Andrew Thomas Janowsky
1960 - 2021
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Numerous communities in Southwest Colorado lost a dear friend and iconic figure when Andrew Thomas Janowsky passed away unexpectedly at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs on February 10, 2021 at the age of 60. "Andy" as he was known to all, was a "mountain of a man" with a variety of talents and interests that included singing, songwriting, mountain biking, weight lifting, fly fishing, and enjoying nature, whether in his backyard home outside of Durango or on the roads and trails of the San Juans, Sangre de Cristos and throughout the Southwest and Wyoming.
The word "iconic" may be overused in today's language, but it fits the personality, accomplishments, and scope of Andy's influence perfectly. He was recognized by dozens and dozens of people throughout his home communities of Durango, Pagosa Springs, and the San Luis Valley.
His heart for people was as big as the territory he roamed, on foot, on his mountain bike, or in his truck, often with the High Rollers band equipment in tow with the words, "Caution, contains country music" painted on the side. That was Andy.
Born in Buffalo, New York on June 4, 1960, he was the third of Rev. Phil and Mary Jo Janowsky's four children. He was a born entertainer, and as soon as he could talk, he was showing off and trying to make people laugh. In a way, he was always on stage and whoever was listening was his audience.
Andy embraced the family faith and began singing in church at an early age. He later honored his childhood memories in western Kansas on "Rural Route Religion," an album of traditional hymns, and in original songs, he wrote reflecting on his love of the culture he grew up in. He loved the farm community of his childhood and early adolescence.
The family moved to Colorado Springs in 1976 where Andy excelled in athletics, made a little mischief, and graduated from Fountain Ft. Carson High School in 1978. He then attended Fort Lewis College and graduated in 1982 with a degree in accounting.
Accounting didn't suit his personality, and his interest in performing musically was growing. It wasn't long before he tested the waters of performing on stage, playing bass, and singing with a popular Durango band known as "Highway Robbery" for the next three years.
It was during this time that he met his future wife, Linda Brumley. They were married on February 17, 1985 in the Sargent Community Church, where Andy's father was then pastor. Sargent turned out to be the very church Andy himself was pastoring at the time of his untimely illness. Andy's marriage was the joy of his life, and his love for Linda is reflected in numerous songs he wrote.
Between the years of 1985-1999, Andy served the city of Durango as a member of the Durango Police Department, a role that suited him well and one he enjoyed fully. The traditional motto of policemen everywhere, "protect and serve," was something that Andy took immense pride in, as he took pride in the camaraderie of the men he served with. Throughout his life, in uniform or out, the role of protector was part of Andy's character.
Perhaps Andy's best-known role was as the face of the High Rollers, a band that had small beginnings in 1995 and steadily grew their following. At their peak, the High Rollers enjoyed playing large Festivals across western United States, France, and Spain. Always dear to his heart were the large local outdoor events where often there was a charitable component: The City of Durango's Fourth of July Street Dance, the La Plata County Fair, Fiesta Days, the Archuleta County Fair, and a large outdoor concert each July in Pagosa Springs to raise money for the Pagosa wrestling Club. Events like these were on the local annual calendars and were eagerly anticipated by the large crowds
they served.
While music gave Andy a platform and recognition, performing never defined him in his own mind or to those close to him. The family faith he embraced as a child in Kansas continued to mature as it became his own faith and a deeper calling. In a move that surprised many, he retired from performing in October of 2019, and a year later he accepted a position as pastor in the Sargent Community Church in the San Luis Valley, where he served just a few months before his service was cut short by illness and death.
Constructing poems and lyrics and arranging music was one of his greatest passions. The song "That Place" could be seen as his personal obituary. Written ten years ago and recorded in 2012, the song highlights three treasured places in Andy's world. First was Durango and the surrounding mountains:

There's a place I know, that holds a bunch of my fondest memories,
Of campfire nights, fish that love to fight, tall peaks and aspen trees,
Where the big elk rest in the cool, dark timber so far from this rat race,
When I'm worn and tired, and need to be rewired, I head out for that place.
That place, where the sun shines on me and my soul is wild and free,
That place, where the fair wind's blowin' and I'm back to being me,
Lost in the wonder of the rolling thunder with that old smile on my face,
So come on, honey, we've raised a little money, let's head out for that place.

If you shared a campfire, a mountain bike ride, a hunting or fishing expedition, you were a part of "That Place" in Andy's heart. The second verse is about family, and the special relationship he had with his wife of 37 years:

There's a place I know that holds a whole bunch of my finest memories
Of a gentle touch, soft whispers and such, and the woman who loves me.
Where my troubles melt and I find myself so lost in her embrace,
When I feel defeated, I know where I'll be needed and I head out for that place.
That place, where we see forever, the way love was meant to be,
That place, where we stand together and we face life's stormy sea,
Two hearts all in, if we lose or win, we love on and keep the pace.
We got the gift, and when we need a lift we head out for that place.

Andy and Linda's marriage was real and enduring. Andy's love of family was loyal and deep, and the vast number of friends he extended from western Kansas to Durango and across the ocean in France. If you were a friend of Andy anywhere and in any way, you were part of "That Place" for him.
In the final verse, Andy wrote about the ultimate place, a place that is beyond this life. The final verse of the song is fitting for this moment, a moment he faced fearlessly, knowing it would one day arrive.

