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Marguerite Wolff

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Marguerite "Van" Wolff, 86, whose long battle with dementia was the subject of a cover story in New York Magazine in May, died on September 18.
She was a resident of Ridgewood for more than 25 years; before that she and her husband, Lewis A. Wolff, who died in 1984, lived variously in Guttenberg, Franklin Lakes, North Haledon, and Fair Lawn for more than 35 years.
The oldest child of Albert and Lena Vanderwerf, she was born in 1925 in Paterson and grew up in Prospect Park, where she attended Eastern Christian Academy. She became a reporter for the Paterson Evening News in 1943, and worked there, as a military reporter during the war and after as a general assignment reporter, until the birth of her first child in 1953.
In North Haledon, she was elected to the school board and served as president of the North Haledon Free Public Library. She also served on the session of the First Presbyterian Church of North Haledon. She ran a public relations consulting business, specializing in corporate newsletters. She was a noted cook and for many years gave a series of popular cooking classes. In Franklin Lakes, she and her husband, the President of Force, Inc., an advertising agency in Paterson, opened the Wolff Gallery, specializing in fine art.
After the death of her husband, she became a marketing executive at two pharmaceutical companies, Ivers-Lee and Olin Hunt, and then at an online gaming company, Cyber Warrior. She retired in 2004.
The New York Magazine article, by her oldest son Michael, recounts her and her family's three-year struggle to deal with her increasing dementia and what her son characterized as a "life worth ending." In addition to Michael, who lives in Manhattan, she is survived by a daughter Nancy, also of Manhattan, a son David, of Maui, Hawaii, a brother, Peter, of Connecticut, and three grandchildren, Elizabeth, Susanna, and Steven, all of New York City. Her brother, Sidney, died in 1988.
A memorial service will be held at the Franklin Lakes Presbyterian Church, where she was a long-time member, at 2:00 on Saturday, September, 22.
Published in The Record/Herald News on Sept. 20, 2012
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