This page is in memoriam to our dear Andrej who passed away suddenly from complications of Type 1 Diabetes at age 25 in June of 2014.

Andrej Cerar Darwin, 1989-2014

From now "until the world is broken at the end of time" there will never be another quite like him.

Thanks for the support

The memorials have been held; the stories told, but the memories of the outpouring of support from family and friends who came to suppport us and to honour Andrej's memory will last a lifetime. We thank each and every one of you.

This site will remain indefinitely. Please feel free to send stories about Andrej: what he meant to you, something crazy you and he did together, anything like that. Also pictures, videos, etc. to be shared. You can mail them to andrej-memorial at darwinsys dot com.

Obituary

Andrej (known as Andy to many) passed away suddenly in June 2014 at home in his beloved Kingston, ON, from complications of diabetes. He was 25 years old.

Andy was born in May, 1989 to Ian Darwin and Betty Cerar, in Toronto, ON. He was the middle of three children, and grew up at the family home in Adjala-Tosorontio, ON. Homeschooled with his siblings for elementary school, he attended King's College School in Caledon from grades 7 through 12, graduating in 2007. This was followed by a move to Kingston, where he attended Queen's University (studying English Literature and Classical Studies) for two years, before taking time off to look for employment and devote time to writing.

Although Andy was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of four, he never let that slow him down. His childhood was full of experiences shared with family and friends. He was involved in many activities, such as gymnastics, soccer, Beavers and Cub Scouts, 4-H groups, choirs, fencing, piano lessons, and playing trumpet in the school band. He travelled widely within Canada, as well as to Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Florida and the Caribbean, California, the northeastern United States, Hawaii, and Costa Rica. He loved camping, canoeing, and nature.

During his teenage years, he was very involved with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, where he learned to sail, and became a role model, mentor, and leader to other cadets. His love for sailing continued into his time in Kingston. With his father, he spent hundreds of hours over several summers building a sailboat, which now awaits only its mast and sail.

He had a special affinity with words, delighting in the witty, jesting, clever, hyperbolic, archaic, and absurd. Often seen devouring some new book or scribbling in tiny handwriting in a notebook, he was said to be working on a novel. At Queen's, Andy was involved with a drama society and acted in a couple of plays. He enjoyed tabletop games, in which he displayed a knack for creative scheming and strategizing, and made many friends in the gaming community in Kingston.

Despite his sometimes gruff exterior and fierce need for freedom, Andy had a gentle and sensitive soul. His friends remember his generous devotion, non-judgemental nature, and special gift for listening and helping. He made a determined effort to be happy in spite of his health issues. He had been a dedicated volunteer first aider with the Kingston chapter of St. John Ambulance for the last several years. He loved animals, had caringly raised ducks and chickens, and was especially fond of his family's current cat, Penguin.

Andrej is survived by parents Ian and Betty; siblings Benjamin and Margaret; aunts Anne and Barbara; uncle Richard; cousins Gregory, James, David, and Stephanie; and many other relatives and friends.

Newspaper coverage: Times of New Tecumseth and Tottenham (Simcoe-York Papers); Alliston Herald (Metroland Media).

Another obituary by Ian for the Annual Report at his then-current place of work (PDF): Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Annual Report 2013-2014, p. 18 (two-page side-by-side spread, excerpted from last page of the Centre's web site ).

Lasts longer than flowers

In lieu of flowers, donations in memoriam to one of these two organizations would be appreciated:

  • The Canadian Diabetes Association (Select "In memoriam" at the top), and/or
  • St. John Ambulance (Donations processed by CanadaHelps. Please choose "fund" Loyalist Branch - Kingston and Quinte and select "In Memoriam" at the bottom, not under "Special directions"; for consistency, please spell the name
      Andrej C. Darwin
    on the St. John form. Thank you.

G.T.A. Memorial

Memorial was held Thursday, June 26, 2014, 6 PM to 9 PM, at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, downstairs hall. 739 Brown's Line, Etobicoke. Near Sherway Gardens, QEW/Gardiner and Hwy 427 area, see map link; be careful turning left across Brown's Line. Parking at rear.

Caledon/Adjala/New Tec Area Memorial

Memorial was held Friday, June 27, 2014, 6 PM to 9 PM, at King's College School which Andrej, his siblings, and many of their friends attended; 16379 Gore Road, Caledon, ON. Here's the Map link. Parking on-site.

Kingston Memorial

Memorial was held Sunday, June 29, 2014, 4 PM to 5 PM prior to the regularly scheduled Minotaur games night. Here's the map link.

Memorial "Dominion" Tournament - Kingston, July 27th

Memorial Dominion tournament was to be held Sunday, July 27, 2014, prior to the regularly scheduled Minotaur games night, but has had to be rescheduled. Watch for updates! There's a Facebook Event Page and the map link.

"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."
-- Albus Dumbledore, quoted by Cassidy Stay.

"They say time heals everything,
but I'm still waiting."
-- Dixie Chicks, "Not Ready To Make Nice"

"But what if it doesn't go away;
What if this feeling always plagues?"
-- Dum Dum Girls, "Are You Okay?"

