Andrew A. Dantzler 1962-2011

Andrew A. DantzlerANDREW A. DANTZLER (Age 49) of Sykesville, died on Thursday, October 13, 2011. Born March 25, 1962 in Bethesda, he was the son of Taft Dantzler of Blacksburg, VA and Barbara Surrett Dantzler of Rockville. He was the husband of Erin E. Dantzler of Sykesville. They had been married for 17 years. Andy worked at NASA from 1984-2006, serving as an optical engineer, EOS manager, Landsat 7 manager, assistant chief of the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics, and Director of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA Headquarters. In 2006, Andy joined The Johns Hopkins University APL’s Civilian Space Business Area to lead the Living with a Star Missions. Andy was also the first Program Manager for Solar Probe Plus, which will journey closer to the Sun than any probe has ever gone. Andy was promoted to Program Area Manager for Civilian Space in 2009, overseeing program management for projects such as the MESSENGER mission, now in orbit about Mercury and the New Horizons mission on its way to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. Andy’s other passion was Judo. He was a 3rd degree black belt in Judo and a member of the USA Judo Association. He was also a nationally certified coach and referee. In addition to his parents and wife, he is survived by daughter Melanie M. Celano of Falls Church, VA, sons Nicholas A. and Wesley S. Dantzler, both of Sykesville, brother Stephen Dantzler, sister Kathryn Payne and husband Bryan, brother Mark Dantzler and wife Cindy and stepmother Gladys Dantzler, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jeffrey N. Zumbrun Funeral Home, 6028 Sykesville Road, Eldersburg. A funeral service will be held Wednesday, 11 a.m. at the Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church, 961 Johnsville Road, Sykesville. Sympathies may be expressed in the form of contributions to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 6062, Albert Lea, MN 56007-6662 or the Dantzler Scholarship Fund c/o Capital One Bank, 6090 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville, MD 21029. Online condolences may be offered at

Published in The Washington Post on October 16, 2011