Andrea Nicol Drexelius

Andrea Nicol Drexelius

December 05, 1965 - July 12, 2023

Andrea Nicol Drexelius

December 05, 1965 - July 12, 2023


Andrea Nicol Drexelius
December 5, 1965 – July 12, 2023

Andrea Nicol Drexelius passed from this life to the next on July 12th, 2023 in Newport Beach, California at the age of 57, after a brief and courageous battle with cancer.

Andrea was born December 5th, 1965 in Laguna Beach, CA, the fourth of five children of Dr. Richard J. “Dick” and Virginia Lorraine “Lori” (Watrin) Drexelius. She and her four siblings were raised in Laguna Beach, and all attended St. Catherine of Siena Grade School there. Later Andrea attended Cornelia Connelly High School in Anaheim, CA. Childhood summers were largely spent with friends and family, working around town, especially at the Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach. During her time at Connelly HS, Andrea received her first taste of international travel as an exchange student to Ireland.

After graduating high school, Andrea first attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX but later transferred back to So. Cal and then graduated from UCLA in 1988, with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She left So. Cal soon after graduation, leading a Bohemian young worker life in New York City for several years. She worked first for Morgan Stanley in money management, and later for Rockefeller and Co., engaging in property management as well as other areas of finance.

During her early business career, Andrea traveled abroad whenever she could, including Europe and Japan. Andrea was a “sponge” when it came to areas of culture, whether it be art, music, cooking, wine, or travel. French culture was her special passion. Later in her career, Andrea left New York to seek an opportunity to live abroad. She learned to speak the French language fluently, lived in Paris for nearly 3 years, and studied art history at the Ecole du Louvre (all in French). Andrea moved back to New York for a few years, but after the trauma of 9/11, made the decision to move back to Laguna Beach permanently. Nevertheless, wherever she was and whatever she was doing, Andrea always maintained her love of French culture and especially her “joie de vivre.” In her later years, many summers were spent at an historic home in Beaune, France, which was a very special place for her.

After returning to So. Cal, Andrea started her own business, French Basketeer, importing and then selling classic French baskets & totes from the former French colonies of Madagascar and Morocco. She formed a French speaking social group in Laguna Beach. She also worked in office management at various times with her father Dick’s and sister Janis’s respective medical practices. Andrea volunteered many hours serving on the Connelly HS Board of Trustees. She enjoyed helping others at the Laguna Farmer’s market, cooking meals for friends and really anyone in need of assistance. Andrea was famous for her homemade cakes, her panache at throwing parties, and helping others to entertain. Andrea loved her family and her many friends. She was devoted to her nieces and nephews, and especially to her parents, helping to care for them and living with them until the end, at the family home in North Laguna Beach.

Andrea is survived by her mother, Lori Drexelius, her sister Michelle (Marc) Spitaleri of Huntington Beach, her sister Janis (Martin) Fee of North Tustin, her brother Rick (Leticia) Drexelius of Sedalia, Colorado, and her younger sister Jacqueline (Mark) Phillips of Cody, Wyoming. She was preceded in death by her father, Dick Drexelius.

A memorial mass will be held at 10am on Saturday, September 16th, at St. Catherine of Siena Parish Church in Laguna Beach. The mass is open to the public, family and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations in Andrea’s name may be made to the Laguna Beach Food Pantry (


Memorial Mass

  • Date & Time: September 16, 2023 (10:00 AM)
  • Venue: St. Catherine Of Siena Catholic Church
  • Location: 1042 Temple Terrace Laguna Beach, CA 92651 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 497-9701

Laguna Beach Food Pantry

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5 responses to Andrea Nicol Drexelius

  1. Martin Hepp says:

    Godspeed Andrea

  2. Toni Smith says:

    Andrea forever touched so many, many lives. I’m blessed to have been among them. Godspeed my friend.

  3. Floscel AUBERT says:

    Sorry it’s in French :
    Toutes mes sincères condoléances à la famille et aux proches d’Andrea. Je l’ai connue jeune quand elle travaillait avec Françoise. Je l’ai reçue avec beaucoup de plaisir en novembre 2009 où nous avons beaucoup échangé, sans à parler de cette magnifique soirée organisée chez sa maman avec une grande tablée de francophiles.
    Qu’elle repose en paix, nos beaux souvenirs sont avec elle.

  4. Kate Carmell says:

    An Angel in our mist

    Every so often during my lifetime, I’ve been blessed to meet an angel in human form. I believe that our Andrea was one of those people. She had a heart of gold. I am speaking today, as well, on behalf of Françoise…we both share the same love for Andrea.
    Andrea was the most selfless person I have ever met. And in addition to that there was her wonderful sense of Joie de Vive and a great sense of humor…she loved to laugh and stay positive. She conceived and created our incredible French group and brought so many of us together. I met her at 482 on the French Group’s initial meeting in answer to her NextDoor announcement. She immediately got busy and made us breakfast and five of us sat at her kitchen table and ate fresh poached eggs and toast and got know each other. Of course, the eggs were laid that morning by her sweet chickens. Andrea, as it turned out, was not only a gourmet chef, but the wealthiest woman I have ever met. Her wealth derived from all her friends…she had more friends than anyone I’ve ever known and they all truly loved her. On Tuesday mornings she constantly showered us with love through her gourmet breakfasts, little gifts, wonderful hospitality, and shared her love of the French culture with the rest of us Francophiles. I couldn’t be more grateful for those memories…they were the best of times.
    Andrea and Lori opened their hearts and home to all of us, and the group grew from five to about 25 over time. Her example of incredible compassion, caring and generosity helped all of us become better people.
    I loved riding around the neighborhood with her in her golf cart, cooking together and our special Sunday brunches at the Lido with Françoise. Andrea introduced me to Françoise, her very close friend, who had lived in Paris. Andrea met Francoise when Andrea went to work for the Rockefellers at the Top of the Rock in New York city. Their friendship was long and inspiring to witness. Francoise and I have subsequently become great friends. I am also extremely grateful to Andrea for that!
    Red dog, chickens, fresh eggs, flowers, tablescapes, elaborate cakes, where to get the best bargains, shopping at the Laguna Farmer’s market, French baskets, French culinary shopping trips, soirees beyond belief and taking us all on French-style gastronomical excursions into the French culture. That was Andrea. She was always there for neighbors and friends in need during times of illness, delivering meals, some flowers and a hug…me included…I’ll always remember her hugging me and saying, Cherié, Je t’adore.

    I loved Andrea with all my heart and I know she is the brightest star in the night sky and will continue to look out for all of us. I am truly grateful for the friendship we shared, although it was too short, it was first class.
    As I said before, she was an angel in human form and she truly lived a life of loving kindness.

    May god bless you and keep you my darling.

  5. leah fuller says:

    Dear Drexelius Family, There are no
    words for the loss of dearest Andrea. A true Angel. I miss her terribly but
    her shining personality will live on in my heart. She has made a difference in so many lives. I’m grateful to have known her and the wonderful Drexelius family. Kate Carmell expressed my sentiments so beautifully. Much love, Leah Fuller

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