SCHENEVUS – Anja Kosonen Kiraly, who ran the Chief Schenevus Restaurant with husband John for 30 years, passed away at 78 years young on Sept. 1, 2019, in Washington, D.C.
Anja, born in Helsinki, Finland, immigrated to the United States to be an au pair in 1957.
She was married to the late (Janos) John Kiraly of Hungary, the human embodiment of the Finnish concept of Sisu. She met John in an English class. He spoke five words to her and stole her heart.
Their goal was to live the American Dream. They raised their family in South Hempstead. They owned Burger ‘n Shake in Farmingdale. After John’s retirement, they lived in Schenevus for more than 30 years and ran the Chief Schenevus there. John passed away on June 9, 1995. Their son Richard took over the restaurant and bakery and eventually Anja moved first to Philadelphia, then Washington, D.C., with her daughters.
Anja is survived by her three children Richard, Anne and Linda; grandchildren, Theresa, Richard, Janette, Chris, Dayna, Sisi and Taylor; great-grandchildren, Aniyah, Johnny, Yasmine, Mia and Copeland; sister, Kitty Larrson of Sweden; and half-siblings, Markku Sinkonen and Ylva Malmstrom of Finland.
Loved by everyone everywhere she lived, Anja always worked hard. Whether a burger needed to be grilled, floor tiles laid, a garden planted, furniture reupholstered, anything, she would figure out how to do it. She helped others every way she could.
Knitting was her passion. She would knit baby sweaters and scarves to give as holiday gifts. She even made clothes for her own children. Anja also made beautiful hanging baskets that once hung in Schenevus and her crafty side was evident in the mosaic table tops she created.
Anja loved to make lives better and happier for people. And she did!
In keeping with Anja’s wishes, no services will be held. Her family is celebrating her life instead.
Anja is remembered, loved and missed already.