My early memories as a child of my Aunt Stella begin with her loving smile. She was always telling me I looked pretty (and I wasn't.) She made me feel good about myself. She was always so kind to everyone and made EVERYONE feel special and loved. She was so generous and wanted to give me her clothes, or sew dresses for me, or feed me, or make dinner or cookies for me ... And she did that for everyone in the family ... And friends too. Aunt Stella was the sweetest and kindest woman ever. I was always excited to see her because she was so full of love and wanted to know everything I was doing. She was so genuine and so pretty, inside and out.
My Father, Elia, adored his sister Stella ... And he would go see her and her family every Sunday and she would cook all day and put out a huge spread of Italian and Greek and American dishes for everyone who came over... All her brothers, husband, nieces, daughter, and her husband, son, friends, etc... Nothing was too much work for her. Her joy was in feeding her family her delicious spaghetti and cookies, cakes, and stuffed cabbages etc.!! What a feast!! I loved seeing that!
My Aunt Stella worked hard raising a family with her husband but NEVER lost her joy for living. I could see that even into her last years!! She loved getting her hair done, shopping with her daughter Reba and wearing pink, and dressing up with her pearls on, and wearing her shiny watches and her cute purses. She was an immigrant who started with nothing and appreciated what living and working in America gave her and embraced it with enthusiasm.
During our last visit, last February, Aunt Stella still wanted to know what she could do for me or offer me to eat... Still wanting to give, and she was glowing with love and happiness that we were visiting her. She remembered my sons name and asked about him ... She talked about family members that we both missed, a very special time together. That was my sweet Aunt Stella.
Through the years it was a privilege for me to be with her, know her, dine with her, and watch her light up a room with her smile and her beautiful heart. This strong and inspiring woman was my Aunt Stella.
I love you Aunt Stella. Thank you for loving me.
Your Niece, Elizabeth
Stella leaves behind her daughter Reba, son in law Terry, son Michael, many nieces, nephews and a host of family and friends, and will be fondly remembered by all that knew her for her excellent cooking, especially her famous cookies, and her kindness. Those desiring may make contributions in her memory to Rabbi Lyon's Discretionary Fund at Congregation Beth Israel.
Graveside Services are held Thursday, May 21, 2015, at 12:30pm, at Beth Israel Memorial Gardens on Antoine.