With a mile wide smile that lit up the room and melted every heart, Andy communicated his love of life and of us without words. Those privileged to receive hugs and hand and hair kisses from Andy are forever changed for the better. Andy grabbed us by the hand and led us to see the world as he saw and enjoyed it.

Andrew Paul Freedman, beloved son of Frank and Diedra Freedman, was born August 22, 2001 in Plano, Texas and the next year moved to the West Valley of Phoenix, Arizona settling in Avondale in 2004 in time to begin developmental preschool. Andy began intense early intervention supports and services from the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities at age 19 months, and then attended Chrysalis Academy and was a student at ACCEL High School. Andy was an inspiration to all who knew him as he worked hard his entire life to explore the world, communicate with us and live his life to the fullest. With all of his challenges, Andy always found a way to explore the world while communicating his needs and wants teaching and inspiring those privileged to work with him as much and sometimes more than they taught Amazing Andy. His first iPad in 2010 further opened the world to Andy as he taught himself to explore the internet, especially YouTube, using his unique abilities and skills. And yes, he very quickly figured out how to kill all ads and pop-ups that annoyed him, except the ones he found interesting.

While Andy's lifetime challenges remained beyond the knowledge and skills of medical and education professionals, he proved himself to be God’s own miracle child in so many ways. Andy never allowed anyone or anything to limit his potential and spent his life enjoying each day. Andy grew into a man of simple pleasures and genuineness. He had a wide range of expressions that were his alone; you knew when he was playing you as he enjoyed being a ball buster. When he was able, Andy loved climbing and for several years climbed the Ability360 rock wall six or eight times a session and once even did so freestyle. He also was an avid people watcher, really enjoyed meeting new people, greeting them in his own unique way. He (and we) met some pretty interesting people that way. Like most Arizonans, when he was able Andy spent summers in his backyard swimming pool and later the hot tub. Andy especially loved long car rides including cross-country trips across his native state of Texas to visit his Burghard grandparents in Alabama.

Andy is survived by his parents, Frank and Diedra Freedman, and his grandmother Marie Burghard along with Aunts and Uncles Armand Burghard, Vince Scarafino, Ed and Claudia Burghard, Jim Burghard and his fiancee Caryn Soto, Ruth and Ed Cina, Jan and Scott McCulloch, Steve Freedman, Louie Freedman, Chris Freedman, Mary and Gunnar Schweitzer and many cousins including Michael Wyzykowski, godmother Sue and Bob Brooks, and Laurie and David Hilfiker. Andy also is survived by his adopted Arizona Aunts and Uncles and their families: Vickie Lancaster and the Richards family; Elaine Berkley and the Dawson family; Ann, Mark and Jack Monahan; Barb Brent and Brian Lensink; Gabby, Jose, Joshua, Jordan and Jacob Orozco; Victoria Carrillo; and Zaida Silva. Andy was predeceased by his grandparents Paul Burghard, with whom he had a special bond; Hal and Dorothy Freedman; and Andy’s aunt Debbie Wyzykowski.

Internment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Avondale on Saturday, March 13th at noon (corner of Thomas RD and 99th Ave). A private (due to covid restrictions) Memorial Mass will be said at the St. Joseph's Hospital Chapel at 1200 on Wednesday 17th of March followed by a gathering of friends and family in the healing garden at 1230. A Celebration of Andy's life with us will be held at The Experience Church  at 5014 W Marlette Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301 on Saturday, May 8th at noon.

The Andy Freedman and Debbie Wyzykowski Student Fund is being established at ACCEL to honor Andy and his Aunt Debbie who was a Special Education Teacher. The fund will be used by ACCEL to endow the existing SOS Committee that provides for ACCEL students in need of emergency assistance including grocery store gift cards during school breaks for those who rely on the ACCEL Nutrition Program as their primary food source. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to ACCEL's Andy Freedman and Debbie Wyzykowski Student Fund or your favorite charity.
Posted by Chris Freedman on March 30, 2021
Andy faced many challenges in his short time. Because of you and Frank, he overcame those challenges. HUGS to you both.
Posted by The Wellness Center Staff on March 26, 2021
“What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”
Helen Keller

It was impossible to meet Andy without smiling. He brought joy with him every day, and always had some to share with each of us.

Andy embodied resilience. He navigated the many challenges life sent his way with dignity, determination, and even humor.

