Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Andrea Myers was born Andrea Pierson. She grew up in Mulvane and graduated from Mulvane High School. Before she married Josh Myers and moved their family to Alabama, she was a Mulvane volunteer firefighter, and worked for five years with Wyldewood Cellars.
Andrea joined the fire department in July of 2002. About a year later Josh Myers, now a Sheriff's Deputy for Geneva County, Alabama, also joined the force. Josh had previously worked with the Sumner County Sheriff's Department.
The couple worked there together until they married and moved to Belle Plaine and Josh joined the Belle Plaine Police Department. The couple had two children before moving to Alabama in 2007 where they had their third child.
Captain Lowell Ester remembers Andrea as a good person and excellent firefighter.
"She was fun loving, loved life. Real outgoing personality type. She enjoyed what she did, she enjoyed volunteering, helping people. She loved children," he said Wednesday.
"We don't have a lot of females in the department, but she got in there and held her own with the guys. She'd do anything we asked them to do. She was a pretty tough cookie."
At Wyldewood Cellars, the news has been hard to take. Many employees didn't hear of the tragedy until Wednesday morning.
"I'm just in shock," said Merry O'Callahan, vice-president of marketing for Wyldewood Cellars. "She was a very sweet kid, and her babies were precious. She was such a good mother."
Josh and Andrea's 18-month-old daughter, Corrine Gracy Myers, died in the gunfire, as well. Newborn Ella Myers, 3 months old, was injured by expected to recover. Issaac, age 4, was uninjured. Josh Myers was working at the time of the shooting, and responded to the call without knowing what had happened to his family.
Andrea made many friends during her time at the winery. Co-workers like O'Callahan remember helping her through her first two pregnancies.
"We were like mother hens to her," O'Callahan said.
Co-worker Eric Patee said Andrea grew to be like a sister to him.
"I keep thinking about her family, and how close she was to me," he said Wednesday. "I miss her terribly."
Josh and Andrea visited family and friends in Kansas just last month. They brought their children with them, including 3-month-old Ella; her first visit to Kansas.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the whole family," O'Callahan said through tears. "She was such a wonderful, wonderful mother."
In Belle Plaine, police officers are struggling to understand what happened.
"There's not a block I drive that I don't think of them," said Sgt. Bill Berry. "It's such a tragedy, and we're so sorry."
Andrea's father Mark, brother Jon and sister Linnie still live in the Mulvane and Belle Plaine areas.
Andrea would have turned 32 next month.