Before the world changed a few months ago and our lives were upended seemingly overnight, Pike County said goodbye to a very special lady… Andrea “Andy” Amelung.
A long-time resident of Bowling Green, Andy and her family relocated to Alabama back in March, and took with them the hearts of many. Like many other residents in our area with developmental disabilities, Andy was very well known to the larger Bowling Green community. Andy had extended family at the Pike County Agency for Developmental Disabilities, Champ Clark Service Coordination, as well as her former employer, MeMe’s Pantry.
While she was here, Andy pretty much did it all, from working in a regular job in the community to being Grand Marshal at the Champ Clark Heritage Days festival a few years ago. Andy’s success in life makes a good case for changing the term “Down Syndrome” to “Up Syndrome”; there’s nothing “down” about Andy!
Although she no longer resides in Pike County, Andy’s story of success provides the kind of inspiration we could all use during these crazy times of social-distancing/hand-washing/self-quarantining/face mask-wearing/temp-taking/remote-working/line-standing/TP-hoarding/surface-disinfecting/????-!!!!
Below are some pictures that tell Andy’s “Bowling Green Story”, as well as some comments from staff that she worked with while here. Andy, if you are out there and see this blog post, we miss you! Take care, and come visit sometime.
“I enjoyed Andy so much! She always greeted me when she saw me and often gave me a hug. It didn’t matter if I saw her at the Day Program or at MeMe’s where she worked. She has a big heart and I don’t think she’s ever met a stranger. She is a huge Cardinal’s fan and she loves to travel with her family. They are good advocates for Andy and have made sure she is a well-rounded individual with a good support network. I feel Andy and I are friends for life and we will keep in touch on social media. Andy is successful because she knows how to make friends, she’s a Christian, she has a good support system, and she’s a good employee for MeMe’s.”-
- Carletta Sutton, Champ Clark Service Coordination
“I have had the distinct pleasure of being Andy’s friend since 2009 when I became the director of the PCADD Day Program Andy attended two days a week.
I quickly understood why everyone was so incredibly fond of her. That infectious smile and laugh could draw people in, FAST! We quickly bonded over our mutual love of Cardinals baseball, 90’s boy bands and beach vacations! No matter what type of day I was having, or Andy was having, she would always greet me with a big hug, huge smile and some mutual teasing.
After I left the day program, I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to continue to have contact with Andy as her Service Coordinator. We easily transitioned into our new “work relationship”, but the friendship never changed. As many know, Andy is a local celebrity here in Bowling Green and I always considered myself special to be the recipient of one of her hugs out in the community (even if it meant she had to step away from others who also wanted her attention).
It is not an understatement to say that a piece of my heart now resides in Alabama! But, I do plan to take Andy and her family up on their offer to visit and spend some time with her enjoying the beach and a meal at Whataburger!”- Amanda Pruitt, Champ Clark Service Coordination
“Andy has a caring and loving heart and always asks about others; every day when she would see me, she would ask me “How is Jacquiline doing?” My daughter and Andy went to high school together, and played ball together growing up. Andy has a great personality and is always welcoming to customers at MeMe’s Pantry. Andy will be missed by her friends and her community.”- Jody Turner, Pike County Agency for Developmental Disabilities