"I've seen for myself, there's no end to grief.
That's how I know...
And why I need to know...
There is no end to love."
-- U2, "California (There is no end to love)"

Another take on "no end to grief".

"You are there in my heart
and my heart will go on, and on."
-- Love Theme from the movie Titanic

"There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate - the genetic and neural fate - of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death."
-- Neuroscientist Oliver Sacks, 81, on learning of his terminal cancer

Paver in the walkway in front of the original Banting Homestead in Alliston, ON.

Margaret's Facebook post "With the greatest sadness and shock..."

Ian's Facebook post "A million tears will never be enough..."

"Remembering Andrej" Page (visible to friends only)

Memorial Scholarship at Kings' College School

Friends remember Andrej

"To lose Andrej was like losing a part of myself. I know that's cliche, but I mean it. After having shared so many hardships with him, it's hard not to feel that way. When a man as intelligent, and humbling, as Andrej changes your life so drastically as he did for me, it's hard to imagine what life will be like without him brightening each day.

"Andrej was a man that would walk across town in the middle of the night just to keep someone company at their loneliest, or forego sleep to watch over a friend if they were even the slightest bit ill. Andrej was a man that wouldn't do anything that didn't make him happy and would advise others to do the same. Andrej was the kind of person the world needed.

"If there is one thing I can smile about, it is that I as witness can say that Andrej spent the last couple of years of his life happy. He was constantly surrounded by his friends, and was rarely upset about anything at all. Laughing, joking and smiling were a part of everyday life for Andrej and I am glad to have shared that amazing experience.

"Andrej was my best friend. The world will never be the same without him, and I pray to all that is good that he finds paradise wherever he ends up because anyone who has ever had the privilege of meeting Andrej knows that he damn well deserves it.

"Rest in peace my dear, dear friend. You were like a brother to me. I love you man."
-- Billy Coughlar

"I must tell you and your family how devastated I am to hear this news. Andy was one of the kindest, gentlest, most intelligent kids I have ever worked with - and I have worked with many. I will never forget his sly smile and his quiet dry sense of humour. I always felt a close kinship with Andy. He was wise beyond his years and saw things that other people didn't see. There are no words to express how terrible this loss is... I am thinking of you all, and I am thinking about all the fun times we shared in "Book Club" and in the games nights at your house. We live on in the people we influence, and Andy will live on in me and many others..."
-- Michael Reist, teacher and homeschooling parent

"Andrej was a fantastic young man who touched the lives of all who met him. He will be missed. One of the greatest cadets I ever had the pleasure of watching develop into an adult. My thoughts are with you in this tough time."
-- Mark Wickson, Royal Canadian Sea Cadets "Crescent" Squadron

"Gone are the reactions to every little comment, his amusement at this author's turn of phrase, his laughter at ridiculousness, his sympathy for our woes. But even that absence is a gift. Without the pain and the sense of loss, without the recognition of how he impacted even the little things, how much poorer we would all be to never have experienced him at all."
-- Elisabeth

"I can honestly say that I have lost someone who was truly my friend, during a time when I didn't have many. Andy was always there for me. My thoughts and prayers go to your family, as well as to everyone whose life will be forever without such an incredible young man."
-- Dorian Wilson, past student at King's

"A brilliant, beautiful person, gone far too soon. Andy, you touched many lives, at King's and beyond; you will be deeply missed; and the world is worse off without you in it."
-- Ella Kerrigan, past student at King's

"He was a great friend all through my years at Kings and he will be greatly missed."
-- Jess Bradshaw, past student at King's

"Andy was an incredible friend throughout my time at King's (and beyond), and he will truly be missed."
-- Hayley Fuller, classmate at King's

"Andrej was special and the world is worse off with him gone... Andy will truly be missed by the many whose lives he touched."
-- Bob Mitchner, King's College School teacher

"I have known him for several years through online endeavors. We have been collaborating recently on the reopening of Shadows of Isildur. Andrej was known to all of us by his screen name Khamul. He was a much-loved member of our team, was always willing to go the extra mile and was always a joy to be around with his upbeat manner and quick wit. His passing has devastated our ranks ... He will be forever in our hearts and missed terribly. We are all better for having known him."
-- Thomas Paige, Screen Name: Nimrod

"From the short time that I got to know Andy at Haliburton he was a great and inspiring man. I hope his positive influence impacted many others besides myself."
-- Matham Latif, past student at King's

"My memories of your wonderful brother will remain with me forever... Andy will be truly missed by all who had the great fortune of knowing him."
-- Debbie Swan Courneya, mother of a student at King's

"I have been with the 82nd St John Ambulance Unit for many years and knew your son well. I was deeply saddened to hear he had passed away. Many of our members leave after only one or two years but Andrej was one of our few long term dedicated members. He was always a pleasant face in the crowd and always a friendly and kind person to talk to. We had many great conversations over the years and I will miss having him around."
-- Linda Sharatt, Staff Officer of St John Ambulance 82nd MFR Unit.

Friends on Shadows of Isildur remember him.