Conner grad's family stunned after accidental death
Andrew Schrage / PROVIDED
RABBIT HASH - In his 22 years, Andrew Schrage lived a fuller life than many people decades older, friends and family said.
"Andrew was a very passionate person," said his long-time pastor, Rev. Trish Standifur of Bullittsville Christian Church. "As a high school kid, he would ask me, 'Could you help this person or pray for so and so?' He was passionate about everything, whether it was cars or hunting. But most of all, he loved his family dearly."
Some people take a lifetime to find their soul mate, Standifur said. But Andrew, who was in his senior year at the Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville, met his one and only girlfriend - Jessica Leick of Burlington - while both were in marching band at Conner High School.
"A lot of people spend a lifetime searching for their soul mate, but Andrew found his at a very young age," Standifur said. "He lived a lot of life in a very short time."
Andrew Schrage, whose father, Bob, retired last year as assistant director of the Northern Kentucky Area Development District, died Wednesday evening in a freak accident at the Louisville home that the 2007 Conner High School graduate was renting with several other college students.
Andrew Schrage was working to ground the wires of his detached garage when his girlfriend witnessed him grab a wire and then become unresponsive, said Jo-Ann Farmer, chief deputy Jefferson County coroner. His death was ruled an electrocution.
"It's just so tough," Andrew's father said Thursday, as friends and family gathered at the Rabbit Hash home where Andrew grew up. "He was such a great kid with a great future ahead of him."
From an early age, Andrew enjoyed tinkering with mechanical things.
As a youngster, he watched as his grandfather changed the oil or the windshield wiper fluid on his car. By age 14, Andrew was changing the brakes on the family car, his father said. While in high school, he put down hardwood floors in his room.
"One time, we told him, it would be really neat to have a deck up in the woods," his father said. "That afternoon, he built this beautiful two-tiered deck."
Andrew Schrage enjoyed hunting, fishing, and hiking, especially at Red River Gorge.
Last month, he took part in an international competition at the Michigan Motor Speedway for engineering students who build and race cars.
Recently, Andrew's father had purchased a classic 1951 Buick Super Dynaflow that the father and son were restoring.
"He loved anything mechanical," Bob Schrage said. "Andrew could fix anything inside or outside the house."
Andrew, who was active in his church's youth group, also was quick to volunteer if something was broken at his church.
The engineering student had one more semester of school to go before he planned to start on his master's degree. When he wasn't in school, Andrew was doing a coop at Rapid Prototype Center in Louisville.
"As his pastor, I was lucky enough to watch Andrew grow up," Standifur said. "If you had an employee, he's the worker you'd want. If you had a kid, he's the son you'd want. He was an amazing youth."
Besides his father, Andrew is survived by his mother, Ann; his brother, Ethan, a Northern Kentucky University student who's living at home; his grandparents, Andrew and Dorothy Coyle of Florence; and many aunts and uncles.
Visitation will be 3-7 p.m. Sunday, July 10, at Stith Funeral Home in Hebron. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday at Bullittsville Christian Church, 3094 Petersburg Road, in Burlington.
A memorial scholarship fund is being set up in Andrew Schrage's name through PNC Bank. The Courier-Journal contributed.
It's sad to hear about Schrage. I will always remember riding in his truck listening to Meatloaf. It's sad to hear about his unusual passing, but it does not surprise me that he passed young because it seems that God does that sometimes. What I mean to say is those choice spirits; the people who truly care and are truly talented sometimes die young. We sometimes question why, when we don't need to as members of this church. We do know where Schrage is. I could spend an entire day writing the things that make Schrage great but it truly only takes a few words. When you truly care like Schrage did, you effect the whole world. You will be deeply missed!