Chrystaleen Kandiah, 68, of Morgans Mill, Orlando, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.
Chrystaleen was born on June 3, 1952, in Berbice, Guyana, to parents Cyril Ramsammy and Jeanie Sukhnandan. She attended Corentyne and Belvedere Schools. She started work in the Payroll department of Albion Sugar Estate run by Guysuco.
Her father died when she was 18 and, as the eldest of eight children, she took on the burden of helping her mother run the family, and gave up all her dreams of higher education. Even though they were struggling financially, she insisted that her mother be a homemaker while she and the older siblings went to work. To get a better life for all, she moved to the United States and did the remarkable and rare thing of getting all her seven siblings and her mother to be sponsored for immigrant visas.
She worked in Queens, New York, in Finance for a while. The family lived in rented apartments in Brooklyn and worked for low wages while the younger ones went to school. So, she did another extraordinary feat, to encourage her siblings to save and pool their resources to buy a house in Queens Village within three years of their arrival from Guyana.
She was born into a Christian family and grew greatly in her convictions, never wavering in her faith no matter how difficult things were. In all these remarkable turn of events, she always acknowledged God's guiding hand including the next turn of events.
She met her future husband, Silva Kandiah of Singapore, through an international church they both attended. After a two-year courtship, they married in New York and moved to Singapore. There they had a daughter, Rubina Kandiah. Silva worked for Singapore Airlines and Chrystal began a life of extensive international travel, attending church conventions, accompanying Silva on business trips and going on vacations. She was active in the Singapore church as the wife of a deacon and was known for her hospitality. She particularly looked after less fortunate members, bringing gifts and looking for better jobs for them.
They moved back to the US when Silva took early retirement from Singapore Airlines and settled in Orlando where they become active in the community and church. They eventually got involved in a neighborhood church, Vista Community Church, and served in many roles, the last one as Shepherding Elders. Chrystaleen has a passion for helping newcomers and was part of the Care Ministry. She was also involved in other organizations with missions to South Asians.
She was a unifying figure among her siblings, always taking advantage of the chance to bring everyone together for a family gathering. During most visits to see siblings in New York, she would be a good reason to have a get together. She always found time to learn what her nieces and nephews were up to and made them feel special. She was praised for her international cooking and she loved to host gatherings, especially to spread the gospel of Christ. Her favorite flowers were orchids.
She leaves behind her husband Silva, a daughter, Rubina, three brothers, Abel, Peter and Bryan, four sisters, Maggie, Sandra, Bobby and Rose, and nieces and nephews and lots of families, in-laws and friends in the US, Guyana, the UK, Singapore, and all over the world.
Visitation is Saturday, April 24, 2021 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at Vista Community Church (4200 S. Chickasaw Trail, Orlando, Florida 32829) with a funeral service at 12:00 pm.
To view the funeral service livestream, please click here
Interment will be on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 2:00 pm at Chapel Hill Cemetery, 2400 Harrell Road, Orlando, Florida 32817.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Vista Church Missions
in Chrystaleen's name.
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