We are honored to have shared in Andy’s journey.

May his legacy of persevering joy live on through each of us.
Posted by Jacki S on March 24, 2021
Dee and Frank I'm so sad to hear about Andy he was such a sweet kid I remember when you first came thru my drive thru at Wendy's with him he was 6 or 7 at the time I've enjoyed watching him grow up they the years I will miss seeing his face now he has all the chicken nuggets fry's and diet root beer he needs  always your friend Jacki from wendy's on Litchfield
Posted by Darin Andsager on March 18, 2021
Frank and De, Sorry for your loss. I couldn't imagine loosing one of my children, my heart breaks for you.
Frank, I know you are strong person and you will get through your loss. Everyone here at the Chandler shop is thinking of you in your time of pain.
Posted by Jill Blackburn on March 17, 2021
Deepest sympathies for your loss; what an amazing tribute to Andy, clearly he made quite an impact on those whose lives he touched.
May wonderful memories give you peace and comfort
Posted by Kei Gagne-Felice on March 17, 2021
Freedman Family-
I was so saddened to hear this news. My heart goes out to you at this time of grief.
Posted by Bob Frey on March 15, 2021
There never were 2 parents who better loved and nourished Andy's dear little heart and soul....what a brave guy to have endured the pain and discomfort from his disability. It was so beautiful to see photos of Andy doing things that he loved and made him laugh ( I remember when we met in the ACCEL conference room ... how he went around and touched the top of everyone's hair....and laughed + laughed...) 
One amazing kiddo ! Wishing Frank + De comfort and joy in creating such a rare and beautiful boy...and ... letting him return to Our Father in Heaven.
Posted by Jerry D'Andrea on March 13, 2021
I'm so sorry for your loss. Although I didn't have the privilege of meeting Andy, I know he was loved by so many people. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the family and friends during this difficult time.
Posted by Daniel Kessler on March 12, 2021
I have had the great privilege of knowing De, Frank and Andy for about 16 of Andy’s 18 years. It’s a privilege I have also shared with my wife, Jill Kessler. While I served for a time as one of Andy’s medical providers, his life and the tenacity and love of his parents has surely taught me more than I was able to help this truly remarkable family though they may think otherwise. Andy may, I hope be in a better place, depending on your beliefs, but I know he is no longer in pain though those who knew and loved him may still suffer sometimes from the loss! Missed and loved: this remarkable young man. Sending love to his family and all who loved him.
Posted by Lyndsey Waugh on March 11, 2021
De and Frank, I just learned of Andy's passing and am so incredibly saddened by this news. I will always remember Andy's bright smiling eyes and his joy when we had our annual "golf cart" ride at the AZ autism walk. I am sending you my love and will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by HEIDI MALACZYNSKI on March 11, 2021
  We first met Andrew (Andy) about 2 1/2 years ago when we travelled to AZ from NY to house hunt and pay a visit to the Freedman's. Andy's mother was my law school study partner and close friend. From the very first instant,  my husband Peter Goebel and I, became fast and trusted friends of Andy. We were meeting him for the very first time, but you would never know it.
  Andy gave us the opportunity to visit a more innocent time of life's simple pleasures by having us join him in a festival of blowing soap bubbles. As new visitors in his home, he was quick to engage us in sharing his fun. Andy was never afraid to let you know when he wanted more soda or what to do to make amount of chips in his bag just right. His communications were simple, but surely clear and direct.
  We watched Andy with a degree of awe negotiate his IPad with greater adeptness and skill than we have yet to achieve for ourselves. We watched Andy socialize with family and friends at the Freedman's backyard bash. He was his own social butterfly and never missed a beat of who was arriving or what party activity was taking place that he might like to join. An obvious favorite was bocce ball.
   Wishing of course that God could have given us more time with Andy, we are no less blessed by having known him at all. Andy was so handsome - those gorgeous eyes were so bright and expressive; so charming - nothing says welcome to my home and to my world than a sweet fleeting kiss on the top of your hand; and that coy smile - so mischievous and playful.
  Dearest brave loving Andy we will all miss you, but that is our mortal defense against sorrow and to help us deal with the loss of a beloved son, grandson, nephew, cousin, student, and friend. We know you are safely in God's loving eternal care. Dearest Andy we love you and you shall forever be in our hearts.
Posted by Laura Montgomery on March 11, 2021
Andy was a such a special young man who impacted so many individuals who had the opportunity to know him. Andy will forever be a part of ACCEL. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Posted by Sharman Ober-Reynolds on March 10, 2021
De and Frank,

With deepest sympathy as you remember Andy. Your family has made the world a better place for those with ASD.

