Richard Martin Andolsen
June 27, 1927 ~ June 6, 2007
Monterey – Richard Martin Andolsek, also known as Richard Andolsen, age
79, passed away peacefully in the arms of his loving sister on
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 at the Community Hospital of the Monterey
Peninsula. Born on June 27, 1927 in Cleveland, Ohio, he was the eldest
of three children. He entered the United States Navy at 18, and after
an honorable discharge attended Ohio State University where he played
football, and was a member of the wrestling team. Richard studied
commercial art and worked as publicity manager for Loews Theater in
Cleveland, where he promoted movies and brought major stars such as
Debbie Reynolds, Patti Page, Helen O'Connell, Vic Damone, and many
other big names in show business, to town for stage shows.
One of Richard's most daring feats took place, when as a young man in
his thirties, he stowed away on the Queen Mary, then jumped ship
swimming into Southampton in churning waters. Found by English Bobbies
sleeping in a nearby park he was arrested and made headlines. He was
released when his father contacted then Congresswoman Frances Bolton of
Ohio. Shortly after, he married Maribel Boyd, a Canadian Socialite, and
they had a son, David Boyd Martin. The family moved from Ohio to
Southern California, where Richard worked as a pharmaceutical salesman.
A few years later he moved his family to Monterey, and was divorced.
Richard opened an antique store on Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey,
which he ran for many years.
In the late sixties Richard bought the Hamilton/Steinbeck house at 222
Central Avenue in Pacific Grove with his mother Anna recently widowed.
After her death, the house passed to Richard and his sister, and has
been alternately occupied by Richard and his sister ever since, Richard
was a devotee of John Steinbeck, in particular Steinbeck's interest in
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Richard founded the
non-profit Steinbeck Arthurian Society, and held many discussion groups
in the cottage adjacent to the house where it is believed Steinbeck,
his friend Doc Ricketts, and many of their friends met at times to
share stories, red wine, and cheap spaghetti.
During the years Richard was developing the Steinbeck House he fought
valiantly to protect it from being torn down by the City of Pacific
Grove. Richard was a maverick and had his own ideas about city building
codes, and how he wanted the house to be. He was not a materialistic
person, but he could fit into any class of society, not only because he
was handsome and charming, but because of his brilliant mind.
In the mid-eighties he met and married Louise Cardemone from Long
Island, NY. They traveled extensively in Europe together and lived
alternately in Santa Barbara and Pacific Grove. During this period of
time Richard sought out the renowned expert and author on Mythology,
the late Joseph Campbell, and arranged for him to speak at the Cherry
Foundation in Carmel. Richard and Louise spent several subsequent days
entertaining Mr. Campbell and his wife in the home of friends in Carmel
and Big Sur.
Ever the promoter, Richard bought many famous people to his Steinbeck
House and Museum hoping to peak their interest in the Steinbeck only he
knew and understood. Steinbeck's interest in mythology and Camelot was
seldom discussed by other Steinbeck authorities. Richard believed that
Steinbeck and Homer were one. Steinbeck had contacted Jacqueline
Bouvier Kennedy after John Kennedy's untimely death, due to the
Kennedy's well known interest in Camelot.
Richard entertained many prominent people such as John Barrymore Jr.,
and Bill Murray the actor, as well as every day people and many
European travelers who would simply notice the Steinbeck statue he had
built in front of the house, or hear about Richard, the house and the
tiny museum. They would just drop by to listen to Richard's
presentations on Steinbeck as well as his own philosophies of life. He
enjoyed these visits more than anything.
In the late nineties Richard's only child, his son David, was found
dead in the Steinbeck House, and thus began Richards decline into
depression, and his hopelessness over the declining moral state of
society. He was a sensitive, artistic, creative man and he felt as
though he could not live in a technological world. Eventually his
health began to deteriorate. On January 1, 2007 he was rushed to
Community Hospital by ambulance. It has been reported that his
cherished home and small museum were in terrible disarray, but the bed
he was found in was piled with his beloved books. He never recovered.
Richard was preceded in death by his Father Frank R. Andolsek, his
Mother Anna M., and a brother, David, whom he named his son after, He
is survived by his only sister, Geraldine A. Andolsek of Grover Beach,
California. He leaves behind many close friends and associates.
A service will be held to honor Richard's memory on Wednesday, June 20,
2007 at 3:00pm with visitation at the Paul Mortuary in Pacific Grove
from 1:00pm to 3:00pm., with service at 3:00pm. No burial services are
planned at this time. In lieu of flowers please send donations to The
Steinbeck Spiritual Society Memorial Fund in care of Richard Andolsek
at Washington Mutual Bank, or to Stanford University’s Steinbeck
Studies Department in Richard’s name.