top of page

He Will Forever Be Missed






Remembering Andy

In memory of our dear friend,
Andy Chudzinski.

Thank you for teaching us how to rise above, to cherish the things you can’t buy, and for giving us unwavering friendship, support, and love. 


Born in Chicago

DECEMBER 11th, 1959

This is about my friend Andy.  Co-writer, collaborator, mensch, and cherished mentor.  He died last night after suffering from cardiac arrest last week.  He is survived by his wife Kasia, and older brother Mark and his family.  He also leaves behind hundreds of former students, co-workers, co-conspirators, and friends who are equally as devastated by his untimely passing as I am. 

On paper: Andy is a Northwestern University graduate and earned his MFA in Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production at the University of Southern California.  He later earned multiple awards for his work at Rotary International, where he directed and produced hundreds of films and short documentaries about the international philanthropic work that Rotarians do, in addition to teaching Film Directing at Columbia College Chicago for over two decades. 

He was also an intern and production assistant for the famous Polish film director Andrzej Wajda in the early 1980’s.  His volunteer work was equally as extensive:  He was a member of the Polish Youth Association (Harcerstwo), filmed and edited several dozen events for the Legion of Young Polish Women, served The Knights of Dabrowski Crusade for Education organization for over 30 years, and eventually became its leader.  There are more organizations he volunteered for than I can even think of. 

His father was a Polish fighter pilot who served in the RAF during WWII, and his mother was a part of the Polish Underground/Home Army who fought Nazis during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. 

All this being said, he was one of the most modest and practical people I have ever known.  I don’t know why I’m sharing all of this background information – maybe because I know how difficult this next part is; how to encapsulate or explain what Andy meant to me personally. 

I first met Andy when he was the Komendant of the Polish Boy Scout camp In Crivitz, WI in 1978.  He was a few years older than I was and I was terrified of him as a kid.  He was stern, all business, regimented, and focused.  As an 18-year-old, he ran one heck of a button-down camp, at least it appeared that way to the subordinates under his leadership.  A few years later, we ended up being teammates on the same Polish amateur soccer team where I really got to know him better.  He was funny, engaging, approachable, compassionate, and forgiving.  It was then when we first talked about movies and film and art, and girls, and music, and when we both shared our dreams for the future. 

As a matter of fact, he is the one who introduced me to dramatic writing which became a passion that I’ve now practiced for decades.  In these past 40 years, he not only became my mentor, but one of my oldest and closest friends. 

I can’t say for sure how many ledges he’d talk me down from, how many projects we completed together, how I much relied on him being my first reader, and how he comforted me during the loss of my dad and brother.  He always knew how to lift me up, how to look at the bright side of things, and how to serve others and our community. 

Andy’s departure from this world is a tremendous loss not only for his family and friends, but to the wider community that he served.  I am going to miss you immensely, Boo-Boo (a nickname fondly bestowed upon him when he himself was a Polish Boy Scout runt). 

Thank you for teaching me how to rise above, to cherish the things you can’t buy, and for your unwavering friendship, support, and love.  God bless, Boo-Boo.  Until I see you again. 

Edward M. Pinkowski    

bottom of page