In Celebration of

Stephanie Zadravetz

April 9, 1935 -  December 5, 2023

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Stephanie Zadravetz on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. Predeceased by her husband Ludwig, she is survived by daughters Lily and Mary Lou, grandsons Wolfgang and Phoenix, sister-in-law Maria (George), nieces and nephews Jadranka, Milan, Yasmin, Yousef, Jaroslav and their children.

Stephanie leaves behind a legacy of love, kindness and memories that will be cherished by those who knew her.

From humble beginnings in Ogulin, Croatia, Stefica built a good life with Ludvik in Toronto. Through love, support and example, she raised two strong, confident daughters and doted on her grandsons. After the passing Ludwig, without hesitation, she agreed to join Mary Lou in British Columbia, where she helped raise her grandsons. In Squamish, Stephanie made her new home, surrounded by mountains and nature, making beautiful new friendships with neighbours. Then after 19 years, she agreed to return to Toronto with Mary Lou and Phoenix to be closer to Lily and family for her final years.

Always hard-working, often relying on herself and her horse (a Croatian proverb ), she earned relaxing vacations in Croatia, Mexico and Venezuela, and visited Lily at all her foreign postings.

Always looking to self-improvement, Stephanie took courses to learn new or hone existing skills, like cooking, gardening, knitting, reupholstering and sewing. Her outfits set new fashion trends at her daughters’ schools.

Stephanie’s generosity of spirit meant that many family members, friends, and neighbours received sarma, baked goods, home-knit baby blankets, sweaters and slippers. Stephanie’s hands were never idle, even when watching the Y&R.

Stephanie pursued all of these activities when she wasn't at work. From the time of her arrival in Canada, Stephanie was continually employed, with only a short break after Mary Lou was born, retiring at the age of 60 after 20 years at British Drug Houses (BDH) as Inventory Control Specialist. She even participated in a sting to nab someone who sought to buy controlled substances without proper authorization.

A lover of animals, Stephanie adopted or took in many cats and dogs over the years, despite her allergies which finally resulted in a loss of smell. But she loved them too much to ever consider giving them up. Socrates, a parakeet she rescued from a field, thrived under her love and attention, living twice as long as expected.

Stephanie fostered in her daughters a connection to Croatian culture by sending them to Saturday Croatian school and folklore dancing, and teaching them about Croatian holiday traditions and, of course, food! Unfortunately, neither of her daughters or grandsons learned to play the tamburica, a dream of hers.

An avid and open-minded reader, Stephanie explored new ideas which she encountered such as yoga and reflexology. But she also had her light-hearted side, chuckling at Gary Lauten’s column in her daily Toronto Star or episodes of MASH.

Stephanie lived a full life guided by strong values which we will strive to emulate.

Many thanks to the staff at Greenview Residence where Stephanie spent her final months.

Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. W., (at Windermere Ave., east of Jane subway) on Friday from 6-9 p.m. Prayers 8:30 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady Queen of Croatia, 7 Croatia St., on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 10 a.m. Interment St. John’s Dixie Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration of a donation to the Toronto Food Bank.


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Maryann (Zigi) Oletic (Friend)

Entered December 6, 2023 from Toronto

Dear sweet Stefi.
You will be missed. Your kindness and acceptance of us all❤️. I spent many weekends at your home and then had the priveledge of working with you. We had fun. Lots of fun. You were a very significant part of my life, from my teens and on and on…..even our few visits at Lily’s in London. R.I. P. Beautiful Stefi. Say Hello to Ludwig🙏❤️. We still miss his beautiful/happy Red Medimurski face

Yousef Papadopoulos 

Entered December 6, 2023

Dear Lily and Mary Lou,
So sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. She will always be with you in your heart and you will hear her voice whenever you think of her.
With much love,
Kathleen and Joseph.

Les Linklater (Family friend)

Entered December 6, 2023

…her hands were never idle…as a beneficiary of her slipper generosity and a friend of one of her strong, capable, accomplished and funny daughters, I salute the incredible life she lived. To only consider the struggles of moving across the Atlantic knowing little English at such a young age and seeing what she accomplished is astounding. What an amazing woman.


Entered December 7, 2023 from Edmonton

Lillian and Family:
I didn't have the privilege of meeting your Mom - I wish I had. Les always spoke so highly of her, and especially appreciated. her zest for life, and her slippers. You will miss her terribly, but she has left you with many good memories to share.

Zeljko Soric (Friend of the family)

Entered December 7, 2023 from Thornhill

Privileged I have met her and shared few moments in her life.


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