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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"If we could open the heavens above we'd be with you"

Ryan S., Andy (in white), Mary and Ryan.

My good friend Paula's son, Andy, died this past Tuesday.
Andy was the first person to welcome Marsh into the Regiment and I will always appreciate him for that. He never stopped smiling. He never complained about what life had dealt him. He was, and will always be, one of the most wonderful people I have ever known.

Ken Ma of the Orlando Sentinel wrote this story on Wednesday, August 16, 2006:

Today was supposed to be the first day of Anderson Maxey's senior year of high school at The Master's Academy in Oviedo.

Instead, about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, his parents requested the life-support machine that had kept him alive since he was found at the bottom of Lake Winona during a spiritual outdoor retreat Monday be turned off. The 17-year-old Seminole County teen, who wanted to spend the rest of his life serving God as a pastor, died shortly after.

Authorities are not sure why Anderson, a good swimmer, was found unconscious on the bottom of the 70-acre lake while swimming with schoolmates at YMCA Camp Winona in DeLeon Springs. His family said the teen had a history of epilepsy, and he may have suffered a seizure in the water.

"Once you have a seizure, you don't know where you are and you completely black out," said his father, Richard Maxey. "He slipped to the bottom and nobody saw it, not even the three lifeguards."

Anderson had epilepsy since he was 18 months old, his father said. During most of the past eight years, he had been seizure-free thanks to his medication. But in the past nine months, the teen had six seizures, Maxey said. Before his death, the Maxeys were looking into possible surgery to stop Anderson's seizures.

Richard Maxey said he knows he and his wife made the right decision, and he doesn't blame anyone for the incident. Anderson was deeply religious, his father said. After graduation from the nondenominational Christian school, he planned to attend either Seminole Community College or the University of Central Florida, and then seminary.

Maxey said his son had been excited about the spiritual retreat. About 90 juniors and seniors from The Master's Academy arrived at the camp Sunday for two days of bonding.

"We miss him so deeply, and it hurts so bad," Richard Maxey said. "[But] I am absolutely convinced that the Lord called him home. . . . He's in the arm of Jesus."

At Fellowship of Christian Life in Orlando, Anderson sang in the church choir. At school, he played the euphonium, an instrument similar to the baritone, in the band. This year, he was appointed band chaplain. Anderson, who lived in Oviedo his entire life, also loved to play the musical video game Dance Dance Revolution and study Latin.

William Harris, The Master's Academy's superintendent, said Anderson was loved by other students and faculty. "He was just an outstanding young man," Harris said.

Andy, I don't understand why you are gone. We never had the chance to say goodbye. But though you have gone on to another world before us, you will forever be remembered in our hearts.

Andy, I miss you already.

Anderson Palmer "Andy" Maxey

Andy, 17, of Oviedo passed away August 15, 2006, after a drowning accident in DeLeon Springs, FL. Born to Paula (Edwards) and Richard Maxey, Jr. on March 7, 1989 in Winter Park, Andy would have started his senior year in high school this week. During his years at The Master's Academy, he served as the captain and chaplain of the Marching Band, and he was selected as the school's Homecoming King in 2004. He greatly enjoyed being a part of The Master's Academy family. Andy and his Mom shared many wonderful experiences helping to organize and promote the Band's programs and events. He was always proud of her involvement in his activities. Andy loved the arts. He studied drawing and painting for several years and was an accomplished euphonium/baritone player. He frequently played for his church, Fellowship of Christian Life, where he also sang in the choir. The euphonium duet that he and his Dad performed for their church service on the Sunday just before his death will be a lasting memory for Andy's family and friends. Andy's personal relationship with Jesus Christ was evident from his early childhood days. During his teen years, he was a strong witness for the Lord he spoke of so highly. He looked forward to eventually attending seminary and becoming a pastor. In addition to his parents, Paula and Richard Maxey of Oviedo, he is survived by his older brother, Richard Maxey, III, of Orlando; maternal grandmother, Vivian Edwards of Oviedo, paternal grandfather, Richard Maxey, Sr. of Miami and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins. The family will receive friends on Friday, August 18th, 6-9PM at Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Homes - Oviedo Chapel. A celebration of Andy's life will be held at The Master's Academy Upper School Gymnasium on Saturday, August 19th at 10AM. Interment at Oviedo Cemetery will immediately follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Andy to The Master's Academy Band, 1500 Lukas Lane, Oviedo, FL 32765.

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