View a eulogy for Andrew Ryan Houghton, USMA '01, who passed away on August 9, 2004.
Andrew Ryan Houghton
West Point, 2001
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by 1LT John Rocha on August 12, 2004:
All of us who were fortunate enough to know Andy in our own unique way know how special of a guy he was. And it wasn?t in that form that everyone is special but Andy was truly a unique character. He was sophisticated at times and uncontrollably happy in a child-like manner at others. He was the one of the most giving souls I knew and he knew how to live and love life in the way only the phrase ?seize the day? can capture. He had all the traits that make a person good and none of the traits that would put people off. Other were drawn to him, including me.
Andy got me into a lot of interesting things, including the appreciation of fine drink and the occasional cigar during our time at West Point. He would explain the finer points of a certain drink and go on and on about random facts of the certain beverage we were about to have. Mostly I just stared blankly at him and pretended to care but I was always amazed that he had so many random points to bring up about such a small object. He would even tell me when and where he first had this and that drink. Most of the time it was with his buddies back home and he would go off on a tangent about a story of his friends. And of course he would always include some proud comment about Texas. That was always a pretty good time because anyone who knows Andy knows he can tell a good story. A little hyperbole always added in the mix and the occasional ?Yeah, um?that?s disgusting.? He had this way of looking over his shoulder while re-enacting a scenario like he was being overtly mischievous. I always cracked up when he exaggerated his movements because you knew he was enjoying telling the story as much as those around him enjoyed listening to it. I spent a lot of time with him the last two years of school because we both liked to party a little more than our other friends. He liked to show off how much he knew and I liked hanging out with such a unique guy who had so much charisma.
He invited a big group of us to Hawaii right after graduation. That week on Maui was the greatest vacation I ever had. I remember giving him my water-proof camera to finish the roll because I was feeling kinda nauseous from the night before. I said ?Take some pictures of fish or something.? When we developed the pictures the night before we left Hawaii I discovered that he took pictures of two things. Me passed out on the boat and the back-side of one of the female tour guides as she swam away from the group. He then asked me in a doubtful voice ?Hey John. Ummmm?.did you get doubles of that roll?? That was Andy! I also remember the last night as we were looking through all the pictures of our great week he told everyone that he had a $100 to donate to the restaurant bill as a thank you for the good times that week. That was the kind of guy that he was, always giving and always appreciating life.
Andy lived a good life because he appreciated the important things: friends, family. And I cannot explain to you in one small note how great he was and how much I knew of him. And I know that what I know of him is only a small part of how great he really was. But the two years I was fortunate enough to be a close friend showed me how much better life could be with a good friend. Although he only lived a little more than 25 years his life saw and created more happiness than most long lives. I know Andy is in a better place and I know he left this world better than before. To all the surviving members of the Houghton Family I thank you for sharing Andy with the world and with me.
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