Andrew Perry Littleton
October 29, 2000 – April 10, 2023
WENDELL – Andrew Perry Littleton, 22, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, April 10, 2023. He was born in
Jefferson County, Alabama, to James (Jim) Wood Littleton and Lisa Perikles Littleton. Andrew lived in Helena,
Alabama for the first ten years of his life.
At a very early age, Andrew adopted the Alabama Crimson Tide as his team, and was a dedicated football fan. He
went to numerous games, received a tour of the Bryant Denny Stadium and had a Nick Saban signed football that
he loved. Whenever a game was on he would watch with his family, enjoying his favorite jalapeno pretzel pieces and
When Andrew moved to North Carolina, he quickly added Duke Basketball to his favorite team list. Andrew
received excellent care from his doctors at Duke. His physical therapist, Laura Case, called Andrew an “expert” on
his condition of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and asked him to sit on panel discussions for physical therapy
When he turned 14, Andrew received a golden retriever service dog named Namath. Namath brought him a great
deal of joy and laughter. Namath chose Andrew to be his person at service dog training with Canine Assistants of
Milton, Ga. Namath accompanied Andrew wherever he went, including middle school and high school, and
provided a great deal of support. Namath even traveled with Andrew and family on their trip to Canada.
Andrew carried with him a soft spot for all animals. He made sure that our dogs were well cared for and often asked
family members to move over so that Namath, or our other dog Timmy, could have their favorite spot on the couch
or under the dining room table. One of his favorite memories was the standoff between Namath and a llama at the
Andrew had a superb sense of humor. He had a quick wit, candor and enjoyed laughing with family and friends. He
loved watching comedies, sitcoms and poking fun at himself and his family. “Remember when you cooked the
turkey upside down, Dad.” He could even find a way to laugh in trying circumstances, such as extended hospital
stays when surrounded by people who loved him.
Also, Andrew had a mischievous side. This was first evident when he was caught red-handed at age 5 teaching his
younger brother to blow bubbles in the hall water closet. This streak continued throughout high school where he
was caught on camera breaking school rules allowing friends to ride on the back of his power wheelchair. We will
not mention the time he “serendipitously” released balloons off a neighbors mailbox before a party, not realizing the
neighbor was watching from their upstairs window. Yes, the neighbor was a policeman.
Growing up, Andrew loved to hear stories before bedtime. Whether it was all the wonderful books lovingly read to
him on the couch by Mom, or the “Adventures of Big Bear” stories made up at night on the floor of his bedroom
by Dad, or the stories by older relatives about growing up in a different era, Andrew basked in the serenity of a
good story before calling it a day.
Moreover, Andrew was resilient and incredibly brave, even in the midst of very hard circumstances. He faced a great
deal of adversity in his 22 years, things children and youth should not have to face, but he kept going, often with a
smile on his face. He dealt with multiple breaks and orthopedic surgeries. After one such surgery on his femur,
Andrew returned to the surgeon’s office to have the pins removed. However, he was bound and determined to
remove them without assistance. Taking a pair of forceps off the table, he pulled each pin one-by -one until they
were all removed. No one but Andrew could do this.
As Andrew aged, his compassion and empathy grew. He wanted Mom to become his full-time caregiver instead of
the constant struggle of finding full-time CNA help. When we were struggling with our CNA position, Mom was
ready to leave teaching to become his CNA. However, the school year had not finished. Andrew told her “Finish
the school year Mom because it’s not fair to the kids if you leave before the end of the year.”
One thing we loved most about Andrew was his advocacy and compassion for anyone experiencing discrimination.
Personally, Andrew experienced all the challenges of using a wheelchair for mobility. There were some places he
literally could not go because there was not an accessible entrance. Other times, the accessible entrances were in
odd places that made it difficult to navigate. Sometimes, people would cut in front of him in a crowded area making
it very hard to drive. Of course, these experiences made him angry. And, these experiences made him angry and
compassionate for anyone who felt left-out or pushed to the margins. On many occasions he would speak up and
advocate for others when life for them was not fair.
Andrew graduated from Holly Springs High School, attended Wake Technical Community College, and was
employed by the Department of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Cary.
Andrew taught us what it means to persevere through hard times, adapt when life changes, not be timid when
asking questions, find humor in unexpected places, advocate for accessible access for all people and love more than
we could possibly imagine. We remain forever proud of him!
Andrew was baptized as an infant at Helena United Methodist Church. Later, he was confirmed at White Plains
United Methodist Church and was currently attending Wake Forest United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his parents, Jim & Lisa Littleton, his brother, Reece Littleton, his service dog Namath, and many
other loving family members and friends. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to PPMD (Parent
Project Muscular Dystrophy) or Canine Assistants.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 pm on April 29, 2023, at Wake Forest United Methodist Church. The family
will receive friends prior to the service in the Family Life Center at 1 pm. The family invites you to wear Duke Blue
or Alabama Crimson to honor Andrew. A private burial will take place at a later time. Arrangements trusted to
Strickland Funeral Home & Crematory, 211 W. Third St., Wendell, NC. www.stricklandfuneral.com.