24 Oct 23

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It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Andrew “Andy” Ferdinand Choquette.

Andy will always be remembered for his courage during difficult times. Unfortunately this time the pain was too much to bear and Andy took his life on October 24, 2023. He is predeceased by his father Jean-Claude and his step-mother Denyse. He is survived by his sons Matthew & Ian, their mother Carol, his sister Cassandra (Geoff), nephew Jack and Andy’s lifelong best friend Andre Morin.

Andy was born May 1, 1963 in Pembroke, ON but was always proud of his French – Canadian upbringing as a result of spending his childhood and early adult life in Quebec City, Quebec. Andy often mentioned it was his bilinguality that gave him opportunities as a young man whether it was working at the Mt St Anne ski shop or guiding horse and buggy tours in downtown Quebec City.

Andy enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces as a reservist MP before transitioning to the regular force as a Communicator Research Operator (MOC 291) in 1984. His career as a 291’er took him around the world where his goal always was to ‘‘leave the world a better place than how I found it.’ Andy took several postings throughout Canada and the US as well as being deployed seven times including CFS Alert (‘86-’87, ‘91-‘92), Somalia (‘92-‘93), Bosnia (‘98,‘99-‘00), and Afghanistan (‘06,‘12). Andy’s charismatic leadership and executive ability led him to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) in 2011 before commissioning to the rank of Captain. Andy retired from the armed forces in 2016.

In the public service Andy continued to work alongside military personnel as the CAF-VAC program coordinator for the “Hire a Veteran” program and with non profit organizations dedicated to helping homeless veterans find their purpose. Andy prioritized helping others discover and unlock their own capabilities.

As a self proclaimed life long learner, he returned to school in 2018 and completed a Masters degree in Leadership from the University of Regina. He also took on senior management roles with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and eventually moved to the private sector as a Solutions Architect at WithYouWithMe where he helped with finding solutions to address global underemployment.

Andy’s desire to uplift his peers and support others went beyond the workplace. He was an active community member and coached minor/junior hockey for over 20 years both in Canada and the States. Andy made a positive impact on each person that came through his locker room leaving them with powerful anecdotes for every situation in life.

Andy was always very active and loved the outdoors. He particularly enjoyed golfing, swimming and skiing. He was a teenage pioneer in the 70’s Quebec skateboarding scene and even snowboarded in the Arctic circle while stationed in Alert. He was well travelled and well read. Andy was keen to learn from life experience and was open to new perspectives and ideas. He enjoyed being with friends, visiting new places together or just relaxing listening to music. Above all, Andy loved his children more than anything in this world.

Andy leaves family and friends throughout Canada, US and the world. We send love to you all. Please consider making a contribution to Boots On The Ground. This is an anonymous helpline providing confidential and anonymous peer support to First Responders across the province, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Boots On The Ground supports all First Responders including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, corrections officers, military, veterans, and emergency dispatch operators. It is a charitable organization completely run and staffed by volunteers.

Those wishing to say goodbye to Andy and pay respects to the family are invited to attend a service Friday November 17 at 12:30pm at the Beechwood Cemetery (280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa)