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Andrew Leonard Gohlke

August 13, 1999 July 16, 2019
Andrew  Leonard  Gohlke
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Obituary for Andrew Leonard Gohlke

Andrew Leonard Gohlke of Evergreen, a student and aspiring engineer remembered as sensitive, selfless and precocious, died July 16 in an auto accident near Boulder. He was 19.
Andy, the son of Gordon and Maureen Gohlke, was born in Wheat Ridge, Colo., on Aug. 13, 1999, and raised near Evergreen in Clear Creek County.
Andy attended Evergreen High and other area public schools and received his diploma, with college credit in three subjects, in April. A car enthusiast whose feats of design and construction began at an early age with Legos, he planned to enroll at Red Rocks Community College in the fall and study mechanical engineering.
“He was nuts about cars,” said his dad, especially custom performance vehicles, which he hoped to make his career. Andy’s mom said he would have done well given his intense interest. “Once he got interested in something, he’d be off and running,” she said.
Andy was athletic as well as intelligent. He played youth soccer and junior varsity basketball and lettered in varsity football and cross-country running. Having first hit the slopes with his parents at 3 and ultimately graduated to Winter Park’s challenging Mary Jane territory, Andy was a daring and effortless skier.
As attached as he was to his native Rocky Mountains, Andy also enjoyed seeing the rest of the country and the world. He had recently visited San Francisco with his dad and one of his two older brothers, Kaz, and Florida while on a moving job with his friend Brandon Swartz, who took a memorable photo of him on the Gulf Coast. He had also toured the Gohlkes’ ancestral Germany with his parents and China with his mom, who said Andy grew accustomed to “all the young ladies” there wanting to take pictures with the then-fair-haired 11-year-old. He drew similar attention at his brother Josh’s wedding the following year.
During a visit to the Philadelphia area several years earlier, when Andy still reminded his brothers of Calvin from the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes,” a spontaneous snowball fight developed and Josh landed an accidentally hard hit to Andy’s head. Guilt-stricken and fully expecting his little brother to burst into tears, Josh rushed to Andy’s side to find him largely unfazed.
His brother Kaz said Andy handled his much older siblings’ questionable sense of humor with similarly admirable toughness.
“He took it way better than I probably would have at that age,” he said. “He could keep up pretty well.”
Later in life, when Andy had grown into an impressive physical presence with an inherited passion for gratuitous argument, he would bounce back from worse with a resilience that belied his years. “There were times we felt … he can’t come back from this, but he did,” his dad recalled. “He just kept doing it.”
Partly because of their shared experience of overcoming hardships, Andy and his girlfriend, Harli Shull, had developed a close relationship in a short time before Tuesday’s accident, which Harli survived. She recalled Andy growing impatient with her morning routine and interrupting it to make her dance with him to country songs.
His friends and family universally remember Andy as thoughtful, considerate and perceptive beyond his years.
“He always put others before himself,” his friend Brandon said. “You could always count on Andy helping you with whatever it might be. He helped me when I was in a bad spot multiple times.”
Andy’s parents remember him much the same way. “He was just kind and caring,” his mom said. His dad agreed: “He was very sensitive, very caring about others, sometimes to his own detriment. And he was very insightful. It sometimes blew me away how insightful he was about things, people, situations.”
Andy is survived by his parents, Gordon and Maureen Gohlke of Evergreen; and his brothers, Kaz and Josh Gohlke, sister-in-law, Romy Varghese, and niece, Rachel Gohlke, all of Oakland, Calif.
A memorial service for Andy will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 13 at The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park, 26624 N. Turkey Creek Road, Evergreen. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Andy’s name be sent to Inspire the Family Foundation, which provides counseling and coaching to young people. https://inspirethefamily.com/itf-foundation/


Previous Events

Service

Tuesday

13

Aug

11:00 AM 8/13/2019 11:00:00 AM
Evergreen Memorial Park

26624 N. Turkey Creek Rd.
Evergreen, Colorado 80439

Service will be in the Barn.

Evergreen Memorial Park
26624 N. Turkey Creek Rd. Evergreen 80439 Colorado
United States
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