J. David Andrews was born on July 5, 1933, in Mattoon, IL. Growing up in Mattoon, he was committed to excellence and achievement at an early age, becoming an Eagle Scout, excelling academically and playing sports at Mattoon High School. He attended the University of Illinois, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity; he graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1955. Dave then served as a captain in the Air Force from 1955-1957, much of the time stationed at Moses Lake, WA. It was during this period that he traveled to Seattle and knew that one day he would live in the Pacific Northwest. After his military service, he went to law school at the University of Illinois College of Law, graduating with honors in 1960. While attending law school, Dave met Helen Migely and quickly fell in love — they were married within 7 months of their first date.
Dave and Helen moved to Seattle in 1960, when Dave joined the Perkins Coie law firm (known as Holman, Mickelwait, Marion, Black & Perkins at the time) as the 28th lawyer. Over the next 59 years, he played a major role in the growth of the firm and the leadership of the Labor & Employment practice. He served as the chair of the hiring committee and was personally responsible for recruiting and hiring many of the firm’s current senior partners. In 1979 he was admitted to the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Dave loved the legal profession and gave of his time extensively to organizations associated with the law. He was especially proud of his work with the Endowment for Equal Justice (EEJ). In 2001, he encouraged the Law Fund (now known as the Legal Foundation of Washington) Board to establish an endowment. Currently nearing the $20 million mark, Dave had a vision that this EEJ fund, the largest endowment of its kind in the country, would eventually provide sustainable support of legal service lawyers to adequately serve the State of Washington. Dave also had extensive involvement with the American Bar Association, serving in the House of Delegates, as treasurer, on the Board of Governors and on the Federal Judiciary Standing Committee. He served on the board of directors of the American Judicature Society, the American Bar Endowment and as treasurer of the American Bar Foundation. Dave was the recipient of the Washington State Bar President’s Award in 2010 and the Goldmark Distinguished Service Award by the King County Bar Foundation in 2016. He also served as president of Cornish College of the Allied Arts and the local chapter of the Leukemia Society of America.
Beyond his hard work and many achievements, it was the way that Dave lived his life which left an enduring mark on so many. He was a tough nurturer, demanding the best of those around him, but doing so with care and respect. His winsome, infectious spirit, coupled with his optimistic outlook and quick wit made him a compelling presence. Dave and Helen developed deep roots on Vashon Island, buying a log cabin on Quartermaster Harbor in 1966. From the 1960s-80s they spent every summer on the island, raising their children, hosting parties and creating wonderful memories with friends and family. Dave was a consummate host, yet when he was ready for a dinner party to end, he would simply announce “the last ferry leaves in 20 minutes!” — you’ve never seen a party end so fast.
As Dave expanded his interests beyond the law, he grew in his Christian faith. He was an active participant and eventual creator of a Teleios small group, meeting weekly on Saturday mornings to study the Bible and encourage the brothers in his group. He engaged the Scripture with the same intense focus and analysis as he did a legal brief.
Dave (aka “Pappy”) would tell you his greatest achievement was his family. He is survived by Helen, his wife of 61 years, his four children: Ginny, Rob (Janie), Mike (Jill), Betsy (John); grandchildren: Callie (Kevin), Parker, Jackson, Nicholas, Ava, Eli, Mae, Caroline, Ella, Catherine and great-granddaughter, Migely.
Dave died peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, October 25, 2019. He was 86 years old. The memorial service will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 26th, at First United Methodist Church in Seattle. A reception celebrating his life will take place following the service. Memorial gifts may be made to the Endowment for Equal Justice.