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Andrew Olin '98 September 22, 2021 10:49 AM updated: September 22, 2021 11:06 AM

Andrew Wallace Olin
DECEMBER 3, 1975 – SEPTEMBER 18, 2021

Andrew Wallace Olin, age 45, of Houston, Texas passed away on Saturday, September 18, 2021. Andrew was born December 3, 1975.

By Andrew Dansby:
Andy Olin looked out for me for years. He was my copy editor and later my editor at the Houston Chronicle. Because I’m a writer, he was for a long time my last line of defense between things I thought and things someone would read, which means he protected me from my worst impulsive inclinations. Lest this seem like a clinical task, he also wrote headlines for stories I wrote. “Look at this thing, it’s worth your time . . .” His headlines always sang, even when he had space for only three words. He was a protector and an advocate with more than a little artistic magic.

When someone looks out for you with such empathy and intellect, you can’t help but feel intertwined with them even when they move on to different work, as Andy did. But these attributes speak to Andy far beyond his professional life. He was a father and husband and son and friend and colleague whose gallery of loved ones was formidable because he was so quietly formidable and attuned to us.

He loved people, clearly, because he was a traffic jam of a Venn diagram: circles representing family, friends, friends of family, friends of friends, various co-workers from different jobs, high school and college classmates, cycling buddies, music enthusiasts.

Andy tended to people the way he tended to words, whether he was writing, editing or copyediting – each a specific skill he somehow mastered. He did so in ways you appreciated in the moment, and more so afterward.

He wasn’t omnipresent because that might seem intrusive. He simply had a feel for communication. It made him great at his work. It also made him great at family and friends. He was always there when you needed him. He’d meet wild enthusiasm quietly but sincerely, and he’d subtly tamp down your outrage. In an age defined by unprecedented communication and stimuli, his currency was empathy. No listener made you feel more heard. He would sit with you around your fires, but he didn’t pour fuel on them. He’d help you find what to do next.

Andy’s life was defined by the beautiful people he shared with us: his wife, his daughters, his parents. They were threaded through his existence. They were who he was. An engine for connection and sharing good things: people, travel, music, cycling. To know Andy was to know those who loved Andy, and this system he created effortlessly continued its existence – Andy spread goodness.

A Pearland native, born Dec. 3, 1975, and a graduate of Texas A&M, someone who worked for the Houston Chronicle, MD Anderson and the Kinder Institute: These are the formalities that speak to some of the environments where Andy connected to others. Those connections are his lasting legacy. He died Sept. 18 doing something he loved: riding his bicycle.

Andy is survived by his wife Emily, daughters Grace and Emma, parents Hazel and Tommy, and a community of friends and family who loved him.

In lieu of gifts or flowers, please consider making a donation in honor of Andy, who was a Type 1 diabetic:


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