Andrew Milton Kistler, II, 74, of Morganton, NC, died Thursday, August 21, 2008 at his home after a prolonged illness. Born April 11, 1934 in Morganton, he was the son of the late Charles Edmund Kistler and Mary Wilson Kistler Stoney. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Charles Edmund Kistler, Jr., and step-father, Andrew Burnet Stoney.Andy, as he was fondly known by those who knew him, never met a stranger and enjoyed people and life to the fullest. He enjoyed playing golf, particularly at Mimosa Hills and Linville golf courses, as well as "the old courses" in Scotland. Andy loved to travel and enjoyed the cuisine of the many places he visited. He was an ardent Tar Heel fan who had to eat popcorn during the games to calm his nerves. Andy loved his family, his church, his hometown, and had an endearing smile and an innate sense of humor, and will be remembered for his capacity to be friendly to all.Andy dearly loved the City of Morganton and Burke County. He generously supported the community and many of the activities through his time and talents.Mr. Kistler proudly served the City of Morganton as mayor for six consecutive terms. In this role, he provided leadership not only at home but in other reaches of government. He was president of the North Carolina League Municipalities, chairman of the Governor’s Advocacy Council, chairman and executive committee member of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, and board member of the NC Municipal Power Agency. He also served as a member of the National Association of Development Organization’s committee on Title V and the Appalachian Regional Commission’s committee on general revenue sharing.As mayor, he was instrumental in developing the funding for renovating the old Burke County Courthouse, in securing money to build the Morganton-Burke Senior Center, and in helping provide funds for enlarging and renovating the library. During his tenure, the city adopted the public safety officer program, built the Law Enforcement Center, and renovated the wastewater treatment and water plant.Under his leadership, the City of Morganton built Carbon City Park, Bethel Road Park, Gene Turner Memorial Park, and Freedom Park and completed the Shuey Field complex.His proudest achievement as mayor was securing the funding for the City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium (CoMMA) and seeing it enjoyed by so many citizens.Mr. Kistler also served as chairman of the Burke Economic Development Council, trustee of Grace Hospital and Grace Hospital Foundation, a director and president of the Burke County Public Library Board, a member of the Morganton Recreation Foundation, trustee of Historic Burke Foundation, president of the Burke County Chamber of Commerce and Burke County United Way, and a board member of the Western Piedmont Community College Foundation.Mr. Kistler was a board member of the Patterson School in Lenoir, NC, the Children’s Home Society in Greensboro, NC, and was a chairman of the Table Rock District of the Boy Scouts of America.Before his retirement in 1996, Mr. Kistler was president of Stoney-Kistler Insurance Agency. He served as a director of Wachovia Bank until 2006, as well as trustee and trustee emeritus of the Tryon Palace Commission.He was president of the Morganton Jaycees, was honored with the Jaycees’ Distinguished Service Award – "Young Man of the Year" designation and served as vice president of the North Carolina Jaycees. In 1985, Mr. Kistler received the Morganton’s "Man of the Year" award presented by the Morganton Rotary Club.Mr. Kistler was a lifelong member of Grace Episcopal Church, Morganton, where he served on the vestry, and as senior warden, and in many other functions. He was past president of the Grace Episcopal Church Foundation. He was a member of the board of the visitors for Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, served several terms on the Standing Committee and several terms, one as president, of the Episcopal Foundation of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina. In addition, for 25 years he enjoyed being the parliamentarian at the annual Diocesan Convention. In 2000, he received the "Distinguished Communicant" Award from the Diocese.Mr. Kistler attended Asheville School, graduated from Morganton High School in 1953, and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mr. Kistler served his county in the U.S. Army Reserves and received an Honorable Discharge in January, 1963.Mr. Kistler is survived by his wife, Matilda Omwake Kistler of the home; his sister, Mary Kistler Stahl of Delray Beach, FL; a son, Andrew M. Kistler, III, and wife, Louise, of Potomac, MD; daughters, Margaret Christine Kistler of Seattle, WA and Dorothy Kistler Hamer and husband, Wilson, of Morganton; grandchildren, Mary Louise Kistler, Wilson Collett Kistler, Andrew Collins Hamer, and Eliza Murphy Hamer; numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and –nephews, two great-great-nieces and one –nephew, and former wife, Margaret Johnson Kistler of Fletcher, NC.The family gratefully acknowledges and appreciates the dedication, loyalty, and compassion of Ruby Avery, Charles Harbison, and Eugene Houpe who took such loving care of him over the years and for those affiliated at the Shytle House and the Palliative Care Center and Hospice of Catawba Valley for their loving-kindness of Mr. Kistler and his family during his illness. The family wishes to extend their deep abiding love and appreciation to Keith Berry, Keisha Duvall, Timmy Paden, and Erica Watson for their tender care of Andy during the past two years and especially his final days.The service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, August 25, 2008 at Grace Episcopal Church with the Rt. Rev. G. Porter Taylor of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, officiant, with the Rev. S. Bruce Walker, rector of Grace Church, and the Rev. James B. Craven, III, assisting. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday from 2:00 until 5:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home.In lieu of flowers, Mr. Kistler had requested that memorial contributions be made to the following: Grace Church Foundation, 303 S. King St., Morganton, NC 28655, The Library Foundation of Burke County, 204 S. King St., Morganton, NC 28655, or to South Mountain Children and Family Services, 7330 Myrtle Drive, Nebo, NC 28761.
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