Andrew Anthony Gasparich, Jr. beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away peacefully on August 30, 2018. He was born November 19, 1931 in New York City, son of Mary and Andrew Gasparich who had recently immigrated from Croatia. The family moved to Asbury Park, NJ when his father opened a tavern. He graduated from Asbury Park New Jersey High School and Rutgers University (where he was president of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity) where he focused on writing and journalism. He was an active participant in the ROTC while at Rutger’s and after earning his degree entered the U.S. Army where he served for two years in Korea. He received an honorable discharge reaching the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
He returned to Asbury Park after his discharge and became a disc jockey for the Asbury Park Press radio station WJLK and had the opportunity to interview Louis Armstrong. After encouragement from his mentors, he shifted his attention to the news room where he worked for both the radio and print sides of the Asbury Park Press and ultimately became news director for WJLK. After marrying Catherine N. Duffy, they moved to Washington D.C. in 1967. There he was on air as Andy Parrish and became the news director for WTOP – FM when it went to its all-news format.
After his wife died, he became a single parent to 3 young children (Gail, Drew, and Dana). He was a father, mentor, role model, coach, and supporter throughout our lives. He taught us to treat others with respect, to be empathetic, to work hard, and always find time to laugh and find joy in life. Andy decided getting up at 2 A.M. in the morning to cover breaking news such as the riots after the death of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was not compatible with a single-father’s life. He left WTOP to pursue a career as a civil servant. He worked primarily as an inspired and admired federal public servant, to communicate clearly and strategically to the public the priorities and programs of the Departments of Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. In 1971 he and Theda Parrish (née Cumbridge) married and later divorced. Diane E. Dorius and Andy married in 1997.
In retirement, he travelled widely with wife Diane, and continued to lovingly support her singing, dancing, acting, professional and political activities. He relished time with his extended family and friends, enjoyed an occasional (okay very frequent) poker game, and avidly followed national politics. He was also a superb chef and gracious host, always greeting friends with a welcoming drink, “nibblies”, and a wry sense of humor. Survivors include his wife; children Gail Gasparich (Art Zito), Drew Gasparich (Carrie Moore), Dana Hellems (Brian); stepdaughters Kimberly Clapp (Chris), Kristen Burris (Tony); sister Jenny Cotov; nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
On Tuesday, September 4 visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Advent Funeral Home, 7211 Lee Highway, Falls Church, VA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 5 at St. Thomas More Cathedral, 3901 Cathedral Lane, Arlington, VA. Interment will follow at Fairfax Memorial Park, 9900 Braddock Rd., Fairfax, VA. A reception will take place at 1:00 PM at P.J. Skidoos 9908 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Our Lady of La Salette, 7421 Saint Michaels Lane, Annandale, VA 22003 or Medicins Sans Frontiere, 40 Rector Street,16th Floor, New York. NY10006.