Andrades Robinson Lewis was born, Andrades Sylvia Robinson, on July 12, 1929, in Atlantic City, New Jersey to Beatrice J. and John L. Robinson. She died October 20, 2019, in Atlanticare Regional Medical Center – Galloway, New Jersey.
From her earliest days, Andrades exhibited an affinity and an excitement whenever she was around music. In her formative years, she was affiliated with Girl Scouting and a wide variety of Church Clubs through the nurturing and artful tutelage of her mother, Mrs. Beatrice J. Robinson.
She acquired her famous culinary skills, while spending endless hours with her father, John Robinson in the kitchen. Together they would muse about life and she would bask in his simple yet profound wisdom and advice.
In 1942, When there was a surprise attack on the American Naval Forces at Pearl Harbor and Midway Island, she, like so many young people of her generation, (she was 12 years old at the time and throughout the duration of the conflict) rallied to the cause of our war effort in Europe and in the Pacific by doing whatever was necessary to support our troops. This experience, and the stories that were imparted to her by her father, a World War One veteran, would have a profound effect on shaping her simple yet loyal and patriotic view of service to People and to all God’s living things.
Andrades started the long tradition in our family of attending both Indiana Avenue School and later Parochial School at St. Nicholas of Tolentine in Atlantic City. She later graduated with honors from Holy Spirit High School in 1947. While in high school, Andrades participated in the high school band and orchestra as well as continuing her religious and social education and service in support of the war effort.
After graduating from Holy Spirit High School, she received a scholarship to attend the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It was there that she studied cello under the legendary Jacobus Langendoen of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It was also there that she met and soon married her first husband, James Alfred Martin, Jr., a student of musical composition at the conservatory. This chance encounter and subsequent marriage to Jimmy Martin served to further her interest in playing Jazz and singing professionally.
After Andrades had her first child, she began studying Nursing. She then became a Licensed Practical Nurse. This “day job” afforded her the opportunity to better feed and care for her growing family.
As a Licensed Practical Nurse, she worked at several medical facilities in and around Atlantic City and Philadelphia. Andrades retired from the Atlantic County Mental Facility – Stillwater, in Northfield, New Jersey after an extended career. Her care, concern and compassion for her patients and their well-being garnered her the respect and admiration of her colleagues.
Her passion for playing and singing music was a driving force in her life. During the 1950’s and ‘60’s she formed and performed with her own band, “The Ann Martin Trio.” They performed their own special brand of music in cocktail lounges and nightclubs in Atlantic City, Philadelphia and New York Areas. The Ann Martin Trio was a mainstay at the Black Orchid and 500 Club. Thy also appear regularly at the World Famous Club Harlem, Goldies, Grace’s Little Belmont Club, Reggie Edgehill’s Fabulous Wonder Gardens and Red Klotz’s Bar on Adriatic Avenue.
She was an accomplished cellist and bass player. One true story is that once while performing at the Black Orchid Lounge, the famed jazz bassist, Ray Brown, was in the audience and was so impressed with her playing that he went to his hotel retrieved a custom made upright bass and returned to the club to it to Andrades as a gift.
Her musical influences were Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughn, Dakota Staton, Damita Jo, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr. and the Count Basie Orchestra. Her favorite instrumentalists were: her youngest brother, Richard, who played the piano; Clarke Terry, trumpeter; and Doc Severinsen, trumpeter and the musical director for the “Tonight Show with Johnny Carson”.
For more than 30 years, she developed a profound love for the music of Al Jarreau with whom she remained close friends until he passed away in February, 2017.
She imparted a measure of her musical skills and talent to her children and greatly influenced their lives and enhanced their own appreciation of music, song and the Performing Arts in general.
After her legal separation in 1954, and divorce in 1968, from Jimmy Martin, Andrades married Walter Lewis in 1969. Together they had a wonderful and happy marriage until his untimely death in 1988.
Andrades was an original member of Atlantic City’s Saint Monica’s Roman Catholic Church and also attended Our Lady Star of the Sea for many years.
In her later and twilight years she pursued a profound interest in animal rights, supporting our military troops and worked tirelessly with many Catholic Charitable Organizations, Native American Social Organizations, Civil Rights Groups and The American Humane Society to rescue adopt and care for Animals in need of a good home.
Anyone who knew Andrades was immediately impressed by her devotion to her Dogs and cats, all who lived with her in peace and harmony in Venice Park.
Some of the organizations she supported were:
The Red Rover Organization
St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center
The National Humane Education Society
The National Wildlife Federation
Thee Humane Society of Atlantic City
Collie Rescue of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Alley Cat Allies
The Nature Conservancy
Defenders of Wildlife
North Shore Animal League America
Trinity Missions Mass Society
Lourdes Prayer League
St. Labre Indian School, Ashland, Montana
St. Joseph Indian School
The Lakota Nation
Veterans of Foreign Wars(VFW)
Disabled American Veterans
The Southern Poverty Law Center
The Fresh Air Fund
Preceding her in death were her mother, Beatrice J. Robinson; father, John Louis Robinson; brothers, John Louis Robinson, Jr., and Richard Mark Robinson; grandmother, Sadie Thomas and her husband, James Thomas; aunt, Mary Brown; beloved, Uncle Buster.
Andrades is survived by: her three children, Kamaal A. AmenRa (AKA Boot( Daiba Sala AmenRa) of Detroit, Michigan, Mark L. Martin (Peggy) of Southfield, Michigan, and Leslye A. Martin (Lani H. Brown) of Kaneohe, Hawaii; grandchildren, Angela Bowers of Atlanta, Georgia, Chinelo AmenRa (Ambyr), of Belleville, Michigan, Marwan AmenRa of Detroit, Michigan, Mensah AmenRa of London, England, Tiana and Lesina Martin both of Washington, D.C., Joao K. Morales of California; great-grandchildren, Akosua Keita-Edwards and Sekouba Keita-Edwards both of Washington, D.C., Bakari AmenRa, Namasa AmenRa, Kadir AmenRa all of Belleville, Michigan and a host of friends; family; former colleagues; and many well wishers.
Andrades was one of a kind. Her like shall not pass this way again.
Funeral services will be 11AM, Friday, November 1, 2019, Greenidge Funeral Home, 301 Absecon Boulevard, Atlantic City, New Jersey where friends may call from 10AM. Interment to follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, Mays Landing, New Jersey. Arrangements entrusted to Greenidge Funeral Homes, Atlantic City, where condolences may be left at www.greenidgefuneralhomes.com.