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Turning Back the Pages

Next in home: Sandler & Cooper

The next owners of the John G. Smith house were Raluca Sandler a local dentist and Gary Cooper, a real estate agent/broker and entrepreneur.

Sandler, a Romanian immigrant, had visited Warrensburg in the mid-1980s, I hear, and was charmed by the town. She opened a dental office on Main Street, and her properties were always well-decorated with floral displays. She eventually started her own flower shop, Aloha Florist, next to her dental practice.

Raluca married Cooper and in 2006 they bought the Smith house which had its own heated greenhouse and that renovated carriage house.

Cooper and Sandler added a wrought iron fence to encircle the property, a pool, a circular brick drive and walkways, a fish pond and fountain in the front yard as well as extensive landscaping and lots of flowers. Two impressive iron, life-sized wolf statues stand on the side lawn.

Emigrating to America

Living with the Sandler-Cooper couple in the house was Viorica Dram Dinu, Raluca’s mother, a retired pharmacist. For several years, Mrs. Dinu had a little pastry shop, “Lily’s Place,” in The Pillars complex on Main Street. She was a fabulous cook and pastry chef.

“Lily” was born in Bacau, Romania and became a pharmacist. She and her husband, Dr. Llie Dinu came to the U.S. in 1987 to be close to their daughter and in 1990 they moved to Warrensburgh permanently. They became citizens of the U.S. in 1993 and Dr. Dinu passed away in 1997 after 46 years of marriage.

Lily was a lovely woman who, like her daughter Raluca, loved flowers and was devoted to her family, friends (whom she also called “The Golden Girls,”) and her beloved husky, “Zabar.” She has a son, Eng. Zaharia Dinu, who lives with his wife, Monica in Lake George. They have a daughter, Aileen Dinu. There is a street bearing the Dinu name near Echo Lake. Viorica “Lily” Dinu died Nov. 27, 2012 and is buried in the Warrensburgh Cemetery.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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