Funeral services for Andy Girty, 82, Lawrence will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 7th at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. There will be a visitation at 9:00 a.m. prior to the service Saturday. Andy passed away Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at Midland Hospice House in Topeka.
Cherokee Name: Jo sa yi
Andy was born on February 15, 1934 in Claremore, Ok. He was the eldest son of Tobacco & Jennie Whitewater Girty.
Andy’s first 8 years of life was spent at Cherokee allotted lands of Greenleaf also known as Yellowhammer located near Fort Gruber, Ok. Andy’s family along with 44 other Cherokee families were forced to relocate elsewhere immediately to make room for the expansion of Fort Gruber due to the escalation of the United States involvement in World War II. Andy and family relocated to the Woodall community near Tahlequah, OK also known as New Greenleaf.
He attended Woodall Primary School and graduated from Tahlequah High School in 1955. During his high school years he worked summer jobs at the Ozark Nursery Company in Tahlequah.
Andy attended the Haskell Institute in Lawrence, KS from 1955-1957 graduating with a Printing Certificate while working at the Haskell Press.
In 1957, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed primarily at Fort Lee, Virginia as a Vehicle Parts Clerk in the Motor Pool. Andy was honorably discharged in 1959. He returned to Haskell in 1959 and was hired as an Instructional Aide, working in the Tinker Hall Boys Dormitory.
In 1962, Andy was promoted to the position of Offset Photographer within the Haskell Printing Department. Andy eventually became a Offset Printing Instructor and retired from Government Service after 30 years at Haskell as a full-time Government employee. After retiring from Haskell he drove the shuttle bus for the Senior Services Center for a short time.
Not ready for actual retirement Andy was offered the position as a Cherokee Language Instructor. He also taught Cherokee Language class at the Mid-American Native American Center in Kansas City. Andy taught Cherokee language for 25 years.
Andy was a charter member of the Lawrence Indian United Methodist Church serving many roles including Administrative Chair, Trustee Chair, Song leader and certified as a Lay Speaker and Lay Leader.
Andy enjoyed playing and coaching Indian Fastpitch Softball, Bowling, and Basketball. He actively played Fastpitch for about 24 years and coached and managed teams for about 12 years. As a player he finished runner-up at the Oklahoma City All-Indian Fastpitch Tournament in 1961. As a coach manager of the OK/KS All Stars he won the same tournament in 1994, 1996, 1997 after many years of finishing in the top 5.
Andy married Frances Scott in June 1960 at the Haskell Baptist Mission. Together they have three living children, Gary & Loa Girty of Piedmont, OK. Stephen Girty of the home, Richard & Kerry Cuny of Okinawa, Japan and Sherry Girty (deceased). His grandchildren are Logan Girty of Tahlequah, OK; Garrett & Cheryl Girty, Oklahoma City, OK; Walker Girty, Weatherford, OK; and Christopher Bowers, San Diego, CA. Andy had One Great-Granddaughter, Jaelynn Girty of Tahlequah. He is survived by brothers Rufus & Linda Girty, Dallas, TX; Robert & Flossie Girty, Tahlequah; George & Peggy Girty, Tahlequah. Sisters are Edna “Sue” Thompson, of Tahlequah; Lorene & Butch Ballard of Tahlequah; Judy Whitewater Johnson of Tahlequah and many nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.