Nancy Steg died peacefully on June 10, 2019 at the age of 91, surrounded by her family. She was born in Uzhgorod, Hungary in 1927 to Moishe Steg and Blime Kraus. She lost her extended family, parents, and younger brother, Josef, in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. At age 15, Nancy survived in the camps, alongside her sister, Lily, for over a year before liberation. Nancy is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Hutton and Barbara Epstein. She was predeceased by her beloved son, Michael Epstein. She is also survived by five grandchildren: Eli Hutton, Miriam Hutton, Rachel Hutton, Emily Caplan and Michaela Caplan, and her sister, Lily Schmidmayer. Nancy loved her family fiercely and felt immense pride watching her grandchildren succeed in higher education. She made close friends in her life, all of whom she touched with her sense of humor and loyalty. Her loss is felt deeply by all those who loved her, and her memory is a blessing. Despite having a youth marred by darkness, Nancy, with her sister Lily, came to America at age 19 and started anew. Education was of central importance to Nancy. She not only went on to get her GED in a language that was new to her, but she also earned her bachelors’ degree, a masters’ in education, and a masters’ in computer science. She loved traveling, nature, and art. Nancy embodied resilience, independence, and perseverance. The rare times that Nancy spoke of her past, she did so while calling for others to value diversity and to stand against injustice. In her own words, from 2001:
“A second later would have been too late for more thousands of prisoners, including probably too late for me. A second can make a difference. And one person can make a difference. If we want a future, let us keep teaching that differences in culture, religion, national origin do not deprive nations, they enrich them.”
There will be a graveside service for Nancy on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 1:00 pm at Crawford Street Memorial Park, 776 Baker St., West Roxbury. It will be followed by Shiva from 2-6 pm at Maplewood at Weston, 99 Norumbega Rd, Weston. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to HIAS (The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) at https://www.hias.org/ways-give or Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at https://alzfdn.org/support-us/donate/.
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