Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Former Head of Nursing Home Remembered as New Project Set

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Former Head of Nursing Home Remembered as New Project Set

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland, Staff writer

John Andrews' two years at the helm of a major Westside nursing home complex were among the happiest of his life.

The 45-year-old chief executive officer told associates he planned to spend the rest of his career at NBA Florida Christian Center.

Colleagues said he was committed to leading Florida Christian through the building of a new 120-bed facility with an assisted-living component in Riverside.

Even as he battled cancer, he called regularly to check on plans for the facility, known as River House. With the aid of his mother, he even attended a meeting with area residents in February.

"He came on crutches and in severe pain, but he wanted to be there for the presentation," Trixie Andrews said of her son.

Andrews did not live to see the project built. Groundbreaking for River House is expected in the fall and target completion date is 2003.

Andrews died a month ago, hours after making plans to attend a board meeting later in the week.

"He was getting better, but his body was weakened," Trixie Andrews said.

Early last week, Gwen Betor, associate CEO of a large retirement community in Indianapolis, was named Florida Christian's interim CEO.

"She's a great person to come in behind John and keep things together while we're moving forward with River House and starting another national search for a new CEO," said Mike Spencer, senior vice president of operations for the National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which owns the center.

Andrews, a native of Jacksonville, graduated from Ribault High School and Florida State University with a marketing degree. He worked for various nursing facilities, including Eartha White, before coming to Florida Christian in 1998 as administrator of the Stockton Street facility. …

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