Posted by Adeline Mocca on March 10, 2021
De and Frank,
My heart is breaking for you both, may the Lord take care of Andy and you as well. Praying hard,
Addie M
Posted by frank freedman on March 9, 2021
Added a song to the playlist today (Be not Afraid). Always thought it would be picked out for me, but it fits for all of us on Andy's adventure. Of course in keeping with the theme of Andy's Adventure, nothing is as we really expected. This is not the version I would have picked. Everyone with few exceptions diminishes this song by singing it this way. I picture and have heard sung it as an anthem, a proud and glorious song to lead the way. (if anyone knows of one of these versions let me know and I will immediately deep six the currrent version)

Putting this song up was the hardest part of this whole page... (too)Many times we have heard the "how do you do it?" question. Answer: "Andy was our son." This song explains the source of our strength and faith to know we would get him through it all. Family and friends provided the rest.
Posted by Jonathan Evans on March 9, 2021
Dear De and Frank,
Sending my deepest sympathies, love and prayers to you both. 
Posted by Larry Allen on March 9, 2021
I'm so sorry for your loss. Prayers to everyone during this difficult time.
Posted by Rene Portillo on March 9, 2021
Lillian and I are deeply saddened by your loss. We cannot fathom the difficult times you are going through. We hope you find comfort and peace with each other and the fond memories you shared with Andy.
Posted by Jacob Greene on March 9, 2021
Sorry for the unfortunate news of Andy’s passing. I send my sincere condolences to the Freeman family. Prayers and wishes of better days ahead.
Posted by Denise Resnik on March 9, 2021
Our prayers are with you... May you find comfort in all the blessings of Andy -- his brilliant smile, joy-filled days and pure spirit, impacting our community and world forever. Thank you for all the ways -- he and you -- have touched our lives and will always be part of hearts. XO
Posted by Raun Melmed on March 8, 2021
Sending you so much power and love at this sad time. May you be comforted by beautiful memories.
Posted by Jan Mcculloch on March 8, 2021
The candle light will remind us of you Sweet Andy.
The McCulloch family are pryaing for you all at this painful time.
Posted by Margaret McBride on March 8, 2021
Dear De and Frank,
Sending you prayers from the St. Joseph's Hospital family on the loss of her son, Andy. You both did so much to contribute to Andy's full life, but I can't imagine the loss you are feeling. Please know of our thoughts and prayers as Andy enjoys his new life, freed of all restraints. Blessings to you and other parents who care for very special children.
Posted by Kin Counts on March 6, 2021
Rest In Peace, Andy.
Posted by Sharon Flanagan-Hyde on March 6, 2021
Amazing Andy sparkled. We were not able to spend as much time with him as we would have liked, but our memories are in technicolor. Andy’s energy and spirit glowed. His love for his parents, family, and friends, and their love for him, did not need words. His legacy will continue on through the countless lives he touched, the striving for goodness that he inspired, and The Andy Freedman and Debbie Wyzykowski Student Fund, which will enrich the lives of ACCEL students. Rock on, Andy. With love, Sharon and Peter
Posted by Ed Burghard on March 6, 2021
There is no pain greater than losing a child. Our parents lost my sister young and now my other sister (and husband) have lost their only son. God could not have given Andy two more loving parents then he had. I watched them center their life around Andy and create a nurturing environment for him to achieve his best. While my wife and I marveled at their attitude and resilience, we knew Andy brought joy and love into their lives. I think memorials are as much for the living as the loved one who passed. Andy’s parents are an amazing example of selflessness and Christian values. They are two people I hold in the highest esteem. May God bless them and watch over Andy until the family can be reunited.

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Chris Freedman on March 30, 2021
Andy faced many challenges in his short time. Because of you and Frank, he overcame those challenges. HUGS to you both.
Posted by The Wellness Center Staff on March 26, 2021
“What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”
Helen Keller

It was impossible to meet Andy without smiling. He brought joy with him every day, and always had some to share with each of us.

Andy embodied resilience. He navigated the many challenges life sent his way with dignity, determination, and even humor.

