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Parents remember fallen Scout, offer thanks to community

John and Alisa McMorris, the parents of Andrew McMorris, the Wading River boy tragically killed after being struck by a drunk driver while out on a hike with fellow scouts Sunday afternoon, released a statement this morning remembering their son. They also wanted to share a brief statement thanking the community for its support. The above photo was taken of Andrew, by his mother, moments before Sunday’s hike. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Branch Funeral Homes in Miller Place. Below is the McMorris’ comments, as sent to the News-Review through a family friend and spokesperson.

“Words cannot express how grateful we are for all your love, prayers, thoughts and deeds. They all mean so much to us. Thank you is not enough. Give all your children and loved ones an extra-long hug today and don’t wait for the right time to express love to one another. Peace and love to you all.”

Andrew McMorris was no ordinary boy.

Andrew was born with a sense of wonder and amazement of the world around him, and he never lost the ability to be awed by and delighted with all it had to offer.

Andrew was an artful child, and he channeled his abundant creativity through painting, acting, singing, and playing his piano, guitar, mandolin and ukulele. Always up for a costume, Andrew was Tin Man in his 5th grade production of The Wizard of Oz and, of course, Michael Jackson.

Andrew was an active kid, and was often on the rosters of community soccer and basketball teams. This year, Andrew joined his middle school cross country team and had looked forward to running with his team in his first meet this week. He loved to ski, and looked forward to long weekends and fresh powder. He loved being outdoors, especially hiking and camping trips with his friends in Troop 161.

Andrew was a dedicated community member, providing years of service through his participation with his Boy Scout Troop, Cub Scouts, and various school organizations. Serving in Boy Scouts was an honor Andrew was proud of. He was dedicated to obtaining the highest honor of Eagle Scout. He participated in countless fundraisers, community clean-ups, and other projects such as tree planting and gardening.

He loved to travel, and was always up for trips, visits and excursions. Together with his family, Andrew toured parts of Hawaii and Alaska, explored Paris, France, London, England and sailed Disney cruises.

Bright and hardworking, Andrew was an honor roll student. Classmates, teachers and friends found him sometimes silly, always funny and, occasionally, a bit cheeky. He was a friend to everyone and showed kindness to all.

Andrew was a loving son to Alisa and John, and a dedicated brother to Arianna. And to our larger SWR community of parents and children, Andrew was our “son from another mother” and our “other brother”.

But more than any other characteristic, what stands out about Andrew is his desire to fly and his passion for aviation.

Andrew wanted to fly before he could walk. Airplanes, helicopters and rockets were the obsession of his life, and he achieved his first piloting goal this past summer during AeroCamp. Andrew was occasionally chided by parents, coaches and teachers for “having his head in the clouds”, but for Andrew, that only made sense. He wanted his whole self in the clouds, broken free of the bonds of this earth, borne up into an endless sky, with nothing but blue around him and horizon ahead, aloft and away.

Fly high, Andrew.

How to help: 

The McMorris Family asks that no items be placed at the scene of the accident.

“We ask that remember Andrew in your hearts, and not at the scene. It would be an unspeakable tragedy for another person to be injured on the roadside. In Andrew’s memory we ask for prayer, and if you feel the need to do something then tie a red ribbon on your property, and that you treat others with kindness in his name,” the family wrote in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to honor the loving memory of Andrew to support Troop 161, SWR’s Wildcats Helping the Arts & Music and/or Mothers Against Drunk Driving New York.

Links & Addresses:

Troop 161 Memorial & Support Fund

Wildcats Helping the Arts & Music. Payable to: PO Box 458 Shoreham, NY 11786

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Payable to: 33 Walt Whitman Road, Suite 210W Huntington Station, NY 11746