Matilda was born on October 21,1919 in a small village called Velke Kostolani, Czechoslovakia, and peacefully died on March 29, 2022 at home with family in Orlando, Florida. The majority of her lifetime was proudly lived in Cambria Heights, Queens, New York, where she and her handsome military husband Joseph, lovingly raised their four children.
She is survived by her sons, Thomas and Joseph (Greg), her daughter Susan, son-in-law John Obrycki, daughter-in-law Yuri Kantor and granddaughters Erinn Kantor-Wohn and Ariel Madeline Obrycki.
Matilda is predeceased in death by her husband, Joseph "Joe" Kantor and by her son, Robert Kantor. Also, by her parents Rudolph and Apolonia Motuz and five younger siblings; Helena, Maria, Anna, Rudy and Milo. She leaves an extensive, extended family here in America and in Slovakia.
At the tender age of 17, Matilda's parents sent her to America by ship from Slovakia for a better life. She taught herself English through books and movies, which helped nurture her strong desire for learning.
Her story started in New York City, where she worked in restaurants, while living with her aunt and two cousins. Opportunities came about which led her to California working as an au-pair in her early 20's. She had beautiful memories of her years there, getting a first real taste of her American Dream, and fantasies of even becoming an actress, however, New York City had a stronger pull on her. Ultimately, this is where she called home for the next 70 years.
Matilda was 'one special lady'. Charismatic, gracious and caring are just a few words to describe this one-of-a-kind woman. She had a beautiful soul, and being in her presence you could sense her kind and loving heart. She loved life and it showed. She was easy to laugh and easy to smile, and displayed genuine compassion and support when others were in need.
The unconditional love she gave to her husband, Joe, of 65 years, and to her children was enduring. They were her world and she was their world. A very special bond that lasted her lifetime.
Her thirst for life was evident in nearly everything she set her mind to. Matilda was a wonderful cook, and loved preparing fresh-wholesome meals for family and friends. When you were a guest at her table, you were guaranteed a delicious feast, served with love.
Her passions and interests were many. She was an avid reader, especially historical fiction. She found calmness working on her large-canvas needlepoints, often gifting them to family and friends who valued them. She kept a vegetable garden every year, also proudly displayed her many flowers and plants all around her home.
One of Matilda's greatest passions was her writing. She loved to write! Well into her 80's an 90's you would often find her typing away on her old school typewriter. Matilda left her family a cherished collection of journals and essays of life experiences, her challenges, and on family, love and nature.
Her 25-year career as a restaurant server added to her purpose and happiness. She loved being around people and was truly thankful for a career she enjoyed so much.
Matilda's 100th birthday party in 2019 was an incredible celebration! Family and friends from around the country came to honor her life-well-lived. She looked and felt as radiant as ever, engaging everyone with her grace and humble appreciation.
She was close to God her whole life long. By every sense of the word, she was a blessed woman.
Matilda's kind spirit will live on in all who loved her.