Audrey Van Gelder passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, March 28, 2020. A resident of Washington Township, New Jersey and Palm Beach, Florida she was 86 years old. She is survived by her husband Leon Van Gelder at home; brother David Oppenheim; sons Gregg and Todd Van Gelder, Gregg’s wife Kathleen McGuckin-Van Gelder; grandchildren Eric Van Gelder, Michael Van Gelder, Elise Van Gelder and Will Van Gelder. She was predeceased by Todd’s wife Margaret Elkind Van Gelder, 2014.
Funeral service will be private with interment immediately following at the George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus, NJ.
Audrey graduated from Eastside High School in Paterson. She later married Leon Van Gelder in 1955. They were a unique and eclectic couple travelling the world together, always remaining each other’s best friend. They would have been celebrating sixty-five years of marriage this May. Audrey was a homemaker and a thoroughly modern mother and grandmother. She volunteered for many years at the Dr. David Goldberg Childcare Center in Westwood while raising her two sons Gregg and Todd. She shared her love of music with her sons and started bringing them to concerts when they were very young. She encouraged them to pursue their own interest in music, hosted their band rehearsals and attended their gigs as often as possible. She was their biggest fan!
Never one to slow down, she became an active member of the Brandeis National Committee, Palm Beach Chapter, where she served on the Board of Directors for three years. She also led the chapter’s popular series “At the Movies” where she gave film reviews and moderated discussions. Throughout her life she advocated for the Arts and was a lifelong member of the Lincoln Center Film Society and the Paper Mill Playhouse. She fostered these interests in both her children and grandchildren.
Most of all, Audrey loved being a grandmother and maintained a special bond with each of them from the moment they were born and right on through their adulthood. They mutually filled each other's lives with laughter and joy while she made every effort to know every detail about their careers, hobbies, and relationships.
She will be greatly missed by her adoring family and treasured friends but the memory of her beautiful smile, vivacious spirit, and forthright personality will live on in all of us.
The family will host a memorial celebration of Audrey’s life when all of her family and friends can gather together to share their love of a most extraordinary woman.