Andrew Conn
Andrew Conn
Andrew Conn
Andrew Conn

Obituary of Andrew Diedrich Conn

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On January 13, 2024, Andrew's difficult two-year battle with bladder cancer was brought to an unexpected end at Jefferson Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia by Covid. Andrew and his identical twin Peter were born January 20, 1963, during a blizzard in Seoul, South Korea. They were the sons of the late Harvie Maitland Conn and Dorothy Diedrich Conn, Presbyterian missionaries. A beloved Korean nanny, affectionately called Ajimoni, nurtured and raised Andrew and Peter in their early years; their first language was Korean. When the twins were eight years old, the family moved to the United States; they lived first in Ardsley, PA and then the family moved to the Germantown section of Philadelphia where Andrew continued to live as an adult. In 1998 a single woman, Julia Garner, bought the house next door. Andrew's landlady told her he could fix anything so she invited him over to fix a leaky sink. While they talked as he lay under the sink, she realized she had met her life partner. Andrew and Julia married in 2008. Andrew attended high school at Philadelphia Montgomery Christian Academy in Erdenheim, PA; he graduated in 1981. He briefly attended Geneva College with the goal of a math degree before he began working in roofing and carpentry. In his early forties, Andrew enrolled in the Community College of Philadelphia, commuting by bicycle to classes. He graduated in 2012 with an Associate's Degree in Math and an Associate's Degree in Computer Sciences; he had High Honors in both. He was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Andrew decided that by the time he completed the additional requirements needed to become a university math professor, his age would make his hiring difficult. He gave up on his dream of academia and returned to carpentry. He worked for McCoubrey Overholser for several years before leaving to work as an independent contractor. Andrew had a wide range of interests outside of work; most of them were outdoors. He was a skilled rock climber who climbed outdoors until he discovered indoor climbing gyms in his fifties. He was also an avid sailor who frequently sailed on the Delaware river and in the Chesapeake Bay, often racing Peter and other friends or competing with any other sailboat on the water. He made many trips up and down the Atlantic coast. Twice he competed in the Bermuda 1-2 race as return crew on the sailing vessel "Bent" owned by his friend Mike Stevens. Andrew was also a talented golfer. He would attach his golf clubs to his bicycle and then ride to municipal golf courses to play at off-peak times. With his wife Julia and sister Ruth, Andrew rode many miles on bicycle day trips. In his final summer, Andrew poured all his energy into a garden plot at the Morris Arboretum. His garden plot and the people he met there gave him happiness at a time when he was no longer able to pursue his other interests. Andrew was known for his brilliant intellect, his wide-ranging knowledge of many subjects, his problem-solving ability, his sharp wit, and his good stories. If anyone seriously needed help, Andrew was there for them. With his identical twin Peter and other good friends, Andrew had many epic adventures. Andrew is survived by his wife Julia Mae Conn (born Julia Mae Garner), brothers Peter and David Conn, sisters Elizabeth Neikirk and Ruth Conn, his Aunt Marion Grant, his nieces Caitlin Conn, Rachel Neikirk, Hannah Neikirk, and Rachel Garner, and a nephew David Garner. He is also mourned by his parents-in-law Judy and Darrel Garner and brothers and sisters-in-law Bert Neikirk, Jeannie Conn, Joseph Garner, Amy Garner, Daniel Garner, and Ginger Garner, as well as a host of friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. A private memorial service will be held in Marion, Indiana, on February 3, 2024. An outdoor memorial service is planned for April 20, 2024; the location will be determined and posted on this website. All are invited to attend. Andrew's ashes will be scattered by his family at a future date.
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