Herbert Sandor | The Bucks County Herald
Herbert Sandor was born on July 23, 1926, in Munich, Germany, where his father, David, owned an antique business and his mother, Johanna, taught Swedish and Dutch. As a child, Herb and his friends saw Hitler at rallies when he came to power and saluted soldiers only to see them say “Heil Hitler” with outstretched arms, clicking their boot heels. The soldiers assumed they were the sons of someone from the party.
As Jews, they felt threatened when Hitler came to power and sought safety in The Hague, where they moved in 1931. Herb had a distinct memory of being in first grade when hot rolls and cheese hot milk were brought to school. “Oh you could smell the milk, I can still smell it 80 years later,” he said. But Herb never tasted either because they were only served to children whose parents had joined the Nazi Party. In 1936 and 1937, he went to summer camp in central Holland with Anne Frank.
Just before the Nazis invaded Holland, the Sandor family escaped in May 1939 by sailing to New York on the SS Normandy and arrived on a visitor’s visa. They left behind their antique business with other family members, many of whom later perished in the Holocaust. A surviving uncle housed some of their possessions in a warehouse in Amsterdam. When Herb was a young adult, he returned to Holland to reclaim his parents’ property.
Herb and his family moved to Wisconsin and lived with relatives where he learned English in a one-room schoolhouse. The family soon after moved to Atlantic City, NJ, moved to New York City, and eventually settled in Hunterdon County, NJ in the mid-1940s.
Herbert was drafted into the army in 1944 at the age of 18. He served in the 84th Infantry and also in the 9th Army Headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany during World War II. Ironic as it may sound, he returned to Germany, where he was fluent in the language, to fight for his new country. Although he is already a legal resident, he became a US citizen during basic training at Camp Blanding in Ocala, Florida. Soon after, he boarded the luxury liner New Amsterdam in New York after the boat was converted into a troopship and sailed with a gun crew to Scotland. Because they weren’t wearing hearing protection, these soldiers were deaf for days, resulting in tinnitus that lasted a lifetime. After serving with the 84th Infantry, he transferred to the 7th Army Finance as Chief of the Payroll and Personally Paid Generals Division. He received an honorable discharge in December 1946 after VE Day as Sergeant First Class.
Back in the United States, Herb attended Rutgers University where he studied philosophy of art and civil engineering. After a counselor suggested he would be better served if he switched to art school, Herb enrolled in NYU’s Parsons School of Design. He graduated in 1952 where he received the Lady Mendl (aka Elsie de Wolfe) scholarship to study interior design at the Parsons School of Design in Paris and Italy. As one of Parsons’ top third-year students, the New York Times asked him to design the elevator lobby in the New York Times building.
Eventually, Herb and his brother, Richard, took over their parents’ longtime antique business in Lambertville, NJ, renamed the business H&R Sandor Inc., and moved to New Hope, Pennsylvania, where they sold museum quality American antiques. The shop was frequented by such luminaries as the du Ponts, Forbes, Rockefellers, Dorrances, Estee Lauders, Michael Jackson, Brook Shields and serious collectors of the day, as well as museum curators from across the country.
During his lifetime, Herb has also had a passion for buying rundown local commercial properties and turning them into living, viable retail spaces, including the Four Seasons Mall and York Place in New Hope and County Row Fair. outside the city. He also renovated a huge structure that was once a restaurant in Ingham Springs on Route 202 that had been derelict and abandoned for many years and converted it into another one of his antique shops. Another of his projects was the conversion of a dilapidated, raccoon-infested building on this property into a cozy cabin where he and his wife Susan lived for a decade.
During the Reagan administration, H&R Sandor found and donated a chair originally owned by the White House during the McKinley administration. The chair was donated to the government with Nancy Reagan accepting the gift and posing with the Sandors for a memorable photo.
Herb was an artist, art collector, interior designer, world traveler, gold medal skier, voracious reader, swimmer, and excellent cook. He enjoyed preparing elaborate menus and food for dinners with Susan for family and friends at their Solebury home, which he designed, and in the gardens Susan designed.
His community activities included serving on the New Hope Zoning Hearing Board, New Hope Borough Council, director of the New Hope Solebury Bank, vice-president of the New Hope Historical Society, director of Phillips’ Mill and he was a member founder of New Hope Croquet. Club.
In 1983 Herb met his loving wife, the former Susan Strenk, and they were married in 1987. Herb breathed his last on April 4, 2022 at the age of 95 in Susan’s embrace at home in a room shining with love and tears.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Sandor, and Herb’s children: son David Sandor, daughter-in-law Mary Lee Anderson, son-in-law Jim Allen, seven grandchildren, one great-granddaughter and the brothers Richard and Bernie.
Funeral services will be held at the Solebury Friends Meeting Cemetery at 2680 Sugan Road on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 12 p.m.