Andrew Marum, an author and linguist who traveled the world, dies at 69
Riverdale Resident Andrew Marum, an avid traveler, linguist and author, died of cancer on July 13. He was 69.
Mr. Marum was born in Lawrence, Mass. and initially studied religion at Bard College. He later earned master’s degrees in Uralic and Altaic Studies, focusing on Turkish, and in creative writing and poetry, from Indiana University and Columbia, respectively. For 24 years, he worked for New York City as a social worker. He is the author of a book on fads, Follies and Foibles.
He met his wife, Lisa Marum, at Indiana University, when they were both working for the Indiana Daily Student. Ms. Marum said he “won her over … with an outpouring of poems he had written.” They were married for 42 years.
He and his wife shared a love of traveling and together traveled to Kenya for a safari, which Mr. Marum prepared for by studying Swahali, according to Ms. Marum. His love for people and languages was so great that he once passed up a trip to the Great Wall of China to practice his Mandarin speaking with people in Tiananmen Square, Ms. Marum said.
He was also devoted to living according to the teachings of Orthodox Judaism, though Ms. Marum recalled coming home on Shabbas to find him watching the Red Sox.
“When I asked if this was really permitted, he told me it was okay a long as you did orthodox things in an unorthodox way. He had solved the dilemma by turning on the TV with his nose,” Ms. Marum wrote in a memorial.
Mr. Marum had been a member of the Hebrew Institute since 1987, and had also recently become a member of the Riverdale Art Association, through which he would display his narrative drawings.
He is survived by his wife Lisa Marum; his daughter, Lisa Fairbairn, and her husband, Tyler; and his sister, Deborah Pressman, and her husband, Arthur.
Funeral services were held at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale on July 15. Donations in Mr. Marum’s memory may be made to the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.