Elizabeth Reda was a cheerful, outgoing woman who loved to organize activities and socialize with others, her family said.
Reda, 87, died of COVID-19 on Dec. 28 at the Affinity Skilled Living and Rehabilitation Center in Oakdale.
Daughter Tracey Zappola remembered Reda as a caring mother and a fun-loving person who liked to organize luncheons and bingo games in the senior facilities where she lived. Reda moved into the Oakdale facility in 2017 and had lived in an apartment complex for seniors in Massapequa since 1991.
“She had a warm personality. She had a lot of friends,” said Zappola, 57. “[At] every stage where my mom moved to a different place, she fit right in. … She’s very sociable and liked to be in charge of activities.”
Reda was born on Jan. 20, 1933, in New York City. She grew up in the city and married Louis Reda in 1957 after meeting him through a mutual friend.
“My mother would say: from the first time they met, she said this is the man that she’s going to marry,” said Zappola, of Deer Park.
The couple moved to a house in Lindenhurst in 1958 and raised four children. Reda worked as a phone operator before getting married and became a stay-at-home mom after her children were born. She worked in secretarial positions after her husband Louis Reda died in 1982 of bone cancer.
“My mom never stopped mourning him,” said Zappola, who was 18 at the time of her father’s death. “She spoke of him every day and told stories. Nobody compared to my dad.”
In 2019, her mother said “another piece of her heart was gone” when her daughter Deborah Stein, of West Babylon, died at age 56 of a bacterial infection while being treated for lung cancer, Zappola said.
The family held a graveside service on Dec. 31 at St. Charles Cemeteries in Farmingdale. In addition to Zappola, Reda is survived by son Richard Reda of Malverne, daughter Robin Gibbins of North Babylon, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, daughter and three siblings Albert Politi, Louis Politi and Anna Fusco.