By: Deputy Sheriff Brian Noecker
I first met Andy through my younger brother in 2001. Andy and I became fast friends and spent a lot of time just hanging out together. At that time, Andy worked and owned movie theaters. When the movie theater business began to slow down years later, Andy became interested in police work. By then I was working as a deputy sheriff and convinced Andy to go to the Reading Police Academy. Shortly after he completed Reading’s program, he was hired by the Sheriff’s Office. Andy was now a part of the brotherhood of law enforcement. Andy and I were both assigned to the Warrants Division; I worked first shift and Andy worked second shift. We talked a lot about police work, especially as it relates to safety, tactics and general warrant service. Our friendship grew stronger through our shared interests, which included more than police work. We both were avid NFL fans and spent Sunday afternoons together watching football games in my living room, we played a lot of pick-up basketball games, and Andy was godfather to my four-year old daughter.
Andy was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010. I saw a strong and determined side of my friend emerge as he battled numerous brain surgeries and chemotherapy for close to four years. He was strong, and his strength rubbed off on others. I wasn’t the only one who believed he would fully recover one day. His positive attitude and strong faith in God were contagious.
Andy lived the last six weeks of his short life at my house; he passed away on August 3, 2014 at the age of 40. On that day, I realized a lost more than a friend; I lost my brother.