Andrew (Andy) Krawiec, 69, died at home on September 30, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born on February 6, 1951, the son of the late Stephanie (Delekta) and Joseph Krawiec. Raised in Burlington, CT, he graduated from E.C. Goodwin Tech in 1969 as a tool and die maker, but automotives was his first love. In his senior year, he “borrowed” his mother’s 1963 Galaxy and replaced the motor with a 427 and a manual transmission, which resulted in her being unable to drive it and his father having to purchase another car for her. As a youth, he acquired and honed his vast array of mechanical skills working on Rudy Poglitsch’s farm in Burlington, CT. He was driving tractors long before being legally able to drive a car.
A diehard “gearhead” Andy could be found, many nights, congregated with others at Bristol Plaza, ending up drag racing on Route 6, the Berlin Turnpike and a section of I-84 before it was completed. Later he raced offroad jeeps and then SCORE buggies throughout New England, New York, and the Olympic Coliseum in Montreal, Canada.
On January 13, 1970, Andy entered the U.S. Naval training facility at Great Lakes, Michigan. Upon completion of bootcamp, he spent a year and a half in Charleston, SC, followed by a six month Mediterranean cruise. From there he transferred to the Seabees and spent a year at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in Panama. He took pride in the fact that he could fix any piece of heavy equipment even if he had never seen or used it before.
After completing active duty, Andy continued in the Navy Reserves as a Seabee, retiring as a Construction Mechanic Senior Chief in 1998 after 28 years of active and reserve duty. As a reservist, he spent many years attached to RMCB12 at Davisville, RI. Andy’s father, who also had been a Seabee, was in the battalion that opened Davisville at the onset of World War II and it was Andy’s battalion that closed it in 1994. His naval career in both active and reserve duty, afforded him the opportunity to travel extensively, domestically and abroad. He also served at the Plainville Reserve Center and was a member of the American Legion in Bristol.
While in the Reserves, Andy worked for a number of local companies including Apex in Farmington, Holland’s Garage in Burlington, A. Rotondo & Sons in Avon. In 1988, he opened his own automotive machine shop, Andy’s Automotive Machine, first in Unionville, then relocating to Plainville, CT in 1998. He discontinued racing when he went into business.
Beginning in the mid-1990’s, he served as crew chief for his son and daughter racing Quarter Midgets at Silver City in Meriden and the “little T” at Thompson Motor Speedway; also serving as Tech Director for several years. Father and young son spent many nights working together to solve mechanical problems, eke out more horsepower, and brainstorm ideas. Andy’s skills, training, integrity and dedication to hard work were passed on to both of his children. When son continued racing as an adult, Andy was not only his crew chief, but his most ardent fan. They raced a modified at Waterford Speed Bowl, a Dirt Midget at Whip City in Mass., and finally at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, VT until illness sidelined him.
Andy will be fondly remembered for his talkativeness, willingness to share his vast knowledge of cars and engines, easy going personality, and pride and love for his family. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Lucy (Sybilski) Krawiec and daughter Audrey of Bristol, his son and his wife Joseph and Christin Krawiec of Granby, CT, his brother Michael Krawiec of Burlington CT and many cousins.