Mark E. Andrews, IV, 76, of Jacksonville, Fla. died April 13, 2014 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Jacksonville, Fla., as a result of complications following cranial surgery on April 8, 2014.
Mr. Andrews was born at Shreveport, La. on July 6, 1937 and was the first child of Theril Rodric Andrews and Jessie Mae Gilcrease Andrews, formerly of Warren and North Little Rock.
At a proud but trying time in American history, Mr. Andrews was intrigued as a young student when learning about military “code talkers”, the American term for the use of Navajo language as a secret code to prevail in Allied Operations overseas. He also showed keen interest in his studies of the English language and music.
Not only was Mr. Andrews a seeker of knowledge, he also had exceptional intellect, abilities and talent. As a child, he mastered the mandolin, and his talent and exceptional singing voice earned him performances on radio, and at the Louisiana Hayride and Barnyard Frolics at the Robinson Auditorium in Little Rock.
He excelled in his studies at North Little Rock High School and enjoyed being editor of the school newspaper. His academic achievements allowed him to graduate high school at the age of 16, followed by college at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, where he was also editor of the college newspaper. He was ordained as a Baptist minister.
Following the death of his father in 1954, the military offered Mr. Andrews an opportunity to serve his country and continue his education, so he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He was sent to Yale University to study Foreign Eastern Languages and receive training by the National Security Agency. Becoming fluent in Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese, he achieved his boyhood dream to work in secret code breaking, which was during the very early days of the Vietnam War. Mark worked with a select group of servicemen who intercepted Asian aircraft transmission, broke their codes, and translated quickly into English their radio transmissions for the American High Command. Today, these secret groups are part of declassified military history.
Mr. Andrews returned to civilian life following his honorable and exceptional military service to pursue his other passion, writing. He moved to New York City where became an editor at the New York Daily News and authored a weekly syndicated column in the newspaper. He later served as the editor of the trade publication, High Fidelity Trade News.
He also a published author of four fictional novels and taught Chinese at Berlitz Language School.
In the early days of the computer age, Mr. Andrews taught himself in computer science. Becoming proficient in writing computer code, he developed computer games as a hobby in his spare time. Subsequently, he moved to Silicon Valley in California and worked as a technical writer under contract with both Apple and Microsoft for their sentinel products.
He also became a published author in the computer industry. Computer programmers globally continue to reference his two latest books on Microsoft Visual Programming.
Mr. Andrews retired to Reno, Nev. and subsequently relocated to Florida where he was a resident at Life Care Center in Jacksonville.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jessie Mae and Theril Rodric Andrews, and daughter, Teresa Kay Andrews.
He is survived by his daughter, Cynthia Lee Wyly; granddaughters, Teresa Michelle Swafford and Madeline Rose Wyly, both of North Little Rock; brothers, Dale Ray Andrews of Jacksonville, Fla., and Theril Rodric Andrews, II of Heber Springs.
His family wishes to extend special thanks to his close friend, Jose (Joe) DeMoranville, and the staff at Life Care for their care, attention and support.
Graveside services with flag presentation ceremony will be held April 30 at 2 p.m. at Oakland Cemetery in Warren, Ark.