The Teodor-Mazilu family is very sad to announce that Alexandru (Sandi) Teodor-Mazilu of Wayne NJ passed away on June 27th 2023 at the age of 95. He passed away at the Oakland Care nursing facility, while being visited by family. Mercifully the death was sudden, quick and painless without any signs of fear or struggle, due to a complete heart failure.
The funeral service will be held at Oakland Memorial Home at 330 Ramapo Valley Road, Oakland, on Wednesday July 5th, at 10 am. The burial will follow at Ponds Church Cemetery at 341 Ramapo Valley Road, Oakland. Visitation will be held at the Oakland Memorial Home on July 4th between 3 pm and 7 pm. Oakland Memorial Home will be handling the funeral arrangements.
Alexandru was born in Bucharest, Romania to Alexandru and Maria Teodor on April 15th 1928. World War II started while he was in high school. As the war ended he entered college to study law, where he met the love of his life, our mother, Nicoleta Mazilu. As a law student, he participated in demonstrations against the Soviet installed puppet government. which in 1947 outlawed all other political movements and parties, effectively dismantling democracy. Our father loved Freedom, Democracy, and America, so he volunteered information on Russian troop movements through Romania, their speed, number of tanks, etc. to the American Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA).
This act of defiance changed the rest of his life and our family's history. Alexandru was marked as an opponent of the Communist regime, an American Collaborator, and the Communist regime tried to arrest him and silence him. With help from family and friends he was able to evade the Communist authorities for seven years. He would have otherwise been arrested and sent to a "labor camp" from which few ever returned.
After Stalin's death in 1953 a general amnesty for political prisoners and enemies of the state was announced. Sandi was able to come out of the shadows but was unable to continue his education or get a good job and was persecuted and frequently interrogated by the secret police. That was why when our parents married they chose to create a new hyphenated name, (Teodor-Mazilu) combining both their family names, enabling him to hide his political record under his family name (Teodor) as if it was his middle name and adopting his wife's last name (Mazilu), thus escaping further persecution.
After many years and many dangerous attempts to escape to the free world it finally happened when in 1969 our father managed to do the nearly impossible and found a way to take the entire family, (wife, two kids and his mother-in-law), and with only $100 in his pocket escaped Romania and the Iron Curtain to the free world.
He had the remarkable courage to leave everything behind and find his way with his entire family to a new country where we didn't know anyone or speak the language and started from zero to rebuild our lives. We were accepted for immigration to the United States as political refugees and we arrived in New York in December 1969 to start a new life.
Our parents worked very hard, often at two jobs, and they succeeded in building a good middle class life in the US. Alexandru was very proud of what he and his family accomplished. We all became proud American citizens, purchased our own home, and our parents started their own business and sent their two sons to an Ivy League university to graduate with advanced degrees. Our father, was extremely proud of our new country and, knowing the true price of freedom, he staunchly defended America and Democracy,
Our mother, Nicoleta, died in 1983 in a freak auto accident. Though devastated by the loss, our dad carried on as the sole head of the family and moved us through a very tragic period.
His dream came true in 1989 when the collapse of Communism finally happened in Eastern Europe. Finally, he saw Romania become a free country again, joining NATO and the European Union. During his travels back to Romania he met a very good and loving woman, and married Ioana in January of 2002.
Alexandru is survived by his two sons, Nestor and Alexander, his wife Ioana, and three grandchildren: Alexander Jr., Emily and Peter. He was preceded in death by his mother Maria, his first wife Nicoleta, his father Alexandru, and his sister Mioara.