There's a place I know, it's where I will be going when my life on earth is through,
It's where my grandpa's waitin', there ain't nobody hatin', and the old is made brand new.
When my race is run, and my work is done, and only by God's grace,
On that day, I'm gonna fly away and be forever in That Place.
That Place, He's preparing for us where the streets are paved with gold,
That Place, hear the mighty chorus as the mysteries unfold,
Where we spend our days lifting up our praise and we thank God face to face,
So don't be grievin', if I'm the next for leavin', I'll be waiting in that place...

"That Place" and more of Andy's original music performed by the High Rollers Band can be found on youtube, itunes or Spotify. Search "High Rollers" or "High Rollers Band" if you're interested and want to reminisce.
Andy is survived by his wife Linda Janowsky, father Phil Janowsky, sister Peggy Haslar (Rick), brothers Dan Janowsky (Nyana) and Mark Janowsky and nephews Ben Haslar, Matthew Haslar (Kate) Ronnie Janowsky (Michelle) and Caleb Janowsky. He is preceded in death by his mother Mary Jo (Wilson) Janowsky.
A service for Andy will take place at 10:30 am on Saturday, February 27, at the First Baptist Durango Church. Due to Covid-19, seating is restricted, but the service will be broadcast live on firstbaptistdurango.org In lieu of attending the service, the family would be honored if friends of Andy wishing to pay their respect park along 3rd Avenue outside of the church or along Colorado State Highway 3, to live stream the service from their vehicles and/or await Andy's procession at the conclusion of the service.
In the final line of the song "That Place" Andy offers a word of encouragement and hope to his friends everywhere,"Don't you worry, and don't be in a hurry I'll be waiting for you in That Place...."

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Pine River Times on Feb. 22, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
FEB
27
Service
10:30 AM
First Baptist Durango Church
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
February 24, 2021
Linda, our hearts go out to you and we pray for healing for your broken heart and for peace and strength to help you make it through this painful time. I loved listening and dancing to Andy’s music and watching the band play. You could just tell that Andy was one of the good guys. His compassion for others will be surely missed in this world. We feel blessed to have known him.
Brenda and Nicki
Friend
February 24, 2021
I first met Andy when we were both in law enforcement, he was an amazing man and always had a kind word to say. He will be missed.
Kent Baxstrom
Friend
February 24, 2021
"Yeah when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease, I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace."
Condolences to Dan and all the family.
Rod von Bernuth
Classmate
February 23, 2021
We met Andy in Pagosa when he and his band were doing their event for the local high school fund raising event for the wrestlers, five plus years ago. The two of them bonded over Andy's lyrics to Dust to Rust, as KS guys who understood. Del even videoed Andy's dad singing. They became text friends. Del's last text to Andy just before this past Christmas was, "Long Live the West ," and Del told Andy he better do a sequel to Dust to Rust, based on the foreseeable economy. Andy said, yes it's sad and maybe it should be called 'Dumb and Dumber! We'll surely miss him. He's truley in God's country now. What a great guy!!!
Jane & Del Peterson
Friend
February 23, 2021
Andy was truly an incredible man. He will be missed greatly. Prayers and condolences to the family and to all he touched
Sandy schane
Friend
February 23, 2021
Andy was the kind of guy who was a friend to everyone and never failed to say "hi, how are ya'". Linda, you have so many happy memories left to you. My deepest sympathy to you. Know that many, many people out there think of you, pray for you and wish you the best. We never know what God has in store for us. God be with you. My family all sends their love and condolences. May you find solace in the words of so many people who loved Andy. Bless you, honey. We'll see you in Heaven, Andy!
Dale Triplett
Friend
February 23, 2021
My heart is broken. I am so sorry for this huge loss in your family, and the community. He was special in so many ways, to so many people. Andy, we will mourn your loss, we will miss your presence, but we will celebrate your presence in the Kingdom of God. See you soon.
Yvonne Francois South
Friend
February 23, 2021
You will be greatly missed but we will see you in Heaven, prayers for the Angels to hold and comfort the Family.
Darlene Hiemer
Friend
February 23, 2021
Andy was one of the kindest and full of God men I knew. He always had a smile, hug, and words of encouragement! I will miss him! But I know he is in Heaven and in a much better place. I am so sorry Linda-I may not be in Durango but pray for you daily!
Allison Butler
Friend
February 22, 2021
Andy was truly a wonderful person to know. We met in his capacity as a police officer and his kindness helped me through some difficult times. He never forgot my name or face and we saw each other often at functions in the community. I loved to see the band perform and am grateful for the role music played in my life and the joy of seeing them when I would drop in the Wild Horse when they played. Andy always had a hug and a moment to spend with people. I want his family to know that I hold them all in my heart. He was a delight.
Ann Perkins-Parrott
Friend
February 22, 2021
RIP Andy. There are no words right now except you will be sorely missed. The comfort we have is knowing we will ALL meet again in "That Place"! God bless and many prayers to Linda for her comfort and well being as she adjusts to life without you, even though she will always know in her heart that you are forever near and your love for her will always keep her safe. God Bless you all.
Melinda Ice
Friend
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