With a carefree and positive attitude, Andrew "Andy" Veltman approached life as the ultimate adventure. He was known for his fearless energy and enjoyed the challenges and excitement found in the outdoors. Whatever Andy did, he did it with zest and joy. All who knew Andy loved him, and those who already loved him, grew to love him even more. In a decade when adventure fantasy films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark consumed the attention of people of all ages, Kirk Veltman and his wife, Jackie (Slagboom), of Port St. Lucie, Florida, were focusing on the special blessing in the lives, the birth of their son, Andrew Philip, on October 23, 1987. The youngest of three children, little Andy was welcomed home by his two older sisters, Jennifer and Karyn. Andy spent his first nine years growing up in Florida, where he played T-ball and started school. The family then moved to Belding, Michigan for a year, before settling in Spring Lake. Andy continued his education in the Spring Lake Public Schools, but the family moved again while he was in middle school to Fruitport, Michigan. Here he attended Fruitport Middle School and was currently a senior at Fruitport High School. Andy was an active child, always willing to try something new. He played baseball for a time in elementary school, however, after being hit in the mouth with the bat, causing him to lose three teeth, he decided to try another sport, perhaps basketball. Soon, Andy found skateboarding, which really became his passion. In fact, at one time his goal was to become an extreme skateboarder. Fearlessly, he would zoom through the skate park in Mulligans Hollow in Grand Haven, trying all the ramps and jumps. His father eventually made him a skateboard pipe rail at home for him and his neighbor friends. But that didn't stop the boys from jumping curbs wherever they could find good ones. Unfortunately, this tactic got them thrown off the parking lot at Orchard Foods. It wasn't unusual for Andy to go through skateboards every few months because he rode them so hard, and his knees were known to have gone out on him several times while skateboarding, and once playing hacky sack. One day, Andy's mom suggested he try something new, other than skateboarding, and so he decided to try paintballing. Andy converted the large open field next to their property into a paintball course, complete with old car doors and parts, wood, drainpipes and other junk to hide behind. He and his friends would have extravagant paintball wars there several times a year. On occasion, Andy would go to Mayhem, an indoor paintball facility in Grand Rapids, but they were quite pricey so it wasn't too often. Because of this, Andy and his friend, Ryan, began formulating a plan to open their own paintball business, which would include a store for merchandise, like clothes, guns and paintballs, and of course, a cool paintball course. It just so happened that Andy was taking a Deca Marketing class at school and he used this class to develop a business plan. Paintball was not the only thing that held Andy's attention. A typical teenager, he also liked playing video games on Xbox and recently started bowling on his high school team. Andy was also interested in art and took drawing and photography classes in school. To earn some pocket money, Andy worked at Subway in Fruitport and during the summer he ran the go-karts at Craig's Cruisers. Just recently Andy came across his second passion – playing poker. At first, he was just the dealer and learned the game as he followed along. Then, he jumped in as a player and regularly beat his Dad and Uncles in friendly games. To enhance his skills, Andy would watch the pros play on TV and looked forward to using these new moves in the next game. Andy possessed a fun loving and outgoing personality, which everyone loved to be around. He had many friends both from Spring Lake and Fruitport and he liked bringing them together, so everyone got to know everyone. Andy was also popular with the girls, but for the past few years he had a special friendship with Chelsey Deal. Above all else, though, Andy loved his family and he wasn't afraid to show his affection for them. Unlike his peers, he didn't hesitate for a moment to shower his family with many hugs, including his dad and uncles – it didn't embarrass him at all. Andy was always close to his sisters. Growing up, his sister Jennifer watched out after him and was very protective, while his sister Karyn was just pesky, but he loved her too. Andy also shared a special bond with his cousin, Mikaela, who he used to babysit when she was younger. Some people live long lives, scattered here and there with triumphs and achievements. Others, like Andy Veltman, are granted a short time on earth, but are able to fill every day of their lives with energy, life and love. He will be greatly missed. Andrew Philip Veltman, age 18, died unexpectedly in an auto accident on Christmas night. He is survived by his parents; sister, Jennifer (Kevin) Sanders; sister Karyn Veltman; grandparents, Philip (Betty) Slagboom; grandmother, Alvina Veltman; Uncle Paul and Aunt Beth Slagboom, Aunt Dawn Veltman, Uncle Jim Kratsas; cousins: Emily and Betsy Kratsas, Mikaela Ederer, and nephews, Keegan and Aiden Sanders. Andy was preceded in death by his grandmother, Lydia Slagboom, and grandfather, Fred Veltman.