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In Memoriam: Andrew “Andy” Jay Huckfeldt
Show up. Do the best you can. Love the best that you can. This is what Andy referred to as
“The Way”: his life lessons on how to truly live. He guided us all on a path of love and service,
teaching us to embrace the breadth and width of life rather than just its depth.
Andrew “Andy” Jay Huckfeldt made his entrance into the world on February 11, 1942 in the
farmlands of Canton, South Dakota, alongside his mirror image, Richard “Dick” Ray Huckfeldt.
They shared not just their identical features but an unbreakable bond that would last a lifetime.
They were greeted by their dear sister, Rosemary, and their loving parents Andrew “Bernie” and
Viola Huckfeldt, and a very large extended Huckfeldt/Carnes family.
In his early years, Andy's life revolved around farm work and family, starting early mornings by
milking cows and tending to household chores. He and Dick attended a one-room schoolhouse
for primary education and in junior high they would even drive themselves to school, no licenses
of course! Andy's life of service began in childhood as he helped care for his family, particularly
his mother, who struggled with debilitating rheumatoid arthritis (which he would later suffer from
Education and Career
Farm life never suited Andy, so two days after graduating from Canton High School in 1960, he
and Dick ventured off to Carroll College in Helena, Montana. Here they met lifelong friends (and
in Dick’s case, a wife). Andy's musical talents shone as he contributed his bass vocals to the
college "Carroleers." His musical journey led him to travel and perform with this ensemble
throughout his college days. With a passion for history, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in
History in 1964. He then went on to pursue studies at the University of Oregon, in Eugene. He
spent his time there deeply immersed in two lifelong passions: counseling and service.
In a letter home to his parents in 1965, sent while earning his MA, he wrote, “I am in Core which
is a non-violent movement to help Negroes get voting rights and housing rights which they are
denied because of their color. The reason Negroes have had so much trouble is that nobody got
involved. That is why I want to get into politics. I am committed to being involved in all the
sufferings of human beings wherever I meet them. So I have to get involved and if it means
sticking my neck out, then I’ll have to stick my neck out.”
He earned his Master degree in 1969. That same year, working at the Department of
Employment Youth Opportunity Center, he was honored for helping establish, as the founding
President for, the Oregon Employment Counselors Association (OECA). Andy said “We hope
OECA will inspire an attitude of creative responsibility toward the profession of employment
counseling that will stimulate a proper atmosphere for growth for both counselor and client.”
The friends he met during this time remained friends for the rest of his life, he continued to meet
with his group Career Counselors in Private Practice (CCPP) up until his diagnosis.
Settling in Portland, Oregon, he embarked on a career in counseling. After a stint at the
Employment Division, he found his true calling as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC),
specializing in Vocational Rehabilitation. In 1976 he established his private counseling practice.
During his eminent career, he mentored and counseled countless injured workers back to work.
He was sought after in later years as a specialist in vocational expert testimony, primarily for
trial lawyers and large employers. As an expert, he testified before Administrative Law Judges,
and was perhaps the most highly-regarded vocation expert by trial lawyers in the worker’s comp
He was recognized for his service to the profession of counseling many times during his
distinguished career. His journey as Andy Huckfeldt, M.A. CRC-R NCC, a Certified
Rehabilitation Counselor, spanned more than 35 years.
In 1983, a mutual friend introduced Andy to the love of his life, Karen Caldwell, a young widow
with two teenagers. They instantly fell in love and were married five months later. He often said
that the moment he laid eyes on her he knew hers was a face he could look at for the rest of his
He wholeheartedly embraced his new family and fatherhood. This blended family included
Karen's teenage kids, Ben and Alison, a big old dog, and 3 new in-laws. They happily shared
their life journey together for 20 years and 15 days until Karen’s passing in 2003. With great
love and affection, Andy legally welcomed Ben and Alison as his own. And for another 20 years
they thrived as a close-knit family with the addition of spouses Emily and Brian and four
grandchildren - Jack, Sadie, Benjamin and Tanner.
As a son, brother, husband, father, and an uncle, his family was the most important thing in his
life. He called home to South Dakota every week to talk to his folks and sister Rosie (whom he
affectionately called “Romie”). His nieces and nephews were a large part of his life, and he
cherished them all. We will all miss the many family gatherings at his home and on his deck,
where he held countless parties and events in the 38 years he lived on 32nd Avenue.
He loved people deeply and lived his whole life dedicated to improving the lives of others. In
college he wrote a position paper on his counseling ideology, saying that, “I love to listen to
people. I live vicariously through other peoples experiences a great deal. I am introspective and
view what is going on within me during my interactions with other people.” He made friends with
everyone he met, from the gardener to the barista, from the colleagues to the strangers who
became friends. He was a regular at the Starbucks on 47th for over 20 years. They adored him
and it was mutual. Some of his Starbucks friends were the last to visit with him, with his last
meal being Starbuck’s bacon egg bites and a tall Pike with a splash of cream!
