EAST BRUNSWICK - STEPANYDA FILATOVA passed away on Thursday, December 31, 2020, at Care One, East Brunswick, far away from where her journey started 82 years ago, in the Ukrainian countryside. Despite having lived a difficult life--losing her parents to World War II, spending most of her childhood in an orphanage and having to support herself from the age of 15, Stepanyda never seemed to let circumstances encumber her with bitterness or resentment. She rose to the top of her field at a young age, and single-handedly supported her family as an adult.
In 2003, she immigrated to the United States to join her daughter and her family in East Brunswick. She ran the household, taking special care to raise her grandchildren, especially her youngest, Michael Kendis, and caring for her best friend, the family dog, Babette. Stepanyda was a soft-spoken, sweet person. Despite having grown up with injustice, she advocated for treating "all people as people." She also surrounded herself with beauty. Until the end, she cherished flowers in bloom, lush landscapes and delicate clothing. It seems she had mastered the art of holding the hardships of life with the pleasures of living, accepting the good and the bad as it came. Her kind smile and witty zingers will be missed.
Stepanyda is survived by her daughter, Marina Filatova-Kendis, her son-in law, Alex Kendis, her granddaughter, Nikola Kendis, and great-grandson, Mikko Kendis of East Brunswick, New Jersey.
A graveside service will be held on Monday, January 4, 2021, at 10:45 AM, at Frostwoods Memorial Park, East Brunswick, under the direction of MOUNT SINAI MEMORIAL CHAPELS, East Brunswick.
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Lovingly referred to as aunt Sveta by myself and my cousins, she became very tightly knitted into the fabric of our family. Ever since the first time we met until the last moment I held her hands, she always infused my heart with a sense of her kindness, her inclusivity and acceptance of everyone and everything and that felt so heart warming. Her presence always felt so very comforting to me. I will miss you so very much! ❤️
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East Brunswick, NJ, United States 08816