BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Friends and family members are mourning the passing of a longtime Berkeley County Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy.
Kenneth Andrus died Monday night following a multi-car crash on I-26 westbound near University Boulevard.
His daughter, Paige Schwan, shared memories of her father on Friday; it was clear the Lowcountry had lost an incredible public servant.
“He’s always been a public servant,” said Schwan. “That’s his favorite thing – people.”
Andrus took public service and helping people, very seriously.
“He started out being a Reserve in the U.S. Navy. He also became a fire chief with St. Stephens Fire Department. They were absorbed into Berkeley County, and once they became part of the county, he went to the EMS,” she recalled. “He did that for over 30 years, he became a supervisor for a lot of people who would’ve called him dad, because he always did the ‘dad huff’ when you did something you weren’t supposed to, and then he’d fix it.”
He later retired from EMS after 30 years. “While he was doing EMS, he did the reserves with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office. He did Marine Patrol Dive Team, he did it all.”
One of his passions was flight; “While he was doing all of that he was part of the Lowcountry Flying Club. He flew airplanes, he took up most of my family members in the airplane. That’s probably his favorite place to be, up in the airplane.”
He also worked as a TSA agent at Charleston International Airport.
On Monday, as he was driving home, he stopped in traffic due to an accident up ahead.
“Somebody behind him was not paying attention and they rear-ended him and he passed from that rear-ending,” said Schwan.
Schwan said she lost more than a dad.
“Everything. That’s my best friend, that’s my best friend. He taught me everything. And that’s why I’m at now. I wanted to become a police officer just like him.”
Schwan is now a detective with the North Charleston Police Department.
“He was definitely a mentor to most people. Most people wouldn’t see him as ‘oh that’s Kenny’ they’d say ‘oh, that’s my dad. That’s pops.’ What he was known by pretty much everybody: that’s pops.”
First responders have been a huge blessing to the family since he passed.
“They’re helping us get through it and it really shows that the whole community loved him and all of the lives that he touched.”
Andrus leaves behind his wife Debbie, four children, three grandkids, and one grand puppy.
His funeral will take place at Dial Murray Funeral home in Moncks Corner.