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Graham D. Andrews, 88, Merrill Lynch executive and Radnor Township commissioner

As president of the Radnor Township board of commissioners from 1986 to 1999, he took on some thorny issues. One was the Radnor Trail.

Graham D. Andrews
Graham D. AndrewsRead moreCourtesy Andrews Family

Graham Davenport Andrews, 88, of Newtown Square, an executive with Merrill Lynch and a civic leader who served 15 years on the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners, died Friday, Oct. 26, of pneumonia at Bryn Mawr Hospital.

Known as "Gray," Mr. Andrews was born in New Haven, Conn., to Clarence F.  and Doris Davenport Andrews. He graduated from Lyman Hall High School in Wallingford, Conn., in 1947 and from Brown University, with a bachelor's degree in economics, in 1951.

Mr. Andrews served in the Navy from 1953 to 1956 and was deployed to Korea and Japan. Before being honorably discharged with the rank of lieutenant, he supervised the logistics of getting supply ships to dock properly at military bases.

"He learned Japanese and Korean from being over there," said daughter Alyce Gesner Andrews. "Any [Asian] friends we had, he could talk to them."

After the war, Mr. Andrews worked as a logistics expert, scheduling docking for barges that came up the Delaware River to the Atlantic Richfield Co. marine terminals.

In 1964, he left to become a vice president and financial adviser at Merrill Lynch in Wayne and Philadelphia. His favorite part of the job was following the stock market and mentoring trainees. "He was the senior of all new trainees in the Philadelphia office," his daughter said. He retired in 2008.

Mr. Andrews was active in municipal politics as longtime campaign chair for the Radnor Republican Party. In 1984, he was elected a Radnor Township commissioner from the Fourth Ward. He was president of the seven-member board from 1986 to 1999, when he resigned because he was moving out of the township.

"As a part of that job, he ran the police department," his daughter said. "He loved getting the police report. He was a peace-maker, on an even keel."

As board president, he took on some thorny issues, such as construction of the Radnor Trail between Wayne and Strafford. Most of the commissioners opposed the trail in 1993 and 1994, but public opinion was split.

Homeowners whose properties backed up to the trail begged the commissioners to scrap the plan, fearing crime and invasion of their privacy. Other residents liked the trail concept. Some commissioners' meetings grew so heated that police had to be called to quell shouting matches in the audience.

Mr. Andrews, however, refused a request by the project's opponents to withdraw the application for federal funds to cover 80 percent of the project cost. The rest was to come from PennDot.

The matter was put to a public referendum in 1995, and it was approved. Construction began in 2004.

Mr. Andrews was a member of Wayne Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder, trustee, and deacon. He was a member and past president of the St. Andrew's Society of Philadelphia. He also served on the board of directors for the Radnor High School Scholarship Fund, and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

Mr. Andrews' activities were often in the news, including on the Inquirer's society page. In the summer of 1967, he and his wife, Jean Fergusson Reed Andrews, threw a party at their Radnor home to plan a fall fund-raiser hosted by the Friends of St. Christopher's.

Mr. Andrews loved the water. He spent many summers at his grandparents' house in Jamestown, on Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay. Later, with his family, he enjoyed family homes in Madison, Conn., and Avalon, N.J.

He loved the Flyers, politics, Scottish history, and spending time with his grandchildren. On holidays and birthdays, he composed limericks. "He was a kind, generous, funny guy," his daughter said.

Besides his wife and daughter, he is survived by daughters Elizabeth Alcorn Andrews and Margaret Andrews Rosecky; five grandchildren; a brother; a niece; and two nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, Pa.  19087.  Interment is private.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Christopher's Foundation for Children, 1800 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 1550, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103, or to Wayne Presbyterian Church at the address above.