Jack T. Andrew (1910-1977)
Jack (“JT”) Andrew was born in Hutchinson, Kansas. Jack’s family then moved to Belfry, Montana, where Jack graduated from high school. Soon thereafter Jack went to Denver, Colorado to attend college, where he met his wife, Winifred Elisabeth Alf (1901-1996). The couple shared a mutual interest in art and painting.
During the Great Depression, Jack Andrew supported his family by working as a laborer, in the oil and railway industries in Montana. Their second child, a daughter, Billie Jo Andrew, was born in 1934. As amateur artists, Andrew and his wife took part in the fine arts exhibit at the Toole County Fair in Shelby, Montana, acting as joint chairmen for the event. They also displayed their own art. While in Montana the Andrews began teaching art, holding classes in their home.
In 1942 Andrew took a job as a brakeman on the Great Northern Railway at Whitefish, Montana, and was appointed union representative to the Whitefish Division's Safety Committee of the Great Northern Railway in 1950. For a safety contest among all Great Northern Railway divisions, Jack designed a series of posters in cartoon format depicting safe and unsafe work practices. These illustrations were distributed railroad-wide and were also published in union and management safety journals. Andrew entered railroad management as a Safety Supervisor for the western half of the railroad, causing the family to move once again to Spokane, Washington. By 1955 Andrew received a promotion to become Director of Safety for the entire Great Northern Railway reporting to a vice president in St. Paul, Minnesota, and served in that position from1956 to1967.
During the 1960s the Andrews became active in St. Paul, Minnesota art circles and were prolific painters, jointly averaging around 100 oil paintings per year.
In 1968 Andrew had a heart attack that forced his retirement. The Andrews moved to the Renton, Washington area, where they became active in local art groups and attending art shows. Andrew taught several art classes per week. During their lives together, Jack Andrew and his wife painted nearly 1,000 works, giving many of their paintings to friends and co-workers over the years.
Jack Andrew died of a heart attack in September of 1977. The Renton Public Library held a memorial art exhibit in his honor later that year.