Obituary: Andrew “Andy” Lewis Goldstein

Avid cyclist, Americana music aficionado, proud and loving grandpa

A resident of Claremont and Santa Monica, Andrew “Andy” Lewis Goldstein died January 28 as a result of a bicycle accident that occurred January 13.

Andy was born in Culver City, California on Oct. 25, 1950, to Clara Goldie Greenberg and Joseph Goldstein, the youngest of two children. Growing up, he helped his father with the family business that included making swingsets. He talked about riding along to deliver the swings all over Los Angeles; a highlight was a call from the late actor Paul Newman ordering a swingset for his children. He went to the Newmans’ home to assist his dad in installing the swingset. He still had the uncashed check his father received in payment from Mr. Newman.

He was an avid bicycle rider, completing numerous century rides around California. One of his proudest achievements was completing the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic from Durango to Silverton, Colorado. The ride included two passes above 10,500 feet and 6,000 feet of climbing.

He met his wife Kay Behrens in 1999 at the Neighborhood Church in Pasadena, when she arrived on a Friday to see Dave Alvin play, only to discover she was a day early and that Cheryl Wheeler was performing that evening. He overheard her bemoaning her mistake and offered her an extra ticket that he had. Their shared love of Americana music brought them together and they went to concerts and festivals throughout their 24 years together. With some coaxing, Kay managed to get him on the dance floor whenever zydeco and Cajun music was playing.

After he retired from working for the City of Los Angeles the couple began to travel often. They went to Africa, Antarctica, South America, Fiji, Europe, and many national parks closer to home.  They had plans for much more travel, but they were put on hold due to the pandemic. They had recently returned from a trip to Hawaii with friends and were looking forward to experiencing more of the world.

He could usually be found walking around in one of his T-shirts or Hawaiian shirts, his Fat Tire baseball cap, shorts, on his way home with treats from Crème.

“Andy was always available to lend a hand to anyone,” his family shared. “Need something fixed? He was on it. Need help moving? Andy was there. He was always up for a run to the Donut Man in Glendora or a pizza from Zelo in Arcadia. How about rigging up an alarm in the mailbox to signal when the mail was delivered, and have it play the theme from ‘The Bridge over the River Kwai?’ Want to play a game? Bocce? Mölkky? Codenames? Thumb war? Andy was all in.

“He cherished his role as grandpa to his granddaughter Landis Behrens Willmarth. He loved taking her to Higginbotham Park to play and for walks around the neighborhood. It was a joy to see them together.”

In addition to his wife Kay Behrens, he is survived by his sister Susan Larkin (Jim Ehlers) of Albion, California; stepson Max Behrens Lehman of Claremont; stepdaughter Sophie Behrens Lehman (Kirk Willmarth) of Berkeley, California; granddaughter Landis Behrens Willmarth; and nephew Jonah Larkin of Los Osos, California.

He was predeceased by his beloved cat Taz. They shared 18 years together.

“He loved visiting his sister Susan and her husband Jim at their home outside of Mendocino,” his family added. “He marveled at their garden and property filled with redwood trees. We can’t think of a better place to spread his ashes.

“A celebration of Andy’s well-lived life will be held at a later date. There will of course be music, food, and beer; T-shirts, Hawaiian shirts, and shorts will be worn. Cheers.”


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