Civic leader and founder of TTI dies

Paul Andrews at Chamber Halsey Award, courtesy photo

Paul E. Andrews Jr., founder and chief executive officer of TTI Inc., died early Sunday morning from an apparent heart attack. He was 78.

“I am devastated,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “I had the privilege of counting Paul as a friend and supporter from my days as tax assessor, and I benefited from being around his brilliance.

“Paul embodied the American Dream, and his success at TTI is a credit to his pioneering spirit and business acumen.

“But his philanthropic endeavors, including the Paul and Judy Andrews Women’s Hospital at Baylor Scott & White, are just as significant and will leave a lasting impact on the lives of others. My thoughts are with Judy, their children, and grandchildren during this time,” Price said. 

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“Paul’s business success is well known, but away from work he entertained his friends, loved to joke, and was always upbeat. He and Judy both grew up here and their generosity to our community is visible in so many different places in Fort Worth.  We’ve lost a good friend,” said former Mayor Ken Barr.

TTI said in a news release that Mr. Andrews envisioned an organization with a culture of continual business process improvement, with all TTI employees throughout the world thoroughly committed to the best business practices.

“TTI’s success is a direct result of his exceptional leadership. The company’s mission established by Andrews early on still resonates throughout the organization. A firm believer in doing what you say you are going to do and providing exceptional service, this credo has propelled the company and its founder to be among the most respected in the industry,” the company said.

“Paul Andrews  was the most humble successful  businessman I have ever known. He and his wife’s philanthropy  have quietly touched  many people in Fort Worth. He is a major loss to TTI and the community,” said John Roach, longtime chairman and CEO of Tandy/RadioShack who also served as chairman of Justin Industries and TCU’s Board of Trustees.

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TCU’s  John V. Roach Honors College, officially launched in 2009, was funded by a $2.5 million gift from Paul and Judy Andrews that paid tribute to their friend Roach.

“Paul and Judy Andrews had a huge impact on how we educate our students at TCU, especially in the STEM areas where they established a professorship and a program within our College of Education,” said TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini.

“We are able to do an even better job, especially of educating future math teachers, through their generosity.  Paul and Judy were also very hands on, in that they frequently visited with professors and students in our College of Education.  Paul also had vast personal experience in the STEM areas and always was willing to give guidance to any/all of our students,” Boschini said.

“Paul was an extraordinary person and a visionary entrepreneur. In spite of his enormous success, he remained one of the most humble people I have ever knows.  He believed in education as a means to improve individual lives and society,” said Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick G. Slabach.

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“Paul had a tremendous impact on the students at Texas Wesleyan University through his philanthropy as well as his personal interest and connection with groups of students.  He was very generous with his time, inviting groups of Texas Wesleyan business students to work on real world business questions and then to come to his office to present the students’ proposed solutions.  He was a great friend to Texas Wesleyan and we will miss him dearly,” Slabach said.

“Paul was a man of integrity and we will miss his trailblazing passion. May we honor him by following Paul’s own simple advice that guided him throughout his years, that we strive always to ‘do what you say you’re going to do,’ ” Price said.

The Andrews family specifically suggested that instead of flowers, friends and mourners consider a donation to the Andrews Women’s Hospital Endowment Fund or to the Presbyterian Night Shelter. 

“With great sadness about his passing, we look back on the life of Paul Andrews with immense appreciation. The namesake of our Andrews Women’s Hospital, Mr. Andrews, was always generous with his time, talents, and resources in improving our community,” said Michael Sanborn, president of Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center-Fort Worth. “His support was invaluable in creating the level of care and service our patients have come to expect. Mr. Andrews leaves a legacy that will impact the future of healthcare in Fort Worth for generations to come.” 

Toby Owen, the chief executive officer at Presbyterian Night Shelter, leaders at the shelter were “deeply saddened by the passing of Paul Andrews Jr.” 

“Mr. Andrews and the entire Andrews family, have made a lasting impact at the Presbyterian Night Shelter. Mr. Andrews’ great legacy and his family’s incredible generosity will continue to make a difference in the lives of those most vulnerable in Fort Worth,” Owen said. 

Mr. Andrews graduated from Arlington Heights High School and attended the University of Texas at Austin and Texas Christian University.

According to his TTI website biography, Mr. Andrews started what he referred to as his “first real job” working in the shipping department at Howell Instruments.

