In Memory of Andrew Lee Laws, Sr.
It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Andrew Lee Laws, Sr. Andrew retired as a District Representative with the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District in January 2020 after a seventy year career as a member of the International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO. He served seven different International presidential administrations – Joseph Ryan, William Bradley, Teddy Gleason, John Bowers, Richard Hughes and Harold Daggett, having joined ILA Local 329 in Galveston, Texas on June 21, 1949. Andrew was elected president of Local 329 in 1968, serving in various positions at Local 329 and later ILA Local 20 in Galveston. At the ILA’s South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District 64th Convention in 1974, Brother Laws was elected as a District Vice President. He served as a trustee on the west gulf PV&W for many years and he served two terms on the Port of Galveston Wharves Board from 1999 to 2005. He worked in the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District Office as a District Representative from 1991 until his retirement earlier this year.
Brother Laws was born August 29, 1927 in Iago, Wharton County, Texas, the seventh of nine children. Andrew excelled scholastically and athletically in his high school. He was class valedictorian, while also playing basketball and running track. Andrew married Loyce Mildred Nolan on September 17, 1949, a few months after first becoming a longshoreman. The couple had five children – Joyce, Andrew, Jr., James, Angie and Marc – and the loving family would continue to expand over the next seven decades to now include 15 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
Andrew was a member of First Union Baptist Church in Galveston where he served as a Deacon, Treasurer and Sunday School Superintendent. He was honored twice with the Labor Leader Award from the ILA’s Civil Rights Committee. He was also honored with the NAACP Award and many other tributes during his career. Andrew served as a mentor to many of today’s leaders in the ILA and elsewhere.
Andrew Laws will be missed. Rest in Peace our Brother!