We are honored to have shared in Andy’s journey.

May his legacy of persevering joy live on through each of us.
Posted by Jacki S on March 24, 2021
Dee and Frank I'm so sad to hear about Andy he was such a sweet kid I remember when you first came thru my drive thru at Wendy's with him he was 6 or 7 at the time I've enjoyed watching him grow up they the years I will miss seeing his face now he has all the chicken nuggets fry's and diet root beer he needs  always your friend Jacki from wendy's on Litchfield
his Life

Final words at Andy's interment 13 March 2021

Today I stand with you, a day I never expected to see, humbled and privileged to be sharing with you, the last chapter of the journey of a true hero who so deeply touched all our lives. But real heroes surround us, live among us, most of whom only they and a handful of others will ever know.

No one who ever met Andy or heard his story will ever likely forget him. From the moment he came hollering into the world until his quiet departure from it, his smile, brilliant blue eyes and loving personality lit the way before him. While his life was one of much pain, there was far more joy, surprise, mischief and ordinary events as any of us would expect.

And there was pain, a more frequent and faithful companion as he grew older and his health continued to be affected. Yet he did not give up on life. He loved us, not just De and I, but all of us standing here. He would reach out to touch, give a kiss to the hand (our own Rico Suave) or hair, and rarely the special giving of a hug. He knew us and strangers (whose kindness showed in how they reacted) as well by smell. When he would hold or kiss a hand, he would smell it. We always say that if you met one person on the spectrum, you’ve met one person on the spectrum. When you met Andy, you met an affectionate, extrovert. And you would not forget him easily.

As to the mischief, what would a boy be without it? Boring I would imagine, with many years of lost lifetimes still intact. Andy was pretty amazing on his ever-present iPad, I never found or observed anything more objectionable than perhaps the less than anatomically correct Crazy Frog video on Utube. But he was a climber. From before he could walk. My earliest memory of this was him standing in front of the TV with a Baby Einstein video playing and he had stacked a few VCR tapes to stand on to get a better view. Well he progressed from there, to counter tops, to the curio niche above the kitchen cabinets and then on to being able to look out the upper window above the shower. (To this day I still don’t know how he got there, even after catching him and helping him down. More than once. He was fast) A few months ago I found his favorite top in the corner of the top shelf in our master bedroom, a relic of his climbing days. When he got caught he would simply turn that stunning smile and blue eyes on you while you explained the error of his ways….. and be found doing it again. But wait there’s more….

De likes remind me of his very early time when he and I would sit watching the Simpsons in our underwear and little else. He seemed to like it cooler outside, he would get a swim suit on and stand in the rain just to feel the drops on his hand and sometimes face. He did toys his way. His last favorite was a pneumatic nerf ball shooter we got for him. Fun for him and unbeknownst to him great OT/PT device. For him and his grandfather when we visited in Alabama. Always that smile, at Buckies on the roadtrips, at the doctors, at PCH after his foot rebuild, it was never far away. Thanks to Chrysalis, ACCEL, and all the wonderful people helping Andy along the way, life in many ways was very typical and ordinary as well. School, meals, hanging out at home, some road trips and vacations to mention a few.

And now the eyes have faded and the smile seems gone, but not really. His smile remains unforgettable and because he has his mothers eyes, I will always be able to see and remember his eyes in hers. His journey continues and someday we will meet again as our own journey progresses as it should. Thank you Andy for sharing your life with us. Until we meet again.

Eulogy by José Orozco

Eulogy for Andrew Paul “Andy” Freedman 3/13/2021

Welcome Friends - Distinguished Guests - Family - and “De & Frank” –

It is an Honor and a Privilege that you might have asked me to say a few words in Andy’s Memory -

True - at times when asked to speak at occasions like these - it is difficult to find the exact words to say - but I have learned that at these times --- it is best to just speak from the heart and let the words just speak for themselves.

And true - there are no words to describe your loss –

But today I bring to you words of Love and Happiness that Andy brought to your life - and to all those around him – and to all of you present today that knew him like we did!

Today we want to remember Andy’s smile - and his Love of Life that he so easily passed on to everyone he came in contact with –

Today we definitely want to remember Andy’s hugs - Andy’s kisses - and how he captured everyone’s hearts with his presence and his big smile!

