Obituary: Andrew Joseph Cadenhead |

Obituary: Andrew Joseph Cadenhead

July 26, 1960 – January 23, 2019

On January 23, 2019, Andrew Joseph Cadenhead, fifty-eight, of Hayden, Colorado passed away suddenly, and the world lost a sincerely kind and gentle man. He touched many lives in so many different ways. He has been and will be greatly missed. 

Andy was born in 1960 in Los Alamos, New Mexico where his father, Charles Patrick Cadenhead was a nuclear physicist for the National Labs. His mother, Arley Edwards Cadenhead was a gifted artist and adventurer. Pat and Arley built a cabin in the mountains and embedded a love of the outdoors in all the kids. Andy was the youngest of six children: Patrick, Sherry, Lucia, Bruce and Jim. Andy, being the last born was gifted with a special name, “Pepito”. 

Both of Andy’s parents passed away when Andy was seven years old. Andy and his siblings then went to live with their Uncle Claude and Aunt Sue (Cadenhead) Rodgers in Lake Forest, Illinois. He graduated from Lake Forest High School there in 1978, then followed his dream to Colorado State University where he studied forestry, graduating in 1982. While studying at CSU Andy began working as a seasonal employee for the US Forest Service out of Minturn, Colorado. In 1985, Andy meet a new summer seasonal named Nancy Nahorniak. 

The two dated until Andy was hired on as a permanent employee with the US Forest Service in 1987 in Encampment, Wyoming. They then became engaged and later married in 1988 in a service at Vail Colorado. They went on to live in Encampment for twelve years. While there, they built a log cabin in the woods that ran on solar and generator power and to which they needed to snowmobile in in the winter. They were an inseparable pair who had many wonderful adventures together: rock climbing, wind surfing, cross country and telemark skiing, raising and racing sled dogs, and horseback riding. 

Their grandest adventure began in 1996 when the first of their two children were born. Fatherhood was Andy’s greatest joy and he cherished his time with his family. Education and lifelong learning were quite high on both Andy’s and Nancy’s priority list and they passed this on to their children. Ian, 23, is currently in graduate school studying physics and astronomy as the University of California at Riverside. Abby, 20, has a passion for writing which Andy encouraged and nurtured. It was his delight to find himself become her “muse” and creative confidante.

Andy worked for the US Forest Service in several capacities for thirty years, plus two years serving as a forester for the Bureau of Indian Affairs out of Gallup, New Mexico. He touched many lives along the way and formed many relationships dear to him. Andy truly loved the forest and all the wonders inherent to it. As his career became more desk-bound he delighted in horseback trips into the forest with family and friends, often referring to the forest as his true “office.”

With his special affinity for the forest in mind, a celebration of Andy’s life is planned for July 26, which is Andy’s 59th birthday, at the Summit Guard Station in the US Forest a few miles north of Columbine from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Most of the road to this site from Steamboat Springs is paved, with only the last 2 miles being well maintained gravel road. The forest celebration will be followed by a lunch and slide show of Andy’s life at Yampa Valley Funeral Home from Noon until 1:00 PM. All are welcome to either or both celebrations.

Further information and a map will be made available closer to the date. For any questions, please call the Yampa Valley Funeral Home at (970) 879-1494.

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