In memoriam: Andrew Johnston, 1968-2008

Even though our Time In editor, Andrew, had been living with cancer for years, the end is not easy for us. He died yesterday—a passing that his mother tells us was “peaceful as could be.” That's ironic. Feisty until the end, Andrew was a fighter. I remember his polymath’s curiosity, his enthusiasm that often spilled over into rage but also effusive emotion. He had a big heart. I choose to recall him on a summer afternoon in 2006. Andrew was about to enter the hospital for his first operation, but beforehand, he wanted to go see A Scanner Darkly. I was happy to oblige. We had lunch. As the lights dimmed in the theater, Andrew leaned over and whispered, “Check it out.” He rolled up his sleeve to reveal a new tattoo on his shoulder, the colors still hot and flush. Looking closely, I saw it was a quote from Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven: “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.” Squinting his eyes, Andrew had the resolve to go wherever this disease would take him. And in my heart, I feel that he beat it.

A more extensive tribute to Andrew will run in the Time In section of issue 684, out next week.

Read Andrew's articles archive