Andrea Leigh Drugay Obituary, Death – Andrea Leigh Drugay died peacefully at home on May 13, 2022 after having lived well with metastatic breast cancer for many wonderful years. She was born in Chicago, IL, on March 31, 1974 to Joseph and Margaret Drugay.
Andrea grew up in Glenview, Illinois with her older sister Jennifer. She met her husband, the musician and artist Dave Janusko, in San Francisco in 2000, and they married in January 2013. They were blessed with two wonderful cats, Sly and Robbie, and with many friends whom they love in their favorite city in the world.
Andrea worked in the tech industry until she took a leave of absence in the fall of 2021 to focus on her health. During her years in tech, she thrived in the exciting, fast-paced environment of companies like Google, Dropbox, and Slack, as well as in the innovation of small and scrappy startups.
She earned her MFA in Creative Writing in 2001 from San Francisco State University, so her focus in tech was on writing and editing. She put her writing skills to use doing copywriting and user experience writing, then eventually managed teams of writers.
She was lucky enough to be a speaker and panelist for many writing-related events in tech, and to give international talks for global conferences.
Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and personal essays have been featured in various literary journals, blogs, and anthologies, including the personal essay collection, Nothing But The Truth So Help Me God, and the coffee table anthology Burning Man Live!
She has two indie-published books, which are no longer available new on Amazon but you can find them used if you look hard enough: How to Survive Beauty School and A Year of Natural Health and Beauty. In addition to her MFA in Creative Writing, Andrea has a BA in Communication from Santa Clara University.
From 2012–2015, she received her cosmetology license and trained as a part-time hairstylist in San Francisco, apprenticing at the high-end salon Posh and eventually taking clients on the floor.
Andrea was a lifelong devotee of the practice of yoga and meditation, and earned over 500 hours of yoga teacher training from 2007–2012. Her yoga training primarily focused on Baptiste-inspired Power Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, and Restorative Yoga. She also received additional training in Tantra, Kundalini, Yin, Yoga for Kids, and Prenatal Yoga.
For many years, she taught yoga to executives and managers in corporate environments at several Silicon Valley Fortune 500 companies, including Google, Yahoo, Cisco, and Amgen. She also taught private yoga to individuals, with a focus on strength, focus, meditation, and overall well-being.
Additionally, Andrea practiced as a certified holistic wellness coach and a certified personal trainer She was the San Francisco Yoga Writer for Examiner.com, and wrote over 200 articles about yoga and Pilates for the site iSport.com.
To complement her yoga, Andrea was an ongoing student and practitioner of Jyotish (Vedic astrology) and Ayurveda. She was an experienced reader of Tarot, having practiced since she received her first deck when she was a child. Additionally, she became a DONA-trained birth doula and a Reiki master (Level 4) with an emphasis on animal reiki, helping both to bring new life into this world and to help extend the comfort of the lives already in this world.
For many years, Andrea and Dave celebrated life at the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada. Andrea loved the free-form expression she could undertake at the festival and was a devoted Burner for nearly a decade.
From 2002 to 2008, she co-founded and performed as a fire dancer and stilt walker with a performance troupe in the San Francisco Bay Area called Fire Arts Collective. The troupe’s performances included gigs at nightclubs like 1015 Folsom, underground parties, corporate events, Burning Man and related regional events, and a high school halftime show.
They were featured in national publications, including Conscious Dancer magazine and the Oakland Tribune.
She also co-founded the associated fire-dancing school Fire Arts Academy, helped develop the curriculum, and taught many people the exciting skill of dancing with fire.
After college, Andrea spent some time living in Los Angeles and working in the music industry. She was always a huge music fan and loved going to see live music and supporting local musicians. In the music industry, she worked for a variety of places, including CAA (Creative Artists Agency), Rhino Records, and the Beastie Boys’ record label, Grand Royal Records.
Her love of music spilled over to her support of independent radio, where she was a DJ and Music Director at KSCU in Santa Clara, a volunteer at KCRW in Santa Monica, and an intern with KQED radio’s special events series, City Arts & Lectures. Andrea was a lifelong artist who expressed her creative side not only through writing, performing, and hair and makeup services, but also through painting and other visual arts. She showed her art in cities in both Northern and Southern California.
She was a great lover of the outdoors and fitness, with a deep love for snowboarding, hiking, running, and biking. She completed two triathlons, the San Francisco Marathon, many short distance running races, and often spent several weekends each winter snowboarding in Lake Tahoe. Her favorite resort there was always Kirkwood.
Andrea loved animals, travel, and learning, never passing up an opportunity to visit a new state or country, and in her last few years was lucky enough to experience the wonders of Israel, Taiwan, and the bedazzling autumn night skies lit up with the Northern Lights in Iceland.
Andrea is survived by her husband Dave; her mother Margaret; and sister Jennifer. She is lucky to have had her life filled with her niece and nephew, Lucy and Emmett Cook; as well as with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, in-laws, and friends who were as close as family.
There will be a celebration of her life in San Francisco in the fall of 2022.