6/17/1942 – 9/24/2021
Andy passed away Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. He was born June 17, 1942, to Earl O. and Vivian Rodriguez Homan.
He was preceded in death by his parents and younger brother William “Bill” Homan. He is survived by his wife, Karen, children Tricia Bergakker (Brian) and Casey Cress (Jodi), and grandchildren Beck and Cora Bergakker.
In his own words:
“I grew up in the 1950s and ‘60s in Carpinteria, a small beach paradise on the West Coast. I had the Pacific Ocean as my backyard and sand dunes in front. My dad was just out of WWII. He was always looking to save a buck, so where else would you look for a home but in a war surplus warehouse? He bought six 500-square-foot ‘Quonset hut’–type cottages and placed them on Sandyland Beach. Our family of four lived in one and rented out the other five.
“I spent so many joy-filled days hunting ‘outlaws’ in the dunes or across the street at the slough (now the nature refuge) chasing the mud hens.
“Scouting became an obsession. I belonged to Troop 50. In 1956, I became the youngest Eagle Scout in California and from there received the very prestigious ‘Order of the Arrow.’
“I began surfing the Rincon when I was in seventh grade. Ken Kesson lived on the point at the time and from time to time would take some of us to Hollister Ranch. A sleeping bag and a little sand gave us access to ‘first break.’
“At Carpinteria High School, I could throw a decent curve ball and a mean change-up pitch, which helped me gain some respect from the upper classmen, and I was able to make the varsity squad in my sophomore year.
“I graduated from Carp High, and then I was off to UCSB and the glory years in my ‘57 Plymouth Fury with a surfboard strapped to the roof. After the first fraternity party at Sigma Alpha Epsilon with all those tall blondes from the L.A. beaches, any hope for education was lost.
“Six-man beach volleyball was an ordinary sport at the time. We built a court next to the SAE house and spent many an afternoon batting around the ball. Not until Mike Beresford and Kent Newell came out of the South Bay were we shocked into reality. Six on our side of the net vs. Mike and Kent. They devoured us. From that moment on we spent every second learning how to properly play the game. My passion and determination to play would prove a major asset in the Navy.
“Once my 2S deferment expired upon graduation from UCSB, I had a choice of the military or marriage. Either way, you lose. I decided not to spend my time in the mud, so I chose Naval Flight School. I reported to Pensacola in ’65 and, always the over-achiever (my wife calls me ‘Andy-Overdo’), I graduated first in my class. Then it was off to Vietnam to fly reconnaissance in Lockheed Electra P-3 aircrafts. I was selected to play volleyball on the All-Navy team and eventually the All-Armed Forces team. Playing for Special Services allowed for much travel and some respite from the war.
“After leaving the military, I crewed on the Celine Marie, a 35-foot schooner, through the South Pacific Islands for several months. And then it was time to get a ‘real job.’
“I applied for a job with Hawaiian Airlines, when pilots were a dime a dozen after the war. Hawaiian Airlines had only 10 openings. Every day, I sat outside of the personnel office until they hired me.
“I spent 17 years in Honolulu, where I flew, got married, had a daughter, got divorced, and quit the perfect job to go back to the mainland and attend architecture school. A couple of years later, my daughter Tricia came to live with me in Carpinteria. The best decision I could have ever made – for both of us.
“Karen and I were married in 1991 and, thus, Andy, Karen, Tricia and Casey became an amazing family.
“I’m not sure when I first fell from my bike or lost my balance, but it became progressively worse. I eventually had to give up my bike rides and walks, and hand over the car keys. There was something wrong with me. After seeing several neurologists, it came down to, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. Homan, but you are presenting symptoms of a degenerative neurological disease that has no cure. PSP – progressive supranuclear palsy.’”
Andy slowly declined from PSP over the course of a couple years. He had a kind and quiet way, a fantastic sense of humor, and a deep love for his family and friends. Andy was the man with all the answers – he could solve any problem, complete any task, learn any subject. His family and friends will miss him every day and are thankful for his magic that touched their lives.
A memorial for Andy will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Lions Park, 6197 Casitas Pass Rd., Carpinteria.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to VNA Health at 509 E. Montecito St., Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 or Carpinteria Community Church at 1111 Vallecito Rd., Carpinteria, CA 93013.