Julius Andracsek, 77, a widely acclaimed ice cream maker who supplied connoisseurs of confection with the sweets of life at the University Pastry Shop on Wisconsin Avenue NW from 1932 until he retired in 1984, died of a cerebral hemorrhage June 23 at Colonial Beach, Va. He lived in Temple Hills and was vacationing when he was stricken.
Mr. Andracsek, a popular figure in the neighborhood where the pastry shop is located, was a perfectionist in the making of ice cream. He avoided additives, flavored with fresh fruits when in season, and pumped as little air as possible into the product.
Articles about Mr. Andracsek appeared in The Washington Post Magazine, the Readers Digest, and most recently in the book "The Very Best In Ice Cream and Where To Find It." Tourists from across the nation, and often the world, came to the shop like pilgrims seeking the sacred scoop -- or pint or quart.
Mr. Andracsek, who rarely advertised, had a philosophy of quality that he cheerfully shared with customers.
"I use only five ingredients," he told a reporter in 1973. "Fresh cream and milk from a dairy in Virginia, sugar, some salt, and pure flavoring . . . . I never wanted to make ice cream any other way, although I know I could easily fool a lot of my customers. It's not big thing taking the kind of stand I do . . . . It's just a way of being faithful to a few things -- myself, my sons, and maybe my past."
Mr. Andracsek was born in Budaors, Hungary. With his mother and sister, he came to the United States in 1921 and settled in the Washington area. (He became a naturalized citizen in 1928).
He was a construction laborer at sites such as Eastern High School and the Lincoln Memorial and then went to work at the old Rauchers Bakery. It was there that he learned to do the things that became his life's work. In 1932, he was hired by an uncle who was then the owner of the University Pastry Shop. In 1949 Mr. Andrascek bought the business and in time his sons, George and Thomas, joined him.
In addition to being an emperor of ice cream, Mr. Andracsek was a sought-after baker. He made the inaugural cake for Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 and cooked pumpkin pies for John F. Kennedy. In 1977, he recorded a personal best in baking artistry by producing a 200-pound, 4-foot-high cake shaped and designed with frosting to look like the Washington Cathedral. The event was the cathedral's celebration of its 70th anniversary.
Although he brought sweetness and light to the tables of Washington's powerful, Mr. Andracsek endeared himself to neighborhood families. In the course of five decades, hundreds of teen-agers had their first jobs and their first introduction to marketplace integrity behind the counter of the University Pastry Shop.
The personal touch was the essence of a successful business, Mr. Andrascek believed. A few years ago, a customer, weary from a day at his office downtown, came in near closing time for some ice cream and pastries. "Anything else?" asked Mr. Andracsek. "Yes," said the customer, "I can use a kind word." Mr. Andracsek gave it to him.
Mr. Andracsek was a member of the parish of the St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Oxon Hill and its Holy Name Society and the St. Columcille Council of the Knights of Columbus.
In addition to George Andracsek of Clifton, Md., and Thomas Andracsek of Camp Springs, Md., Mr. Andracsek's survivors include his wife, Roselie of Temple Hills; two other children, William Andracsek of Annandale, and Ellen Grimm of Fort Washington, Md.; two sisters, Emily Hyatt of Silver Spring, and Mary Moreland of Islip, N.Y.; 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.