Freshman Andrew Hoien remembered for humor, love of sports

Journalism student Andrew Hoien died March 23.
Freshman Andrew Hoien died March 23 from what is preliminarily believed to be an aortic dissection, a tear in the wall of the aorta. Hoien, an avid Kansas City Royals fan, aspired to be a sports journalist. Courtesy of Jim Hoien

Freshman Andrew Hoien learned to read at a very early age. In fact, he would read the entire sports section of the newspaper before breakfast each day. He was a student in the MU School of Journalism, with hopes of becoming a sports journalist.

Mr. Hoien, of Lee's Summit, died March 23. His father Jim Hoien said the preliminary cause of death was aortic dissection, a tear in the wall of the aorta.

Mr. Hoien worked as a graphic designer for The Maneater.

Jim Hoien said his son could talk with everyone about baseball, hockey, football or any sport.

"Everyone was always surprised at how knowledgeable about sports he was," Jim Hoien said.

Mr. Hoien's roommate Ryan Williams said people who wanted to talk sports with Mr. Hoien had to bring their "A-game." Williams said Mr. Hoien was an avid Kansas City Royals fan.

"They could win two games, and he'd be mad at them, but he'd be there next year trying to get tickets to games," Williams said.

Williams and Mr. Hoien met the summer before junior year in high school, and they have been friends since.

Jim Hoien said his son also enjoyed comedy. Williams said the first thing people will mention of Mr. Hoien is his sense of humor.

"He was very sarcastic, which you know could rub people the wrong way, but once you got to know him you embraced the whole package," Williams said.

He said Mr. Hoien was the comic relief in their group of friends.

"The kid would have me up at two, three in the morning just cracking up," Williams said. "We were up late either procrastinating or not tired. We talked about stuff that happened throughout the day or year. He could say anything and it would be funny."

Jim Hoien said his son was always upbeat, looking for the positive in any situation.

"We used to argue about the future, you know, making contingency plans, and he would always say, 'Don't worry, things will work out, if something comes up I will handle it,'" his father said. "And he always did."

Jim Hoien said his son was also very independent and strong-willed.

"He pursued his dreams, not mine," Jim Hoien said. "And I am so thankful that he ignored me."

His father said he also enjoyed playing poker with his family.

"If his sister beat him, he'd get upset about that," Jim Hoien said. "He was really competitive that way."

Williams said Mr. Hoien wasn't very influenced by peer pressure.

"He would come up with other stuff to do, that he would like to do, and that would make him happy," Williams said.

Williams said Mr. Hoien didn't say it a lot, but his actions showed he cared for other people. Williams recalled a time when two girls entered their room after having a rough day.

"He was just keeping them company," Williams said. "He went over to Pershing and brought them both a Coca-Cola as a surprise."

Williams and Mr. Hoien planned to create a sports blog together.

"We both wanted to do sports journalism," Williams said. "Being around him, it made me want to know sports more."

Williams said he will miss his roommate and that Mr. Hoien will always be in his memory and heart.

"I'm going to try to get this journalist thing down for him," Williams said. "I know he'll be watching over me."

Mr. Hoien is survived by his father Jim, his mother Chris, his sister Jennifer, his grandparents Melba Hoien and Alfred and Florence Chanley and numerous aunts, uncles and friends.

Donations are being accepted for the National Marfan Foundation, an education, support and research resource for Marfan's syndrome and related disorders.

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