Denda, Anna

Tappan, NY - Tappan Location

Anna Denda passed away peacefully at her home on Monday, May 4, 2020 at the age of 83.

She is survived by her children, Daniel and Deborah Denda, Tania Denda, Alina and Joey Oquendo, her grandchildren Julia Oquendo, Zachary Denda, Savannah Denda and Joshua Oquendo, her sister Olga and Jack Boshart, her sister Mary Gribanoff, along with many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband, Alfred Denda, her parents Panas and Alexandra Kowalchuk, sister Cynthia Kowalchuk, sister Julia and Mike Smedovich, sister Eva and Walter Baransky, her brother Omelan (Emol) Kowalchuk, as well as her brother in law George Gribanoff.

She was born on November 20, 1936 in Rodovel, Ukraine. Thankfully after enduring many hardships and living in a work camp through the war, she along with her family fled to the United States in 1949. They planted firm family roots in Utica NY. As a family they successfully overcame many challenges including a new country, language and culture. Anna left school in her early teens to find work and help financially support the family. Her family showed compassion and assisted an elderly couple on their block who in turn witnessed to them about the bible. Her father was a bible reader who had an appreciation for spiritual things. After the family studied with Brother John Juda, they each made the decision to dedicate their lives to Jehovah. Anna was baptized on August 23, 1953. On October 13, 1966 Anna met her future husband who just so happened to be giving a friend a ride to her younger sister, Olga’s wedding. Upon drop off when Anna’s mom found out that Alfred and his mom had made such a long trip insisted, they stay and attend. So, they did and just 5 months later they were married on March 4, 1967. Now, at 30 years old she was on the move again from the suburbs of Utica, NY to the metropolis of Queens, NY. While living in New York City Anna and Alfred welcomed 3 children, Daniel, Tania and Alina. In 1975, the family moved to Tappan, NY and began to attend the West Nyack English Congregation. During the following 20 years Anna supported her family as a home maker extraordinaire, providing a haven for her family as well as many in the congregation. She compassionately cared for her aged mother in law, Marie Denda (Oma), until her death in 2004 at the age of 96, not an easy task. She was involved in all the families’ day to day activities, graduation parties, picnics, bbq’s, trips to the pool, ski trips, road trips to Utica, yearly pillage to the Balloon Festivals at Shawnee with Aunt Lilia and Uncle Ray, daily packed her husband’s lunch, tended to her garden and flowers, was regularly out in the ministry and to all the meetings, personally customizing and ordering the memorial flowers each year and making sure the KH always looked presentable. In 1995, Anna with the support of her husband Alfred aided in the start of the Russian group at the Nyack Kingdom Hall. Her dedication and zeal were contagious, and she proved to be a pillar in the 2001 formation of the Russian Congregation, which has grown and split 3 times since. She was elated to be a grandmother to all 4 of her grandkids. She always made time for them from the moment they were born to her final breath. They provided her with more joy than words can ever express. They provided her the motivation she needed at the times she needed it most throughout her life. Anna was deeply grieved at the passing of the love of her life, Alfred, on March 4, 2008, their 41st wedding anniversary. She once again provided the most inspiring example by pouring her life into her faith, family and friends. Her positive attitude and desire to live made her a pinnacle part of all our lives. She was a warrior who never gave up in the face of adversity.

As we remember Anna as our resilient mother, our loving grandmother, our devoted sister, our caring aunt, our dear friend and a loyal servant of Jehovah, may we take the time to reflect on the promise of future blessings that Jehovah offers all of us. Anna said she was “dreaming of paradise” and we cannot wait to meet her there.

Out of an abundance of caution, there will be no public visitation or services held at this time. To allow friends and loved ones to join in Anna's memorial service, Zoom invitations will be sent out by her family. Please contact Joey at (914) 760- 9327 with any questions. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Anna’s memory