Roll of Honor

Andrew D. Orphanoudakis

Andrew D. Orphanoudakis

  • Captain
  • Hardeeville Fire Department
  • South Carolina
  • Age: 56
  • Year of Death: 2021

Andrew D. “Andy” Orphanoudakis was born in Neptune, New Jersey, to the late George and Joyce Orphanoudakis of Freehold, on May 7, 1965. Andrew was a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard in New Jersey and North Carolina from 1984 thru 1999. He was honorably discharged as an Army medical specialist.

Andrew entered the fire service in 1981 as a junior volunteer with Adelphia Fire Company. After receiving his firefighter certifications at Monmouth County Fire College, he became an active volunteer in several towns in central New Jersey over the years. In 1994, Andrew and his family moved to North Carolina, where he continued to volunteer with Enochville, Atwell, and Rowan County Rescue Departments and accepted an offer to be a paid firefighter with Salisbury Fire Department in 1999.

Seven years later, Andrew joined Mooresville Fire Department and helped establish their HAZMAT trailer stationed at Fire House #3, after NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt. Andrew also worked part-time for two HAZMAT companies. Andrew was a North Carolina fire instructor, teaching at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Davidson-Davie Community College.

In 2009, Andrew and the family moved to Georgia, where he accepted a job with the 165th Airlift Wing, Georgia Air National Guard in Savannah, and continued to volunteer with Rincon and Effingham County Fire Departments. In 2012, after moving to another county, Andrew volunteered with Screven County Fire Department. After four years at the 165th, Andrew missed structural firefighting and accepted an offer with Hilton Head Island Fire Department in South Carolina. Andrew went to Hardeeville Fire Department as an engineer a few years later. Andrew was promoted to lieutenant in 2020 and was preparing to take the captain’s exam before his passing. Andrew was passionate about coaching and mentoring new firefighters, sharing his many stories from past experiences. Over his career, Andrew earned over 150 certifications.

Andrew was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, leaving behind his wife of 35 years, Tracy Orphanoudakis; children, Rachel Orphanoudakis (Jordan Yarbrough) and Georgia Orphanoudakis; and one grandson. Andrew also leaves behind a brother, Alan Orphanoudakis.

Andrew loved training and completing triathlons, hunting, fishing, going on trips in his Jeep, and cooking his ‘famous’ honey jalapeno pineapple ribs. He enjoyed spending part of his vacations visiting other fire departments. In keeping with his wishes, Andrew is buried on the family’s property in Sylvania, Georgia, next to his deer stand.

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