Amanda “Mandy” Northrop, 28: She would do anything to help

For the many people who loved her, the mere mention of Amanda Northrop’s name elicited elation.

Even Amanda’s 8-month-old niece, McConnell, whom Amanda baby-sat every Friday, would chant, “Aunt Mandy! Aunt Mandy!” whenever she was told Amanda would be visiting. They called the routine “Aunt Mandy’s Song.”

Amanda spent much of her time caring for others — her mother, now deceased; an elderly aunt, whose house she cleaned; a 95-year-old neighbor, whose toy poodle she walked; and several children, who loved her as their sitter.

“I would say Amanda was one of the most selfless individuals I’ve ever met,” said her sister, Melissa Gorman of Peachtree Corners. “She would do anything to help anyone at the drop of a hat.”

Amanda “Mandy” Northrop died unexpectedly July 27 after a brief illness. She was 28.

A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. at Perimeter Church in Johns Creek. H.M. Patterson & Sons, Oglethorpe Hill, was in charge of arrangements.

Amanda, who was a lifelong resident of Dunwoody, graduated from Dunwoody High School in 2003 with a few county swimming championships under her belt. She and Natanya Harper, her teammate and best friend, were known as the Dunwoody Wildcat’s “Dynamic Duo.”

They had a tight group of friends who swam together at Dunwoody and the Dynamo Swim Club, but Amanda was kind to everyone, Harper said. “She was so easy to be friends with,” she said. “The thing about Amanda was that she cared so much for everyone. She was the first person to cry with a friend, and the first person to run up and give you a hug.”

Amanda graduated from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia in 2007 with a marketing degree. “She was a Georgia Bulldog through and through,” said Gorman. Amanda wouldn’t miss a football game and loved joining in on game day tailgating festivities.

Soon after graduation, the economy tanked, which put Amanda and other bright, young professionals out of work. In 2009, her mother, Regina McConnell Northrop, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and Amanda devoted herself full time to her mother’s care.

“(Regina) was in the hospital for over 8 months constantly, and Amanda never left her side,” said her father, Robert Northrop of Dunwoody. During that time, Amanda became involved with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and raised thousands of dollars toward their effort.

After her mother died in 2010, Amanda, her father and her sister met for dinner every Friday at Seasons 52 near Perimeter Mall, where they would catch up over steak and shrimp flatbread, her father said.

Amanda and her sister, who was four years her senior, were close. “She was totally a fashionista and had the best taste in clothes,” Gorman said. “I didn’t have that gift. Even when I came home from college, she had to sit me down and show me how to put makeup on.”

Amanda was happiest caring for others, her friends said. She was the Schindler family’s favorite sitter, minding their three children for almost two decades, since age 12.

“We considered her part of our family,” said Marjie Schindler of Alpharetta. Amanda joined the Schindlers on family vacations and even spent some nights watching their newborn daughter, now 11, so they could get a full night’s sleep.

“I could always count on her,” said Schindler. “She was the fun big sister that everybody wished that they had.”