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George A. Andrys, 85

George A. Andrys, Jr. died October 13, 2011, at Edgewood Vista in East Grand Forks, MN.

George was born in Wales (Cavalier County), North Dakota, on October 20, 1925, the son of George, Sr. and Mary (Hatry) Andrys.  He grew up in the Langdon, ND area on the family farm. He attended St. Alphonsus School and graduated from Langdon High School in 1943.

After the harvest, George enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 at the age of 17.  He served in the Pacific Theatre during World War II as a Radioman 2nd class aboard the destroyer USS Anthony DD515.  He proudly served in the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns as well as the occupation of Japan in 1945.  He was discharged in 1945.  George was later active in veteran reunion groups in the area such as the Iwo Jima Veterans of North Dakota since 1979 and the Tin Can Sailors since 1982.

He farmed for several years with his brothers, Jim and Ray, at Radium, MN.  He attended school at Wahpeton State School of Science.  George formed a partnership in 1948 with Earl Hauser in the vending and music business called A & H Vending.  Later, George owned and operated Andrys Coin Machines of Grand Forks providing jukeboxes, pinball machines, and pool tables to area businesses.  George and his wife, Mary Ann, also owned and operated a business on North 3rd Street in Grand Forks selling pool and foosball tables.  At one time, George owned and operated a pool hall in East Grand Forks and later one in Grand Forks on Gateway Drive.

He sold his portion of his coin machine business in 1975 while continuing his pool table sales.  In 1980, he was employed by UND as a mechanic for eight years working in the Student Center.  For many years, George purchased several area buildings and apartments including the Security Building on North 3rd Street.

George married Mary Ann Logan in February 5, 1955 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in East Grand Forks.  The family made their home on Fourth Street and was part of the Sherlock Park neighborhood for many years.  Mary Ann died May 1995 a short time after their 40th wedding anniversary celebration.

George married Luaine Fay Pierce Gerszewski at St. Michael’s Church in Grand Forks, ND on June 14, 1997.  They resided in East Grand Forks.

George was very proud of his memberships and participation in many organizations including the Knights of Columbus (EGF) since 1956, Future Farmers of America, Elks Club until closure, Iwo Jima Veterans of ND (1979), Tin Can Sailors (1982), Lifetime member of American Legion (1948), Eagles Club since 1950, VFW (1946), DAV since 1989, United Commercial Travelers (1950), ND AFPE (1988) and Retired Men’s Club (1988).  He served as an officer of the Retired Men’s Club for many years. 

George also loved and served his church by being a hospital visitor and communion distributor.  In addition, he was a faithful servant in caring for the candles in the church.  George loved farming.  He had many stories of his years growing up in the Langdon area and his experiences during the war as his ship served as an escort and protection for the fleet during the last half of the war.  His ship was hit by several kamikazes and George and his shipmates walked Nagasaki several days after Japan’s surrender.  As a small business owner, George spent many long hours, but he enjoyed the tinkering and challenges.  He had many friends and acquaintances and enjoyed Maple Lake for many years.  At the urging of his family, George put his remembrances into a self-published autobiography.

Survivors include his wife, Luaine Andrys of East Grand Forks, sons John E. (Debbie) Andrys of Alaska; David (Bonnie) Andrys of East Grand Forks; daughter Kathy (Ken) Dagoberg of Alvarado, MN and step-daughters Carlean Evans, of Grand Forks, Dorothy Fish of Sioux City, Iowa, Alett (Harold) Boyd of Norfolk, VA; Kimberly Torgerson of Bismarck, ND; and Tammy Amundson of Grand Forks.  Rosemary Wierum of Texas is his only surviving sister.  Jackie (Raymond) Andrys of Grand Forks is a surviving sister-in-law.  Grandchildren are Thomas, Scott, Shane, Seth, and Simon.

George was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Ann, and brothers – Raymond and James Andrys – and sisters – Elsie Karsky and Mildred Bradshaw; and step-son, Leon Pierce.

The family would like to thank the care givers of Edgewood Vista of East Grand Forks for their care and love of George the past three years, Hospice of the Red River, and Dr. Jamie Roed.

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