He founded what would become TTI after being laid off in 1971 by General Dynamics when the F-111 jet fighter/bomber was grounded. Originally called Tex-Tronics, TTI Inc.  was started with the view that it would provide Mr. Andrews a temporary source of income until he could find permanent employment.

His civic involvement in Fort Worth was extensive. He and his family made numerous philanthropic investments supporting education, healthcare and social service organizations and projects. Mr. Andrews was particularly moved by the services provided by the Presbyterian Night Shelter and the Tarrant County Food Bank during the recent freeze.

The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce named him recipient of the annual Susan Halsey Executive Leadership Award in September 2020.

In 2011, Mr. Andrews was inducted into the Fort Worth Business Hall of Fame as Fort Worth’s Business Executive of the Year. The annual award is presented by Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Worth Business Press.

The concept behind TTI was to become a central and reliable supplier of sometime difficult to find electronic parts. TTI acquired Mouser Electronics, in Mansfield,  in 2000, followed by 11 more acquisitions, adding to TTI’s global presence in the distribution market, the company website said.

In 2006, Mr. Andrews was introduced to investment icon Warren Buffett and the following year TTI and subsidiary Mouser Electronics joined the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies.

Globally, TTI Inc. services customers through 2 million plus square feet of dedicated warehouse space containing more than 850,000 component part numbers. Along with subsidiaries, Mouser Electronics and Sager Electronics, TTI employs more than 7,100 people and is represented in more than 133 locations throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

“In his 50 years at the helm, Paul Andrews’ vision for TTI has led to extraordinary growth,” Martin Noto, chairman of the Fort Worth Chamber, said in the presentation of the Halsey award.

“TTI’s culture is deeply rooted in the core values Andrews established early on. These principles provide the infrastructure for the company to be the most preferred electronics distributor for their customers and suppliers,” Noto said.

Mr. Andrews said he was incredibly honored to be recognized.

“In looking at the list of past recipients, I’m honored and humbled to be given a place among these respected and admired community leaders. Fort Worth is my hometown, my roots are here, which makes receiving this award all the more special to me,” he said at that time.

Texas Christian University and Texas Wesleyan University both acknowledged Mr. Andrews’ notable contributions by awarding him honorary doctorate degrees.

Mr. Andrews served on the board of trustees at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth and was also a former member of the advisory committee for the School of Industrial Distribution/Engineering at Texas A&M University.

Both Mr. Andrews and his wife have been recognized for their vigorous efforts on behalf of education and for establishing the Paul and Judy Industrial Distribution Conference Center on the Texas A&M campus in 1996.

In 2005, they shared their vision and their commitment to their hometown by becoming significant contributors to the Paul and Judy Andrews Women’s Hospital, part of the Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth. The Women’s Hospital opened in March 2008.

Mr. Andrews also served as a finance committee member at University Christian Church.

Mr. Andrews is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judy, son Chris Andrews and his wife Erin, daughters Jennifer Moore and her husband Joel and Emelie Graham and husband Will. He also has eight beloved grandchildren Grayce, Eilea and Olive Andrews; Tatum, Parker and Kimbell Moore; and Thomas and Leon Graham. He also is survived by his sister, Deborah Hartman.

Philanthropy Activity

2017 – Established the Dr. Bob Woods Chair in Automotive Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington

2011 – Established Excellence Fund for Global Research and Education, Industrial Distribution Program, Texas A&M

2009 – Endowment gift to fund the John V. Roach Honors College, Texas Christian University 2008 – Supporting contribution to the Mary Couts Burnett Library, Honors Program

2008 – Established the Andrews Institute of Mathematics and Science, Texas Christian University

2007 –  Established the Paul E. Andrews Jr. Foundation, focusing on education and healthcare

2005 – Supporting contribution to establish the Andrews Women’s Hospital at Baylor Scott & White, Fort Worth

1996 – Established the Paul and Judy Industrial Distribution Conference Center, Texas A&M

The Paul E. Andrews, Jr. Foundation, created in 2007, will continue its focus on supporting education and health care initiatives in the Fort Worth community. In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions in honor of Andrews’ memory may be directed to:

Andrews Women’s Hospital Endowment Fund

C/O Amy Adkins

1400 8th Ave., Fort Worth 76104

Presbyterian Night Shelter

C/O Brenda Rios

2400 Cypress St., Fort Worth 76102

Details of services were unavailable.

– Includes information from TTI, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and Fort Worth Business Press archives