April 17, 2012
As the saying goes, people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Once we know which one, we know what to do for that person. However, in Najla's case, it was more like what could she do for you. This very special woman was our gift from God. She was worth far more than gold. Her life was God's way of showing us how much he loved us.
Najla was the oldest daughter born to the late Simon and Malakie Mokhiber. However, as life would have it, her father, died at a very young age leaving his wife to raise their eight children. Najla, due to her age, became her mother's right hand. Along with her two older brothers, worked at her mother's side, never complaining about the extra responsibilities she had to take on.
Najla graduated from the Niagara Falls Public Schools and for many years after was employed by Chisolm Ryder on Highland Avenue. She loved her family and also her church. She was a devout member of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church and often used her talents to hand craft pillows for the church bazaars. When holidays rolled around Najla's homemade Lebanese cookies were always a sure thing to be served. It wouldn't be Christmas without these delicious pastries. At age 96 she still talked sports to her great nieces and nephews when they called. No one could have been a bigger Bills fan calling out their names as if she knew them personally…maybe she did.
Everything and anything for her family no matter the time and effort it took to do it. Upon her retirement, when time should have been her own, her mother, Malakie, took ill. Najla, along with her sister, Nellie, ran the household. She tended to her ailing mother and still managed to keep up the house. Later on, after their mother's death, Najla cared for her also cared for her sister, Nellie, until she passed in September of 1999.
Surrounded by pictures of her many nieces and nephews around the house you always knew how important you were to her if not with words than definitely by deeds. In her later years she'd call on your birthday and sing in her high pitched voice. One time her call met with an answering machine message; she sang, and then hung up, only to call back and make sure they knew who had been the one who called. Who would ever forget?
Najla's name became synonymous with the word "Christian." Her family honored her on her 90th birthday with an icon of St. Martha that decorates the church wall at St. George. May her memory be eternal.
Najla is survived by her youngest sister, Edith Johnstone, of Lewiston NY, along with a multitude of nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and cousins. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by two brothers Morris (late Angele) Mokhiber; Annis (late Barbara) Mokhiber, and three sisters, Nellie Mokhiber, Catherine (late Charles) Elias; Daisy (late Roy) Fadel and Anourine (late Robert) Fadel. She was also predeceased by her nephews Charles Michael Elias, William Fadel and Daniel Mokhiber and one niece, Judith Ann Elias.
The family will be present to receive friends Friday from 2 – 4 & 7 – 9 PM at the M.J. COLUCCI & SON NIAGARA FUNERAL CHAPEL, 2730 MILITARY RD., NIAGARA FALLS, NY, where prayers will be held on Saturday, April 21st. at 10:30 AM followed by a funeral service at 11:00 AM at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 1073 Saunders Settlement Rd. Lewiston, with Rev. Paul Solberg, officiating. The trisagion prayers will be held on Friday at 8 PM at the funeral home. Interment in Riverdale Cemetery, Lewiston, NY. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church.