Andrew Jacob Ruben was born on January 22, 1998 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Anthony and Pamela Ruben (nee April).
Andrew is survived by his parents, sister Jennifer Ruben Forero; grandparents Stefanie Hanagud, Edwin April and Merle April and many family members.
Generous of spirit, a true friend, and truth-seeker, Andy was passionate, determined and unique.
Anything Andy embraced, he embraced fully. As a youngster, he loved knights, so he learned all about castle life and the middle ages. Later he discovered baseball and became an unstumpable expert on the history of the game. Still later cars became his passion, and he not only became an expert, but created and nurtured a respected international car blog. Highly intelligent, Andy loved to learn, embracing subjects and people he found compelling. He discussed history with his grandfather, philosophy with his grandmother, books and podcasts with his mother, entrepreneurship (and cars and baseball) with his father. He and his sister, Jenny, shared a love of, and compassion for, animals.
Always eager to help, Andy mentored many, only wanting the best for his friends. After his passing, friends, known and unknown to his parents, shared a stunning number of stories about Andy's help, mentoring, encouragement and coaching. Andy didn't seek the spotlight, only the satisfaction of encouraging someone who was down, pushing a friend to be their best self and sharing insight and wisdom. He befriended those who needed a friend and always wanted to help.
Generous with friends and strangers alike, he would often give the homeless his last dollar, buy meals for the less fortunate and share his allowance with friends. His compassion extended to animals. He loved not only the family's dog and cats, but was passionate about "big cats" and other creatures who he felt had a special soul.
Andy was smart, creative and insightful. He wrote his first book (The Never Ending Tourturey and Trappery) while still in single digits and only last year won an award for his art (and sold his first piece). His more recent writing was stunning for its vivid imagery and insight into the human condition.
Andy could have created a start-up company, been an inspirational speaker or insightful psychologist.
Sadly ironic, for such a helpful, selfless, creative, handsome and intelligent person, Andy's depression caused him pain and suffering, and to not see or appreciate his gifts. Andrew will be forever remembered and loved by those who knew him.
Shiva will be held at the Ruben family home in Winter Park on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7-9.
Memorial donations made by made to The Big Cat Rescue (www.bigcatrescue.org) in Tampa.