It is with great sadness that Jenny, David, Will and Michael McCumber announce our youngest son and brother passed away on Sunday, May 14th. Andrew was spending that beautiful afternoon mountain biking with his dad at Pajarito. They had been riding for about an hour when Andrew simply passed out without warning or explanation. David performed CPR for 60 minutes until medical help could arrive on an ATV and take him down to Los Alamos Medical Center. Andrew was not able to be revived and likely was gone from the time he initially passed out, but he did not suffer and was not aware of what was happening at all. We don’t know what would cause such a young and athletic 19-year-old to suddenly pass away but will try to find out as much information as we can from an autopsy, especially if it was a genetic condition that could possibly impact his brothers.
Andrew Edward McCumber was born on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He spent the first two months of his life in Santa Fe but then moved with his family to Los Alamos where he grew up. He had a wonderful growing up experience in this small mountain community, in our neighborhood and church, at Little Forest Preschool, at Mountain Elementary and then further with middle school and high school. He graduated from Los Alamos High School in 2021 and went on to Arizona State University where he had just finished his sophomore year. He was on about his seventh major so we don’t know what he would have ended up finally settling on, but he had expressed a strong desire to do something physical, working with his hands, and something that involved being outside. He was bright and school came easily for him, graduating with honors from high school and making the dean’s list in college. One of the great things about Andrew was he could not have cared less about doing things simply to look good on a college application or resume and he only did the things he wanted to do. We could see Andrew was naturally a leader and people gravitated toward him so we were looking forward to seeing what he would do and what his bright future held.
Andrew was such a happy kid, good-natured and fun, always wanting to join in with others and easily making friends. He was a kind and loyal friend. Many of his close friends are from the beginning at Little Forest and Mountain and from his youngest days in our neighborhood. He was fiercely independent and wanted to do things himself, learning to ride a bike even before his older brothers had mastered the skill and picking out and purchasing a car himself when he could drive. He was brave, always willing to ride the scariest rides at amusement parks and join in whatever adventure presented itself. He surprised us by growing so much taller than the rest of his short family and ended up at 6’1”. He loved to hike, mountain bike, and had joined a climbing gym in Tempe and recently added climbing to his hobbies. To his mother’s delight Andrew had lately developed an interest in reading, even after all the “fake” reading he did to get through middle and high school. We had great conversations around the dinner table. As we watched him become a young adult, we so appreciated his thoughtful and articulate insight. Andrew enjoyed all the time we spent with our extended family and his cousins, and all the family trips and holidays through the years were a special part of his life.
Andrew came home from college on May 7th, his brother’s birthday, and we had a great last week together with several dinners, getting together with friends every day that week. He was excited about spending the summer in Los Alamos away from the heat in Tempe and being at home, looking forward to everything he would get to do outside and getting home cooked meals for a while. As many friends as Andrew had and even though he was so independent, his primary identity to us was as part of the trio that made up three boys, our sons. Even though he is no longer with us physically, that trio will live on with us forever in our hearts. We were so blessed to have him for almost 20 years and will be forever grateful to God for the wonderful gift his life was to us.
Andrew is survived by his parents, David and Jenny McCumber, his oldest brother Will McCumber (and Sarah Shipley), his middle brother Michael McCumber, Grandmother (Nancy Starr from Longview, TX), Uncle Mike and Aunt Sarah (Tyler, TX), Uncle Jeff and Aunt Ellen (Walnut Creek, CA), and his first cousins: Elizabeth and Matt Solomon and Baby Noah, Emily and Parker Roberson, Matthew Starr, Emma Starr, Anna Mary Starr, and Rebecca Starr. He is also survived by our family friends and many, many close friends who have shared his life, joined us around the dinner table, grown up together with him and those he met during college.
We are so grateful to all of Andrew’s teachers throughout his time at Los Alamos Public Schools, to all the many people in our church family at White Rock Baptist Church who made such an impact on his life, to the Children’s Clinic who provided (a lot of) healthcare throughout his lifetime, to our community of friends and family who have supported us during the unimaginable tragedy of losing him, and to the medical, LAFD and LAPD personnel who helped David on the 911 call, got Andrew down the mountain to the hospital, tried their best to revive and save him and faced the difficult task of telling parents they have lost their son.
A memorial service will be held at Fuller Lodge on Sunday, May 21, 2023 from 1-3 pm, rain or sunshine. Please join in honor of Andrew or in support of his family.
Many people have asked what they can do to help. We do have a request of our family, friends, community and anyone who knew and loved Andrew. It would mean so much to us to have any photos and videos you may have from any time in his life to add to our own so that we will have them to remember his life, to see his image and hear his voice. If any of you would be willing to write about any memories or stories you have of Andrew, no matter how seemingly insignificant, it would mean so much to us to have those to cherish. Thank you for your love and support. Please leave comments, stories and upload pictures on Rivera’s website. If you need assistance, please call Rivera’s 505-753-2288 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org