Marie Laanisto, 95 (formerly of Red Bank, NJ), died peacefully at her daughter’s home in Edison, NJ on September 15, 2018. Marie was born in 1923 in Saaremaa, Estonia to Viiu (nee Sullap) and Preedik Tees and resided there before fleeing the Communist occupation of Estonia in 1944, with her mother Viiu Tees. After the war they lived in a displaced persons camp in Germany, before being sponsored under the Marshal Plan to immigrate to the United States in 1949. Upon arriving in the United States they worked for various sponsoring family homes to manage their household and look after their children.
In 1951, she married Ernst Alfred Laanisto and moved to Red Bank, NJ to live and raise her family. At this point she also started working as a seamstress and became a member of The Amalgamated Cotton Garment and Allied Industries union. She was an accomplished seamstress for many years.
She enjoyed knitting, sewing and making traditional Estonian holiday dishes. She took pride in the garments that she sewed for her family and was meticulous growing a variety of flowers in her yard each year.
Marie was predeceased by her husband, Ernst in 1997, her mother Viiu Tees in 1979, her brother Johannes Tees in 1992 and her sister Adelheid Maidla in 2010. She is survived by her children Jaan and wife Mary of Port Tobacco, Maryland and Linda Switalski of Edison. She is also survived by her grandchildren Peter and wife Jennifer of Ellicott City, Maryland, Lisa of San Francisco, California, Ryan of New Jersey and Tyler of Edison. Also Surviving are great grandchildren Ellie and Brody of Maryland. In addition she is survived and mourned by numerous relatives in Estonia.
Marie will be cremated and a small memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Fairview Cemetery, Middletown, NJ by Pastor Thomas Vaga of the Estonian Evangelical Holy Ghost Lutheran Church in Lakewood, New Jersey.