Written by Dave Dana
On July 2, Woody McAndrew will be 100 years old. A small-town veteran, Woody spent his working life in Ypsilanti, Michigan, outside Ann Arbor—named in honor of Demetrios Ypsilantis, a hero of Greek independence. No doubt a typical small-town child with two sisters, Woody graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
However, while a senior at Michigan, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Not wanting to be randomly drafted, Woody right away enlisted in the Navy. The Navy let him finish college, and he graduated in 1942. He served four years as first lieutenant aboard several destroyer escorts, doing service for supply convoys duty in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Shipboard duties included becoming a sonar officer searching for submarines alert for attacks. As a gunnery officer, he coordinated gunnery for any air battles and downed one German plane.
When the war ended, Woody returned home to Ypsilanti. Woody married Marilynn, daughter of Preston Tucker, the builder of the Tucker automobile—the illtreated car of which few were built. In 45 years of marriage, they had two boys and a girl. Now there are five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
After the war, Woody’s father soon retired and Woody took over the family furniture business in Ypsilanti. The company sold mostly what he described as “medium-priced” living, bed, and dining room furniture, and also floor coverings like carpeting and linoleum.
Later during his working years, he bought a small Savings and Loan, and successfully grew it with four branches, until another bank bought them, It eventually became part of Bank of
America. When he is asked what he did, Woody says, “I was a banker.”