Michel Walter Andre, M.D., AKA Michel Andre Kildare, M.D., passed away Dec. 7, 2013, at home in Grass Valley, Calif., with his wife, Patricia, at his side, after battling congestive heart failure.
Dr. Andre was born Jan. 15, 1935, in Tunis, Tunisia. He spent his early years in France and immigrated to America when the Nazis invaded France. His family settled in Boston, Mass.
He graduated from the University of Massachusetts and went on to Meharry’s Medical School in Nashville, Tenn. After that, he completed training and became a general surgeon.
He was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1966 and served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a combat surgeon and C.O. of the 62nd medical detachment, a mobile surgical unit with deployments in Tay Ningh, Saigon, and Tuy Hoa.
After being discharged from the Army, he furthered his training to become a neurosurgeon at New York University. He went on to achieve American Board Certification in neurological surgery and also in general surgery.
Dr. Andre enjoyed traveling, especially to France. He also liked to read and play chess and loved classical music and jazz, as well as the blues and photography. He enjoyed writing Letters to the Editor and was published in The Union, the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Herald Tribune, as well as in neurosurgical magazines. He loved to learn and as recently as November 2013 was studying German. When he was younger, he enjoyed cycling. He was a member of the Vietnam Vets Motorcycle Club and rode a Harley with the club for many years until he was forced to stop due to his health. He was known as BacSi to his brothers in the club, as well as to close friends and family. BacSi means doctor in Vietnamese.
He leaves behind the love of his life, his wife, Patricia Ristow Andre of Grass Valley; his cherished son, Marc Kildare of Corte Madera, Calif.; and his dear friend of 60 years, Harvey VanBuren of Stafford, Va. He was stepfather to Greg, Danica and Julie Ristow. He loved being “grandpa” to Patricia’s eight grandchildren. He founded The Best Boys Club with members Keegan (10 years old), Ceedric (8 years old) and Rowan (5 years old).
He will be deeply missed for his intelligence, keen wit, deep laugh, charm and quirkiness. Dr. Andre suffered many traumas in his life and was truly a self-made man, coming from “nothing” and achieving his dream of being an excellent neurosurgeon.
A memorial service, with honors, will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are under the care of Chapel of the Angels Mortuary in Grass Valley.