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Andre Boris, known to family and friends as Andy, passed away at home on October 30, with his family by his side. He was 92. Andy was born and raised in Westerly, the son of Anna (Sologub) and Stephan Boris, who had emigrated from the region of Russia now known as Belarus in the early 1900s. The family lived on Canal Street and spoke Russian at home. Andy did not learn English until he entered elementary school. He attended Westerly High School, graduating in 1948, then entered the University of Rhode Island, majoring in engineering. After two years, his studies at URI were interrupted by the start of the Korean war.
In 1950, Andy enlisted in the Air Force and was assigned to the 84th Bomb Squadron based at Sculthorpe RAF Base, Fakenham, UK. He served in the Armaments Division, primarily working on radar and electronics. After receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1954, at the rank of Staff Sergeant, he returned to Westerly, and his studies at URI, where he was a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. He graduated in 1957 with a degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation Andy married Marilyn Panciera of Ashaway. He worked in R&D for two years at Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, then transferred to the Department of the Navy, Supervisor of Shipbuilding in 1962 where he worked until he retired in 1993 as Director of Quality Assurance for the Navy’s submarine program. While he couldn’t talk much about his job because it was classified, he took great pride in his work and the serious responsibility entrusted to his department for national security and the safety of the sailors deployed on the submarine fleet.
When they were first married, Andy and Marilyn lived in an apartment on Grove Avenue, across from Wilcox Park. Christine joined the family in 1960 and they purchased land “in the country”, on Boombridge Road. They had a reproduction antique Cape Cod house designed by the Royal Barry Wills firm in Boston. Andy and his father-in-law, Jim Panciera, who had been a house builder and carpenter, then built the house together in their spare time over the next six years. It wasn’t quite finished when Andy, Marilyn and Christine moved in 1966, and remained that way for 50 years. After Marilyn passed away in 2019, Andy decided it was time to finish the project and, at 89, acted as the general contractor for the addition of a great room and garage for the house, true to the original plans. He had fun scouring the internet to locate just the right wooden beams and planks, and “supervising” local craftsmen (many of whom had attended high school with Christine) to get the addition exactly right. He passed away in the room he so carefully curated, which his grandchildren dubbed his mancave.
Andy loved the town of Westerly. He chaired the Westerly Conservation Commission for 15 years in the 1990s and early 2000s and was instrumental in the development of the trail system in the Town Forest. He took particular pride in creating the trail to the Pawcatuck River and in the granite trail markers that still stand today. On weekends, and then nearly every day in retirement, Andy would “go downtown” and visit the bank, the Post Office or McQuade’s where he always found friends with whom to chat. And in the past few years, he relished his monthly lunch with the surviving classmates of the Westerly High School class of ‘48.
Andy and Marilyn loved the beach and joined the new Seaside Beach Club in the 1960s. He loved seeing his summer friends in the surrounding cabanas and swam in the ocean well into his 80s. This past summer, his last at Seaside after 60 years, he witnessed his great-granddaughter Lucia take her first dip in the ocean there. A little restless in his 60s with just swimming, Andy decided to teach himself how to windsurf. In his usual manner, he did so by reading technical manuals, then trial and error. He and his son in law Will purchased matching boards and spent many weekend summer afternoons in the early 1990s boarding on Ninigret pond. When windsurfing became a little difficult, Andy began to focus more on golf. He played in the Tuesday golf league at EB for many years, finally winning his flight at age 87 in 2017. He would often spend Saturday and Sunday afternoons golfing at Elmridge with Marilyn giving him helpful tips and birdwatching. As with everything, Andy was fascinated with the technical aspects of golf, and began making precision designed golf clubs in his workshop for himself and his golf buddies. Every new club seemed to hold the key to breaking 90, and every weekend brought a story of how he almost did it to share with his younger friends at the beach. In his final years, when he could no longer play a round, he installed a putting green in the back yard and invited friends over to putt and have a beer. Andy had an amazing technical mind. As a child, he enjoyed figuring out how things work by taking them apart then putting them back together. From working on radar systems in the Air Force, and submarines for the Navy, to building his house, gourmet cooking, beekeeping and making furniture and golf club in his workshop, and in countless other ways, his mind was always at work solving a problem or conjuring up a new project or hobby. He was always upbeat, no matter what challenge came his way. He relished time with family and friends, celebrating life’s milestones and passages, and cheering for the Red Sox and Patriots. He will be sorely missed by his family and his many friends. Andy is survived by his daughter Christine, her husband Will, grandchildren Kate Guarino (Fredo) and Allie Smith (Daniel Soley), and great-granddaughter Lucia Guarino, as well as nephews Troy and Ronald Panciera and niece, Gina Panciera. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests donations to the Westerly Library and Wilcox Park, in Memory of Andy and Marilyn Boris. The family would like to extend special thanks to Richard (Dick) Capizzano for his frequent visits over the past couple of years; to VNA Care New England Hospice Care and Care at Home (and his aide Ayobami) for their sensitive and caring attention over the past several weeks; and to Dr. Hub Brennan, Andy’s physician, for his care and guidance over the past several years. Family will greet friends and relatives on Friday, November 4th from 4-6pm at Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main St. Westerly, RI. A funeral service will be held at 11am on Saturday, November 5th at Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home burial will follow with full military honors at River Bend Cemetery. For online condolences, please visit www.buckler-johnston.com
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Friday November 4, 2022 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home 121 Main St. Westerly, RI 02891
Saturday November 5, 2022 11:00 AM Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home 121 Main St. Westerly, RI 02891