Marie Andrew passed away peacefully on July 30 at MacKenzie Place Retirement Home in Colorado Springs. At age 98, she had lived a long, full life, brightening the lives of countless others along the way. Born in New Jersey to Harold and Leora Orvis, she grew up with sister Barbara and brothers Harold and John just outside of New York City.
Marie began playing piano at an early age, and enjoyed a life-long love of music. She met her future husband, Jim Andrew, while attending Guilford College, NC, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Piano Performance. She went on to complete a Masters of Music Education degree from Columbia Teachers’ College in New York City. Marie and Jim married in 1951. They first lived in Buffalo, New York, where Jim pursued his PhD in Physics and Marie taught private piano lessons. They then lived briefly in Brigham City, UT, before settling in Los Alamos, NM, in 1963. Jim was employed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for twenty-three years, and the couple enjoyed a long and active retirement in Los Alamos.
A passionate teacher, Marie inspired generations of Los Alamos students through her thriving piano studio. She loved playing piano duos with friends in the Los Alamos Piano Group and was a member of the Vested Interests Two-Piano Quartet, one of several groups and individuals who gave benefit concerts to acquire a new piano for UNM-LA. Marie graciously played for many early morning Sunday services at the United Church of Los Alamos. She sang in the Los Alamos Choral Society and sometimes served as the group’s accompanist. She also volunteered her talents as a rehearsal pianist for the Los Alamos Light Opera, and frequently accompanied students for Solo and Ensemble and recitals.
Marie had a strong spiritual faith. Coming from a family of Quakers, she was an active member of the Santa Fe Friends Meeting, and she began the Los Alamos Quaker Worship Group around 1970. In addition, she often attended the United Church, and was involved in many of the activities there over the decades. Other community involvement included being a founding member of the Barranca Mesa Pool Association, where, until the age of 92, she swam at 6:00 a.m. each morning of every summer. She also enjoyed frequent workouts at the Los Alamos Fitness Center with Jim, as well as walking, hiking, and gardening.
She was loved as a wife, mother, grandmother, musician, teacher, mentor, neighbor and friend. She loved connecting with people, and her openness, big heart, and gentle sense of humor endeared her to all who knew her.
Marie spent her last six years in a retirement facility in Colorado Springs, near her daughter, Nancy. She was predeceased by her parents, her sister, her two brothers, and her husband Jim, and is survived by her daughters Nancy Andrew of Colorado Springs, CO, Kathy Andrew of Brattleboro, VT, Emmy Andrew Ratliff of Divide, CO, her grandsons Dylan and Grayson, and granddaughter Riley.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at the United Church of Los Alamos on Saturday, September 16 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please make memorial donations to the American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (afsc.org), or to a charity of your choice.