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Maria (Andzelm) Kershenbaum

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Maria (Andzelm) Kershenbaum Obituary
Maria (Andzelm) Kershenbaum

AGE: 88 • Red Bank

Maria (Andzelm) Kershenbaum, 88, entered eternal rest on Friday, February 10, 2017 surrounded by her loving family in Red Bank, New Jersey. She was born in Janowiec, Poland to the late Stefan and Waleria Andzelm.

After immigrating to the United States in the early 1950's, Maria and her husband, Moses, lived in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and in 1968, they relocated to the Red Bank area where they owned and operated the Monmouth Cigar and Stationery Store for fourteen years.

She was a natural homemaker, great cook, talented knitter and an avid sewer who also worked in the Garment District of New York City as a professional seamstress.

She was raised with a humanitarian spirit; believing and demonstrating a connection to others. Maria received the Yad Vashem Medal and Certificate of Honor and was designated as one of the "Righteous Among the Nations" by the Israeli government (the distinction is awarded to a non-Jewish person who risked his or her life, freedom, and safety to save Jews from the threat of deportation or death). The recognition Maria received was for the part she played, as a young teenager, helping two Jewish men escape from the Nazis. Her family built a box (put in the ground like a grave), and hid them in a barn and cared for them for two years. Sadly, her father was killed the day of Liberation. Her family's courage to uphold human values ultimately caused them to leave their home for fear of attacks by their neighbors.

All was not lost……Maria gave love and found love; her husband, Moses, was one of the refugees she had helped. She was often asked, to share stories of the Holocaust and explain her family's war time decision. The legacy of Maria will continue to live on in all of us and we will always be encouraged by her example of taking the less travelled path and standing up for moral principals.

In 1997, after 53 years of marriage, Moses her beloved husband passed away. Maria is also preceded in death by her parents: Stefan and Waleria Andzelm, who were Righteous Gentiles; her brother, Janusz Andzelm; and her son-in-law Rev. James W. King.

Surviving Maria are her two devoted daughters; Rosalie King, of Toms River, New Jersey; Helene Wright and her husband Ellsworth J. Wright III, of Oceanport, New Jersey; her brother, Stanislaw Andzelm of Lublin, Poland. She is survived by five grandchildren; Bryan King, Todd King, Lori Wright O'Keefe (husband Jason), Keri Wright, and Ellsworth J. Wright, IV (wife Krystal); and one great grandchild; Emmett O'Keefe who she was blessed to see born, and who brought her lots of joy. On a lighter note, often there were sightings of Maria, in different places, being wheeled by her Caregiver, and greeting everyone who came into her path. Now that she is in Heaven, she is greeting everyone, not handicapped but walking and dancing.

A Memorial Gathering honoring Maria's life will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 84 Maple Ave., Red Bank, NJ 07701. Arrangements were handled by the Thompson Memorial Home in Red Bank and condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.thompsonmemorial.net. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Maria Kershenbaum's memory to: First Baptist Church of Red Bank or , 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or by phone:800-805-5856.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Feb. 19, 2017
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