More detail on this person: James Gillis Andress, 69, died March 11.
He was born Jan. 5, 1939 in Hamlin, Texas, and grew up in Gardena, Calif.
He was awarded an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating with a bachelor of science in military engineering in 1962.
At the Army-University of Michigan football game, he met Lyn Holt, who was to become his wife of 44 years (Jim recently joked to his eldest grandson, "Michigan may have won the game, but I got the girl"). They were married in 1963, after James completed Ranger and Airborne/Infantry School, and moved to Hawaii, where he was stationed at Schofield Barracks as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 25th Infantry Division.
He was promoted to captain, commanding C Company of the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry Regiment, serving in Vietnam from January through December, 1966. For his "personal valor, courage, and determination" in leading his troops, he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for heroism.
Mr. Andress earned an MBA from Wharton Business School and subsequently worked as a consultant for Booz, Allen, and Hamilton in Chicago from 1969 through 1974. He left to work for Abbott Laboratories, becoming president of Abbott's operations in Canada. He later ran Abbott's Pacific/Far East business, and eventually started and ran their Home Health Care Division until 1984.
He left Abbott to become president of Sterling Drug in New York, where he successfully fended off a hostile takeover attempt by Hoffman-LaRoche, negotiating the sale of Sterling to Kodak in 1988. He then headed Beecham Pharmaceuticals worldwide business from London and oversaw its merger with SmithKline in 1989.
Leaving pharmaceuticals in 1989, he was CEO at Information Resources in Chicago until 1996, taking the market research firm from a start-up enterprise to a leader in the industry. He then returned to pharmaceuticals, leading the spinoff and IPO of Warner Chilcott, a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey, before retiring in 2000.
Mr. Andress's business experience and acumen made him a sought-after and respected advisor and he served on many boards including AOL (where he cast the deciding vote against selling to Microsoft in 1998), Genetics Institute, Liposome, OptionCare; and most recently Allstate, Dade-Behring, Sepracor, Xoma, and Warner Chilcott. He also served on Northwestern University's Kellogg advisory committee and the board of Lake Forest College.
He was a member of Old Elm Club, Onwentsia Club, Chikaming Country Club, The Dunes Club, and The Chicago Club.
With a truly rare combination of integrity, wit, compassion and intellect, he lived his life fully. His wisdom on a broad range of subjects was always highly valued, and his deep and unwavering love for his many friends and extended family will be remembered and cherished with profound gratitude. Whether it was playing the banjo, swinging a golf club, traveling the world, or simply sharing a glass of wine by the fire, time spent with the man his grandkids knew as "Popi" was always filled with laughter and the sense that if you were fortunate enough to have shared these things with him that you were always much the richer for it.
He is survived by wife Carolyn of Lake Forest; daughter Carolyn of Melbourne, Australia (Charles Hough); son Andrew of Lake Forest (Megan); daughter Sarah of London, England (Michael Alexander); six grandchildren; brother Steven Andress (Elizabeth) of Lexington, Mass.; and parents James and Ruth Andress of Abilene, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in James Andress's name to Children's Memorial Foundation, 2300 Children's Plaza, Box 4, Chicago, IL 60614 Attn: Nicole Ashmus), or to a charity of your choice.
At his request, memorial services will be held at a later date.
Arrangements were made by Wenban Funeral Home, Lake Forest. Lake Forester (Lake Forest, IL) - Thursday, March 20, 2008
This information was last updated 05/18/2016
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Date posted on this site: 04/14/2021
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