Know this - my family - Gabby and my three boys were privileged to have received those Hugs and Kisses from Andy because that told us that “He was cool with us!”

And once Andy grabbed you by the hand - it’s quite true - you would leave your world to go to “Andy’s World” - and you know what? “Andy’s World” was really cool!

Now when Gabby and I got “That Call” just over a week ago on a Thursday morning - we hurried over to be with our dear friends De and Frank and be at their service.

And know this: Sometimes it’s not about sounding eloquent during these difficult times but just hugging them and telling them that you are there for them –

And sometimes it’s not even about telling them anything - but just about hugging them and keeping them company!

Today I look around and I see that Andy – De - and Frank have a lot of great friends - because your presence alone speaks volumes of the Love in your heart for them!

That morning we got the call - all we wanted to do was just love on them –

Let me just start by telling you I have rarely seen a couple so strong as De and Frank -

When we got to their house - they were already conversing with a lady from Hospice and a Police Officer that assisted Frank in giving Andy CPR - unfortunately to no avail.

Andrew Paul Freeman “Andy” we will always hold you in our hearts ---

Andy - you were an inspiration to me and my family - as you faced many challenges - but for the most part you were always up for that challenge –

I remember the last birthday we celebrated with Andy - he couldn’t quite walk - but he met us at his front porch on his wheelchair showing off that awesome “Andy Smile” that said “I am pleased” --- as we all sang the “Happy Birthday” song – each member in different key of “Happy”

– Gosh - I remember Adam stepping away from payroll for a short time to pay tribute to his friend Andy – and remember that he even picked up his son and baby daughter to assist in the chorus and keep us honest.

And Andy didn’t have to say anything to anyone on this – His Special Day – “His amazing smile said it all!” Andy approved of the singing – even though some of us were singing in notes he probably had never heard before. And Andy looked around and even approved of the Happy Birthday signs as well … Remember Cynthia you were there!

And let me tell you - we were pleased – “That Andy was pleased!”

I wish all of you could’ve been there that day!

That day everyone who did not know before – Now knew - that Love lived in that house!

And for that matter so did Mr. Sun Chip and Famous Amos!

Knowing Andy – it made me think – “For the most part - parents are the glue that keeps the family together --- and grounded ---

But the reality it ends up having a non-typical child or adult dependent on us - what in truth keeps us on our toes - what keeps is vigilant for their safety - and what keeps us grounded in reality - and what keeps us Humble. I know – because we too have a Son on the Spectrum back at home!

This example speaks directly to the Freedmans – De and Frank – Grounded – Vigilant - & Humble

Now allow me to share a very special Verse from the Book of 1 Corinthians that reads like this: “And now these remain – FAITH – HOPE – LOVE. But know that the Greatest of these is LOVE

Andy was born on August 22, 2001 and was carried on Angel’s wings on March 4, 2021 –

And date searching I found something Amazing: Andy was born on a Wednesday – and he was taken to Heaven on a Thursday.

To Andy I say: – One Day we’ll meet again my Friend –

To you all I say: Losing Andy has affected us all – but know this about “Pain” - Love will see us through -

So today on: Life more Intentionally and Love one Another Fiercely Every Day – as De and Frank loved Andy

And as Mother Teresa would say if she were here:

Should people be unreasonable towards you


Should you be kind and people accuse you of Ulterior Motives”


Should you do Good today and the people forget tomorrow”


Should you give the World your Best today - and the World think its not Enough”


De and Frank – Don’t ever change – and thank you for allowing us to Celebrate Andy with you here today –

And continue doing what you do – All of us gathered here today Appreciate and Love you Both – and Andy!

As to our next Destination – I DON’T KNOW – But let’s get there together!

God Bless

Uploaded for Jose Orozco by Frank.
Recent stories
Shared by Ruth Cina on March 14, 2021
Andy will always be with you in your heart and soul. The memories you made with him will be even more precious as you navigate through this hard time.  Please know that we are always thinking about you guys and we will always be here for you.  We are sending our love and prayers for peace and comfort.  Love you guys.  

Fly with the Angels Andy!

Shared by Blaise Konkel on March 11, 2021
Thank you for sharing your son's memory. I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful pictures of Andy! His smile will be remembered as I walk the hallways of ACCEL and see a wheelchair in the hallway...I will remember...peeking inside his classroom and catch a glimpse of his smile!