Else Marie Andres, 92, formerly of Montclair, died on March 31, 2019 at Job Haines Home in Bloomfield.
Mrs. Andres was born in 1927 and grew up in Odda, at the end of the Hardangar Fjord near Bergen, Norway. She witnessed the Great Depression followed by the Nazi German occupation.
After the war, she travelled to Sweden, a neutral country unscathed by the conflict, and worked as an au pair for a couple of fine families, the source for many stories she later told her children. In early 1947, she bought passage to America on the ship, Stavanger Fjord, accompanied by her aunt and relocating to where her uncle had a delicatessen in the “Little Norway” section of Brooklyn, now Sunset Park.
Mrs. Andres obtained employment in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn at a bakery owned by her future father-in-law. It wasn’t long before she met Stephen Andres, the boss’s son, who was running a satellite food preparation operation, also in Bay Ridge.
They married in September 1948 and started their family in Bay Ridge and moved to a house on eastern leg of Mill Basin, Brooklyn in 1958. The family enjoyed boating from their dock, fishing and exploring Jamaica Bay and beyond. In 1964, the family moved back to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, closer to the rapidly expanding catering business Mr. Andres and his father were forging into a very successful operation.
When her children were grown, she went back to school. After first getting her GED, she attended Staten Island Community College and from there was accepted by Columbia University in NYC. After Columbia she attended The Art Students League of New York in Manhattan, studying under the artist, Knox Martin. Her paintings were featured in several group shows. Around 1969, she and Stephen bought land near Windham, NY, an area they discovered while snow skiing, a skill Mrs. Andres brought from Norway and taught to her sons. They built a small vacation home where they gardened, swam in the pool, fished in the Schoharie River, walked in the mountains and fostered the various dogs or cats their children inevitably deposited with them. Mr. Andres even built a barn with a loft where Mrs. Andres could create.
After Mr. Andres retired in 1986, they divided their time between Bay Ridge and the Catskills until they sold the Brooklyn home. In 1991 they bought a condo in Montclair near their son, Bob, and his family. They sold the Catskills home after 2001. Mr. Andres died in 2007. Mrs. Andres lived independently in Montclair until 2017 when she moved to Job Haines Home in Bloomfield.
Mrs. Andres is survived by her sons and families of Steven, Timothy and Robert, four grandchildren, two great- grandchildren and her younger sister Gunvor.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Job Haines Home, 250 Bloomfield Ave. Bloomfield, NJ, 07003.
A memorial service was held Saturday, April 6 in the Rosedale Cemetery Chapel in Montclair.