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Andrew Levern Grice, Sr., better known as Shorty, was born to the late Catherine and Freddie Grice in Barnesville, North Carolina, on February 13, 1948. Early Sunday, February 11, 2024, he was promoted from labor to reward while sleeping in his home in Fairmont, N.C.
Upon graduation from Proctorville High School in 1966, Shorty felt a sense of responsibility and duty to his country which led to his voluntary enlistment in the U.S. Army. Upon completion of basic training and advanced individual training, he was immediately deployed to Vietnam as an infantry soldier, where he earned a Purple Heart after being wounded in combat.
Following recovery from his injuries, Shorty returned to the United States where he lived in Philadelphia and Boston, working various jobs before returning to Fairmont to be closer to his family. It was then that he began his career in public works. He eventually landed with the Robeson County Water Department as a water treatment specialist – a job he held for nearly 35 years. It also earned him the title of “The Water Man,” affectionately given to him by children in the preschools and daycare centers he visited for work and to give the children snacks.
Shorty gave his life to Christ and remained a faithful member of Star of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church where he served as a member of various choirs, and president of the Men’s Choir. He also gave of his time, talent, and his treasure in service to his fellow veterans with the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars Fairmont Post No. 548 and his community with Gaza Lodge No. 427 in Fairmont.
Though he enjoyed a life full of friends and acquaintances, he found the most joy in spending time with his family to include his wife, children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, and all the folks he’s collected along the way who call him Uncle Shorty.
He was preceded in death by his brothers Johnny Grice, William Grice, and William Ware, and his sisters Cora McDowell and Mary Rogers, two stepsons he loved and raised as his own – Corie Bethea and Anthony Bethea, and two grandsons Andrew L. Grice, III, and Dionte Bethea.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife and soulmate, Janet, of the home, his son Andrew L. Grice Jr. (Anicka) of Lewisville, N.C., and his daughter Tiffany S. Jones of Elizabeth City, N.C., beloved stepchildren he loved as his own, Brian Jones and Kietrell (Lamont) Jones, both of Burlington, N.C., grandchildren Brianna Thompson, Ahmaad Jackson, Rashad Twitty, Ny’Tasia Jones, Jamoza Bethea, Tyrese Bethea, AJ Bethea, Paris Bethea, Tristan Bethea, and Ahmani Grice, and a host of great grandchildren.
Shorty is also survived by two sisters Joyce (Clark) Rogers and Gracie (Ricky) Worley, and a brother-in-law, Melvin Rogers, a goddaughter Shr’Kendra McMillian, loyal friends, Paul Shipman and Billy Ray Stephens, friend and neighbor, Charles Hammonds, adopted son, Marcus McGill, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends too numerous to name.