It is with an extremely heavy heart that we announce the passing of 19-year IBEW 1245 member Andrew Darby, who lost his life to COVID-19 complications.
Brother Darby, who worked for PG&E as a Distribution Gas System Operator in San Ramon, was extremely well-liked and respected by his co-workers.
“We’re all in shock. It’s just so sad. Andrew was a really good guy, always going out of his way to help people out,” said co-worker Carl Olguin. “He knew the job really well. I used to joke with my supervisor that I would trade the whole team for two Drews.”
“His wife Leanne recently told me how much he loved his job at PG&E, and how much we all meant to him — and I myself had a hard time holding back tears,” Darby’s supervisor, Eric Perez, wrote in an email. “Trust me when I say this, he loved being a part of what we do.”
Brother Darby’s knowledge and passion for his work was evident in all that he did, and he loved everything about his job, especially the flexibility that his position afforded him. As a DSO, Darby was able to arrange his schedule in a way that allowed him to be at home with his family more, and he was even able to assist with his kids’ homeschooling. Darby was extremely proud of his four children, who range in age from 18 to a newly adopted one-year-old, and he was always bragging about them and showing off family photos at work.
He was also a dedicated Spurs, A’s and 49ers fan, and known around the yard for his love of old school rap music, Star Wars, and all things Marvel.
“He was truly like a brother to me. I didn’t just lose a friend, I lost a brother,” said Apprentice System Operator Reza Farhang, who worked with Darby for many years in materials and gas system ops, and the two remained close even after Farhang moved over to a different department. “Andrew was a real positive guy, no drama, a great family man and husband, but also a big kid at heart. He was very humble, very sweet, and even though we were on different sides politically, it never got in between us. He was like a bridge. Didn’t matter who you were, he would always give you that smile, that respect, that love.”
“He was the most loving person I’ve ever known. He had a huge heart,” echoed Lead Driver Ural Thomas, who had been friends with Darby since high school. “He was the one who go me into PG&E, he was always extending those opportunities to me to see if PG&E was a place that I’d want to work. I didn’t even really know what PG&E was at the time, but he stayed asking me [until I got a job]… When I speak of him, I’ll always think about his persistence, how it helped change my life, provided me with some structure. I’m forever in debt to him.”
Brother Darby contracted COVID-19 and was in the hospital fighting the virus for two weeks before his passing. His wife of 19 years, Leanne, as well as his children, Luke, Paige, Brooke and Jade, are still reeling from the loss. A GoFundMe has been established to assist the family with medical, funeral and other costs – please use the link below to contribute. A vacation sale has been established by the company, and directions can be found here.