Andrew Katzin

Andrew "Andy" Katzin, a Santa Rosa entrepreneur and businessman who founded an engineering company, died of a heart attack June 14. He was 60.

"He was a man's man," said his wife of 26 years, Kelly Katzin of Santa Rosa. "He was really a funny guy and always in good spirits."

Born in New York City, Katzin and his family moved to Orlando where he excelled at baseball and golf in high school. He attended the University of Florida, where he played guitar in a rock band that played with the Allman Brothers.

"That was his claim to fame," Kelly Katzin said. "He was really proud of that."

He was offered a minor league baseball tryout but did not make the team.

After graduating college with a degree in philosophy, he drove west to escape the heat and humidity of Florida. Eventually settling in San Francisco, he tried his hand at various enterprises.

Katzin began playing poker professionally in Tahoe before spending a season as a commercial salmon fisherman in Coos Bay, Ore. Later, he sold rugs imported from Afghanistan.

"He was really smart," Kelly Katzin said. "His organizational ability was tremendous. That's how he became so successful."

His first "real job" was with a diesel engine distributor buying used engines and selling parts, Kelly Katzin said.

"He traveled a lot," she said. "He was in his mid-20s and they would send him to Guyana and Panama."

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