Gisela Lindenfeld, age 90 years, died on Saturday, October 1, 2016 in Brakeley Park Care Center, Phillipsburg, NJ.
Graveside services in the Bedminster Reformed Church Cemetery, officiated by Rev. Kathy Henry, will be announced under the care and direction of Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 38 State Highway 31, Flemington, NJ.
Everyone is invited to visit Gisela’s permanent memorial site at www.wrightfamily.com to send a private or public message of condolence and to share stories and photographs of her life.
Memorial contribution information will be forthcoming.
Gisela’s life story follows below, as written by Mr. Rob McGeary, Esq., Gisela’s Substitute Guardian:
Gisela died quietly in her bed on Saturday, October 1, 2016. At that moment, she was in the colorful company of but a number of wonderful, preferred oil paintings by her own creation. It is this writer’s view and the view of the late Rabbi Evan Jaffe (Gisela’s first Court-appointed Guardian) that Gisela enjoyed a life-gift of 90 years over which she was an expressive, accomplished artist-in-love. Specializing as an oil painter of portrait and still life paintings, Gisela’s artwork has been known and appreciated particularly in Hungary, Italy, Australia and the United States.
Gisela, born “Gizella Komor” on February 10, 1926 in Budapest, Hungary, emigrated to the United States following her escape as one of the 200,000 + Hungarians who fled for their lives from Budapest following the Soviet military invasion of her homeland on November 4, 1956. She swiftly left Budapest (at age 30) recounting “the morning after the Russian troops rolled over my homeland and slaughtered thousands”. Her escape drove her to safe havens by securing an Australian citizenship in June of 1958 and then final United States citizenship secured in April, 1959. When she arrived in New York City, she continued to paint and sell oil paintings as best she could. In 1963, Gisela met the love of her life: her husband, Emil; who was then president of the Hungarian American Artists’ Association and who had earned over decades an international renown for his oil paintings, being listed among the foremost contemporary Italian Impressionists (Readers, please visit “Google: Images/Emil Lindenfeld & Gisela Lindenfeld” for a few examples of their sold art).
The two of them made a career-team of oil painters, who loved their art and each other deeply. In that time of life, Emil Lindenfeld admitted to a local newspaper reporter that he had been painting since he was six (6) years old; that it is the only occupation he had “ever had”; and that only twice in his life did he ever receive conventional paychecks: the two times when he served on jury duty.
Emil spoke of his love of and with Gisela to a newspaper interviewer late in his life: “You see, we ARE very much in love,” he smiled, “and so happy.” Before Emil died after a brief decline in 1986, he and Gisela then lived and worked always together in an idyllic countryside residence (a 360 acre woodland expanse along a lazy river and in a beautiful house in Bedminster, N.J. rented to them by the Honorable and former N.J. Governor Thomas Kean & family). Each had her and his own studio in the Kean mansion. Gisela was quoted by a subsequent newspaper interviewer at the mansion after Emil’s death that “He so encouraged my work. We loved each other very much. We entertained here often; there was such gaiety and happiness.” But in that interview, she also lamented: “He was one of the great, great painters of this century, and I carry the burden to get his works into a museum.”
About her own art after her hard loss of Emil, Gisela spoke eloquently about it and with humor to her interview-reporter. She compared her portrait painting to her still life painting, saying the latter was “easier”. “You don’t have to flatter the flowers,” she said laughing, “and besides, they don’t move when you are sketching them.” Gisela also said to the reporter: “To be an artist, you have to be a very strong person. There are so many good ones in this country who have to work at something else to support themselves.” Pointing to a completed still life painting of daisies, she said, “When you finish and sign your name, you have created something; I don’t think there is another feeling quite as good as that sort of creation. Your spirit is flying,” she said to that reporter with a smile, fluttering her hands about like the wings of a bird.
Gisela, Gisela, thank you. Now the Spirit soars and, as with your art, inspires yet.
Your Two (2) Guardians & Friends,
Rabbi Evan Jaffe and me