He was a friend, mentor, and second father to countless people. He was always very present
when you spoke with him, listening with great attention and providing sound and wonderful
advice to all who needed it. To the many young people that were welcomed in the warmth of
Karen and Andy’s home he provided his own unique brand of fatherhood. It was not unusual to
walk in the front door and find Andy sitting with one of them, listening deeply in heartfelt
conversation, offering unwavering attention, gentle support and guidance. Numerous friends of
Ben and Alison can vouch for the fact that he epitomized the father figure they yearned for—a
remarkable example of an emotionally accessible dad and supportive presence.
He was a faithful Catholic and attended St. Andrew Catholic Church for over four decades. He
was dedicated to the community there and provided years of service through many channels,
including many years as Eucharistic minister, and as a food pantry volunteer. He sang bass in
the choir and loved every minute of it. He was a member of the theology book club for many
years. Sharing profound insights and engaging in deep conversation about faith with the group
and with his family. Especially meaningful to Andy was his small faith group, a prayer
community of around a dozen people established more than twenty years ago. Meeting together
monthly in one another's homes, the group provided care and support as members shared their
joys, concerns and sorrows.
The community of St. Andrew is rare and precious and Andy fit right in with the mission and the
social justice work that is their priority. The parishioners love and support each other in very
deep and meaningful ways. Andy was very proud to belong to and support this community.
He loved music. He played accordion as a kid and sang in a choir for most of his life. An
accomplished piano player, he would sing and play at his home for all to enjoy his enthusiastic
style. . But he especially loved live music and would go out “clubbing” regularly to take it all in
(making friends along the way).
Andy cherished music as both creator and connoisseur. After losing Karen, he stumbled upon
Tony Starlight’s, a renowned Portland supper club showcasing live entertainment and the
classics of The Great American Songbook. Drawn to the music, he became a familiar face,
befriending musicians and becoming a fixture in the club's audience. He embraced local
musicians, his infectious enthusiasm making him a recognized supporter. Sharing his love with
friends and family, he often led a group to various venues, wholeheartedly cheering on
Portland's musical talents. Even after his diagnosis, his passion for local music continued,
attending performances until shortly before his passing.
He loved his family, friends, his faith, St. Andrew community, people in general, helping people
and living a life of service, politics, being a Democrat, CNN/MSNBC and especially Lawrence
O’Donnell, musical tv (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance), his many Groups (prayer,
theology book, CCPP) singing in the choir, reading (especially mysteries, history and politics),
music, live music, playing piano, his garden, wind chimes, watching birds (especially the stellar
jays), taking care of himself with body balance, swimming walks & Tai Chi, South Dakota, Black
Hills Gold, Starbucks, brass decor, brown recliners, plants, art of all kinds, everything in its
place, eating out, his food hot, Buicks, Manzanita and Rockaway beaches, and living a life filled
with laughter and love!
Andy loved people deeply and built many beautiful relationships throughout his life, as
evidenced by the line of people who came to visit upon his cancer diagnosis. On May 19th,
Andy was unexpectedly given just weeks to live, but instead of dwelling on that, he embraced
life fully. His large calendar to “schedule appointment” visits with friends. It was so packed that
his social secretary, Alison, had to put people on wait lists! Friends and family came from near
and far to be by his side. He attended live music events and hosted lively "Andypalooza"
concerts at our home. He genuinely showed us "The Way", his legacy of love now woven into
the fabric of our lives.
Andy bid farewell to all those he cherished, and surrounded by loved ones, he took his last
breath on the evening of August 15, 2023; his wife and twin brother guided him on his final
journey home. Although his absence leaves an Andy-sized hole in our world, we find comfort in
knowing that he continues to watch over us and show up in our garden with the bees and the
His wife Karen and twin brother Dick, his parents and many other family and friends now enjoy
his company once again. The rest of us will go on trying to live up to the example that Saint
Andrew left for us!
He is remembered by his sister Rosemary Deurloo, daughter Alison Schneiger (Brian), son
Benjamin Caldwell (Emily), Grandchildren Jack Schneiger, and Sadie, Benjamin, and Tanner
Caldwell. And many nieces and nephews including:
John (Dawn Teeter) Huckfeldt: Gena Carter * Paul (Mbei) Huckfeldt: Alexis Duncan, Sunny
Jean and Godiva Huckfeldt * Kirsten Huckfeldt * Laura Huckfeldt: Tyrie Scott (Trey
Thompkins), Charlotte and Avery Thompkins * Sarah Huckfeldt Anderson (Tim) * David
Deurloo: * Isaac (Lindsey) Deurloo -Sam, Isabell, Grayson and Kaine Deurloo * Daniel (Krista)
Deurloo -Addy, Eden, Ilsa; Jennifer Deurloo (Jim Bell) * Donald Deurloo:Seth Deurloo -Daisy;
Rebeccal Carroll (Michael)- Megan and Jacob Deurloo * Renee Misgen (Deurloo): Erich
The funeral mass will be held at St. Andrew Catholic church on Saturday, August 26,
2023 at 11 am, 806 NE Alberta St, Portland. A live-music reception will follow in the
church hall at noon. It will be live streamed:
To honor Andy’s life of service, donations can be made to the St. Andrew Catholic
Church, payments made to SVDP/St. Andrew, 806 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211.
Online donations can be made https://secure.myvanco.com/L-Z4XW/campaign/C-12CCK