Elise Isabel Andersen, lifelong resident of Boothbay, died unexpectedly at her home May 4. She was 68.
Elise was born Feb. 19, 1955 at St. Andrews Hospital in Boothbay Harbor, the fourth of six children born to Weston and Brenda Andersen, the pioneering Maine craftspeople who founded Andersen Design and Studio. She attended East Boothbay Elementary -- just down the street from her parents’ home and studios -- Boothbay Region High School, Colby College and Boston’s School of Fashion Design. She returned home in the mid-1970s to work in the family business, where she managed production and marketing, developed decorative patterns for the functional ceramic forms and designed several beloved Andersen sculptures including the doe-with-fawn, sleeping sandpiper, and Maine coon cat.
In recent years she had her own line of greeting cards, scarfs, and fabrics and enjoyed swimming, music, and genealogy, tracing the family lines back to Early Modern England, Scotland, Ulster, and Denmark. While a volunteer at Boothbay Harbor Opera House she organized a highly successful holiday event featuring arts, crafts and music that drew on her knowledge and passions. More recently volunteered at St. Andrews Hospital Auxiliary thrift shop. She was very family oriented, and after her father suffered a traumatic brain injury, she and her sister Susan cared for him at home for the last five years of his life, which she found deeply fulfilling.
She is survived by her siblings Karen Andersen Woodard of Freeport, Susan Mackenzie Andersen of Boothbay, Gerda Andersen Dupree of North Waterford, Iain Andersen of Portland and Christine Andersen of Damariscotta; her nephew Colin Woodard of Freeport; and niece Elizabeth Tupper of Walpole.
All are welcome to join the family for a reception to celebrate Elise’s life to be held Thursday, June 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Studio 53 Fine Art Gallery, 53 Townsend Ave in Boothbay Harbor.