By Kathy Goldman
One of Sloatsburg’s own, Elona Stella, lost her brave battles with breast cancer, leukemia and kidney disease over the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend on Saturday, January, 14. She was just 57 years old.
Elona was surrounded by the love of family and friends during her last days.
Born Elona Saunders in Brooklyn, New York, on July 25, 1959, Elona moved to Sloatsburg with husband Al, where they lived for 26 years on Clove Road, raising a family that includes sons Daniel and Joseph, and daughter Jillian.
All three Stella children have gone through the Ramapo Central Schools, with two now in college.
Elona’s daughter Jillian set up a GoFundMe site in her mother’s memory to help offset medical and funeral bills.
“In lieu of flowers to the funeral home please send donations for the funeral and medical bills,” wrote Jillian on her mother’s GoFundMe page.
“We will be celebrating my Mom’s life at Wanamaker & Carlough Funeral Home in Suffern,” adding that her mother would have wanted “something humble and special and that’s exactly what we’re going to give her. I can’t wait to see all of the people who’s hearts were touched by her whether they knew her or not. Thank you for being on this journey with us.”
The reception at Wanamaker & Carlough takes place on Thursday, January 19, from 5-8 p.m.
The GoFundMe page has currently reached more than half of its goal, a testament to the affection and love Elona inspired in others.
Elona’s heart and joy was always her family, though she also enjoyed traveling, whether it was family vacations or on exciting girls’ getaways with her close girlfriends. Elona was a dedicated employee for the past 11 years at Bob’s Security Systems in West Nyack, NY, where she worked as an operator.
Friends and family will not only remember Elona’s vivacious personality, humor, and quick wit, but her steadfast and unwavering devotion to her family.
She is survived by her loving husband Albert and her children Daniel, Joseph, and Jillian.