Today we say goodbye to an icon.

Born Archibald Andrews (1941), “Archie” as he was known to loved ones, was just 17 years old when he was gunned down trying to protect his friend—controversial U.S. Senator Kevin Keller—in a shooting that authorities are calling a hate crime.

While details surrounding the event are still unclear, it is believed that the openly gay Keller, a well-known gun-control activist, was targeted due to his “personal point of view” by a still unknown assailant.

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Family, friends and colleagues on Wednesday mourned Archie’s shocking death while honoring his remarkable life.

With his signature red hair, freckles and eternal optimism, Mr. Andrews was often seen driving his 1916 Ford Model T jalopy "Betsy" up and down Merrimack Street or sharing a burger with friends at Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe.

A three sport star at Riverdale High (despite occasional bouts of clumsiness), Mr. Andrews was valued by teammates and coaches alike for his athletic abilities and indomitable team spirit—qualities that led Riverdale to multiple championships during his high school tenure.

Outside of the classroom, Mr. Andrews dedicated much of his energy to his burgeoning music career. An accomplished singer-songwriter with undeniable guitar chops, Mr. Andrews and his eponymous band scored a major hit with the bubblegum single “Sugar Sugar” in 1969. Before his life was tragically cut short Wednesday, Mr. Andrews and band were planning to return to the studio for the first time since 2008’s holiday gem The Archies Christmas Album.

The Archies in 1971.

Mr. Andrews leaves behind his best friend, Jughead, his girlfriends, Betty and Veronica, his dog Spotty, his parents Frederick and Mary Andrews, and countless other loved ones in the Riverdale community.

While he may have left us in body, Archie will live on in the hearts of all who he has touched around the world. A hero who died selflessly protecting the ideals he believed in—he epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It's what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years and it’s how we will remember him for the rest of our days.


For the full story of Archie’s tragic demise, check out the latest issue of “Life With Archie” click here.