Friends of Stefanie Kroot Steinberg share some of the cherished memories they made with their beloved friend who died in a house fire.

Photos courtesy of Melissa Litvin

On August 27, 54-year-old Stefanie Kroot Steinberg of Waterford died tragically as a result of a house fire. Adonis Drey Wilson has been charged with open murder and second-degree arson in connection with this incident.

Many of her friends, including Melissa Litvin and Natalie Sikora, remember her as an outgoing, humorous and caring friend.

Litvin met Steinberg through mutual friends and they were inseparable for over 30 years. She spoke at her funeral and is now cherishing the memories she and Steinberg shared.

Melissa Litvin and Stefanie Kroot Steinberg

“Stefanie was always there for everybody,” Litvin said. “She was always there to support me through all of my hardships.”

Their friend group, also known as the “tribe,” would celebrate Christmas in July at one of their friends’ cottages. Each year they exchanged gifts, ate and enjoyed quality time together.

Steinberg happened to be an expert at crafting, often making soaps, candles and bracelets.

“For our Christmas in July, she made all of us bracelets,” Litvin said. “I’m not a huge fan of bracelets, so she made me this cute crystal decoration that I hung up in my car, and now I know that she is always with me.”

Litvin also recalls how Steinberg hated cooking. Whenever they planned a get-together, she always knew Steinberg would bring a dish from her favorite store, Costco.

Sikora met Steinberg 15 years ago when she came into Sikora’s hair salon, and they became instant friends. She remembers Steinberg’s sense of humor and how she would always laugh the hardest at her own jokes.

“She had so much to give to others, and even when her life was challenging, she always checked in on me,” Sikora said. “She was my soul sister and everything that you could want in a friend.”

Throughout her life, Steinberg took great pride in her professional endeavors. She was a graduate of the JVS Women to Work program and was the community and technology coordinator for Temple Emanu-El. She was also an assistant to the executive director of the Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety.

In 2015, she earned the Women to Work Award for overcoming personal hardships and successfully re-entering the workforce.

Rabbi Harold Loss and Rabbi Marla Hornsten of Temple Israel officiated her funeral services on August 30 at The Dorfman Chapel.

Steinberg made a lasting impact on the people she met, and her memory will live on through her friends and family. She is survived by her son, parents and sister.

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