating from Yale, he returned to Texas where he received his J.D. from the University of Texas Law School.
During this period he was awarded a Rotary Foundation Fellowship and studied for a year at the Center of Advanced European Studies at the University of Strasbourg, France.
In 1962 Washington beckoned. It was the time of the New Frontier -John F. Kennedy was President. Andy was a staff member of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. In 1963 after the assassination of Kennedy, the boy from “deepest East Texas” became passionately involved in the Civil Rights Movement. He marched for rights for all and was present when Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Next Andy served as Legislative Counsel in the office of the Comptroller of the Currency at the Treasury Department where he was manager of the legal division responsible for all national bank regulation.
In the late 1970’s Andy was recruited by Senator Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, to be Special Counsel to the Committee. Andy was responsible for drafting much of the financial legislation voted on by the Senate in the early 1980s. One bill was passed by the Senate 77-0, a feat that would be impossible in today’s Washington.
He was a member of the Washington DC and Texas Bars, The Yale Club of Washington, Mory’s Club in New Haven and The Beach Club in Centerville.
He left the government in 1982 to become an independent financial and legal counsel. He was Treasurer and Counsel of the St. Peter’s College Oxford Foundation which took him to England each year.
From 1956 when Andy first toured Europe with two Yale friends, he never stopped roaming the world. He traveled extensively on five continents. He visited at least twenty countries in Africa. He drove across Algeria during the war there; he drove from France to Moscow during turbulent times. He followed “The four winds and the seven seas.”
In 2002, Andy wrote in his 45th Yale Reunion Class Book: “In one of those trips I met a wonderful woman, Ginger, at the Amsterdam airport, but she was married at the time. Some years later, after the death of her husband, we saw each other again, and now she is my wife.”
Andy and Ginger were together nearly 30 years. They continued to travel when Andy required a wheelchair and other assistance. They hitchhiked throughout Turkey and had the magical good fortune to explore Troy alone for hours. With no one else in sight, they were transported back in time to the tales of the Iliad and the siege of Troy. Their last long trip six years ago included Egypt and Syria.
During his last travels he wrote: “After the last few years of foisting off ‘democracy’ on countries that have no tradition of it and little desire to replicate our form of government, the image of Americans has been turned into selfish and somewhat ignorant bullies. This development disturbs and saddens me.”
Andy had a great love of music especially Bach, opera and jazz. He led a three piece band while in high school in Texas. To the end of his life he played the piano to the delight of his family and friends. He could play anything by ear and could transpose effortlessly one key to another.
Music, books, laughter and love filled the home that Andy and Ginger made together, first and always in Washington and on Cape Cod for the past 21 years.
Andy’s marvelous, whimsical sense of humor was evident the moment you met him. Even when speaking became very difficult, he was able to bring forth so much laughter from those who listened carefully.
Andy quietly left this mortal coil in Ginger’s arms on July 17.
He was very fond of the following H.L. Menken quote:
“If after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.”
You might also remember Andy with a gift to his church, St. Andrew’s-By-the-Sea, Hyannis Port, MA or to your favorite charity.
A memorial service will be held Monday, August 5th at 11:00am at St. Andrews-by-the-Sea.