Needham High School alum dies from avalanche injuries

Steve Bagley

Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you Andy Entin died doing what he loved.

The 1986 Needham High School graduate died from injuries suffered in an avalanche on March 3 while patrolling the slopes of Squaw Valley in California.

The NHS alum moved away from Massachusetts to pursue his lifelong love of the slopes, his sister, Jodi Entin of California, said. “He always loved to ski,” his older sister said. “He always had a love of the outdoors, and loved to help people.”

The avalanche that killed Entin was the second in three months in the area. In January, an avalanche broke out and took the life of another skier. Before that, there hadn’t been an avalanche at Squaw in several years, said Mike Rheaume, an old friend.

Entin, born Sept. 25, 1967, in Wilmington, Del., began his career as an outdoorsman at the Blue Hills reservation in Canton, Mass., his sister said. He also worked as a shuttle bus driver at the Killington resort in Vermont, “just to be close to the skiing,” she said.

His career culminated in a job as a patrolman at Squaw, where he worked for 15 years.

Rheaume, a friend of Entin’s from Needham High School, who currently lives in Acton, would take frequent trips out to see him at Squaw. “I used to go out and visit,” he said. “I’d go to Squaw, and Andy, he treated me like family.”

Rheaume and Entin were part of a large group of friends who would hit the slopes on the weekends, Rheaume said. “We would always go skiing together,” Rheaume said. “I think I kind of influenced him a little, because he was just starting out.”

Rheaume remembered a trip he and some friends took out to visit Rheaume a few years ago. Entin led the group down patrols of trails that hadn’t been opened yet to the general public, in a fresh snow. It was night, and the trails were quiet and empty. “My friends still talk about it to this day,” Rheaume said.

Entin’s friends from NHS have posted several notes to Entin on his Facebook wall. Kristen Walters, who moved from Needham to Florida several years ago, wrote “Andrew, you truly are a remarkable friend. I cannot begin to tell you how much I would miss you.”

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