Andres Pastana, Who Served UWS Church and Pantry for Decades, Dies of Covid Complications

Andres Pastrana, the custodian at Christ & Saint Stephen’s at 120 West 69th Street, succumbed to complications from the COVID-19 virus and died Sunday afternoon.

Pastrana had worked at the church for more than 20 years, and before that for the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, which runs a food pantry. The church helped start a GoFundMe for him, and as of Thursday it had secured more than $5,000, above its goal of $4,000. The funds will go to help his family.

Rev. Kathleen Liles sent the following message:

“I have the sad duty to inform you that our longtime custodian Andres Pastrana succumbed to complications from the COVID-19 virus and died Sunday afternoon. Andres has served on our staff for more than twenty years. After arriving from West Side Campaign Against Hunger, where I came to know him, Andres quickly proved himself to be a faithful and very hardworking man. For a number of years, he served as assistant to the late George Johnson. After George died Andres stepped up and increased his duties without falter or complaint as he became ever more deeply woven into the fabric of our community. He will be deeply missed.

I ask that you keep Andres, along with his son Daniel Ruiz (who serves as our sexton), Andres’ wife Florencia Azucena Ruiz, and his entire family in your prayers in the days ahead.”

NEWS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. jem says:

      A tragedy.
      Prayers for his family.

    2. jezbel says:

      Most sincere condolences for his loss. Love and support for his family.

    3. ST says:

      Many condolences to the church, its community and especially to his family and friends.

    4. Mdkids says:

      So sad. Thank-you for shining a light on the unsung heroes.

    5. Emilie de Brigard says:

      Rest In peace

    6. MB/UWSer says:

      Thank you for sharing this news. Mr. Pastrana’s light seemed to shine bright – may it continue to shine upon his family in the memories shared.

      I wish his family, friends and his circle of community prayers of comfort and support.

    7. Doreen Wohl says:

      I’m so sorry to hear of the death of Andreas Pastrana. He was a valued volunteer at West Side Campaign Against Hunger, and we recommended him to Christ and St. Stevens when you needed a janitor 20 years ago. Thank you for opening your arms and accepting Andrews as a valued member of your community.

    8. Cynthia Gale says:

      I am a longtime member of Rutgers Church, a UWS neighborhood church on West 73rd Street. This sad news about Mr. Pastrana touched me deeply. Like Christ and St. Stevens, we have committed Church Facilities Staff who shine a special light within our community- without them, we would be unable to function and provide service and support to so many. My heart breaks for Mr. Pastrana and his family and my prayers are with them in the difficult weeks and months that lie ahead. God Bless.