Andi (or Andrew Christopher Willsher to give him his full Sunday name!) was born on 8 February 1970 in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK and grew up with his parents, Chris & Lyn and his younger brother, James in Cheshire.
Andi left home and moved to Grimsby, Lincolnshire aged 18 and studied Food Technology at Humberside Polytechnic. In 1991, Andi finished at college and started his first job in the food industry at Bluecrest in Grimsby, before moving to the Peak District to work for Malton Bacon. In 1997, Andi relocated to the South of England (although always remained a true 'Northerner'!) to work for Pork Farms Bowyers in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.
I met Andi in 2000 when I started working at Bowyers and we had our first date on 23 June that year. When he met me at the airport after a trip to Australia with a huge bouquet of red roses, I knew it was meant to be. We moved into our house together in Westbury, Wiltshire in 2001 and were married in Mauritius in March 2002.
We had a holiday to New Zealand at the beginning of 2004 and as we had been talking about moving abroad since our wedding, it was the first country that we had visited together where we felt we could move to. Since we were both food technologists we were granted our residency and moved to Auckland in April 2005.
Andi was able to realise his long held dream of flying helicopters and was able to take me on his inaugral flight as a qualified pilot, the weekend shortly before he was diagnosed.
After qualifying as a pilot, Andi joined Tip Top Ice Cream and we were both able to enjoy New Zealand's excellent work life balance.
We had two fantastic years exploring New Zealand and during this time made some amazing friends, all of whom gave us both great support when Andi was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in April 2007. We also kept in touch with all our friends back in England who continued to provide us with love, laughter and support despite the distance.
Andi so enjoyed life and he was my action man with his many activities including cycling, diving, drumming, kayaking, snow boarding, fishing and latterly driving his Mazda MX5. I will always have the many memories of him enjoying these activities generally with a huge smile on his face. Andi always had a love of technology and gadgets and enjoyed researching and purchasing new toys which meant I did very well from his hand me downs!
We attended our citizenship ceremony in January 2009 so could then legitimately declare ourselves kiwis but not the little brown birds or green furry fruit!
Andi was my best friend and we both felt we could be completely ourselves with one another. He was always very happy for me to use my organisational skills and we had some great holidays both within New Zealand and abroad. I will always be grateful that we did so much while he was well and that I have such fabulous memories.
Despite our struggles with Andi's illness for over 3 years, we were still able to enjoy each other's company and have fun. He bore his illness bravely and fought very hard to stay with me. He had the best of medical care and we both really appreciated all the support we received from everyone.
Andi was my world and he will always be with me. I will always feel honoured to have known and loved Andi as my husband. Whilst it is incredibly hard to pick up my life without him, I am grateful that at the end he found peace and I now know that he is at rest.