Andres J. Serra, 77, of Hazlet, N.J., passed away Monday, November 8, 2021 at home in Hazlet. He was born January 26, 1944 in Santa Clara, Cuba, to Constantino Serra and Maria del Carmen Rocavert, now deceased. In 1960, at the beginning of the communist uprising, he went to live with his aunt and uncle in Castellar del Valles, Catalunya, Spain. Shortly thereafter, he met Antonia, who he married November 8, 1965. Afterward, they came to the United States and lived briefly in Bridgeport, Conn., until they moved to Weehawken, N.J., in 1968. Andy and Toni moved their family to Hazlet, N.J. in 1979.
Andy was a chemical engineer for Mobil Oil for most of his career until his retirement in 2006. He earned an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, and later a masters degree in business administration, from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.
A beloved husband, father and grandfather, Andy enjoyed photography, especially the photos of Ansel Adams, and he had his own dark room at home where he developed photos before the days of digital photography. Being a wine conesseur, he enjoyed wines from around the world, particularly those of Spain. Listening to music was another of Andy’s favorite passtimes. Early on he would listen to rock and roll and Cuban music, introducing his then-young daughters, Maria and Carmen, to artists such as Billy Joel and Bruce Sprinsteen. He would spend Saturdays listening to records with the family. Andy’s tastes later turned toward classical music and jazz. In fact, he had an extensive vinyl and CD collection spanning the decades from the fifties to modern times.
Andy and his wife Toni realized their dream of traveling around the world. From zip-lining in Costa Rica to walking among penguins in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, to riding an elephant in Nepal, they lived life to the fullest. They would visit family in Castellar del Valles, Catalunya, Spain, twice a year, also visiting friends and spending time in Barcelona, Andy’s favorite city. In the summer of 2019, Andy and Toni organized a family trip to Spain with Maria and Carmen, and their husbands and children. Together they spent time with Tia Mati and Tio Joaquin in Castellar del Valles and visit with friends. In Barcelona, they visited the fountains at Montjuic, Sagrada Familia Basilica, Plaza Catalunya and other historic sites.
Most of all, Andy enjoyed spending time with family and friends. He was especially happy to see his grandchildren, Emma and Ronnie. Their time with him was very well-spent. Ronnie would play chess with him, watched Tom and Jerry with him, and gave him lots of hugs. Emma would listen to music with him, they told each other different stories, she played games with him, and also gave him lots of hugs. They would always bring a smile to his face whenever he saw them since they filled him with so much joy. The three of them were quite the trio, and they all loved each other a lot.
Andy is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Antonia; daughters Maria Bednarz, and her husband Ron, of Oxford, Penn., and Carmen Sanchez, and her husband Diego, of Matawan, N.J.; and grandchildren, Emma Sanchez and Ronnie Bednarz; and a cousin, Sergio Serra.
Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial visitation on Friday, November 12, from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Shore Point Funeral Home, 3269 State Highway/Route 35 North, Hazlet, N.J., 07730.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations in memory of Andy sent to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at giving.mskcc.org.