Lyudmila Zlotnik, a chemistry teacher who also participated in the fight against the Nazi occupation during World War II, died on Sept. 22 in Ridgewood, N.J.
Born on October 14, 1923 in Fastov, Ukraine, Lyudmila grew up with her brother, Mikhail Kiksman, a decorated officer of the Russian Army. In the early 1940s, as WWII engulfed the world in chaos and turmoil, she answered the call to help her country - participating in a work program in which she cut down trees in heavily wooded areas and placed them as barricades to slow the advance of Nazi tanks.
After the war, she married the love of her life, Matvey Zlotnik, a young attorney, who later in life became a jurist in the military. Together they built a life, parenting two wonderful children. Lyudmila became a chemistry teacher, shaping young minds and encouraging her students to pursue careers in the sciences. However, her biggest impact on the world was through her beloved family, instilling a strong moral compass in her children and grandchildren, while exemplifying the virtues of patience, kindness and compassion.
Lyudmila is survived by her children, Eugene and Helen Zlotnik, their spouses, cousins, three grandchildren, Michael, Matt and Alex and now four great-grandchildren, Samuel, Sasha, Mia and Emmett.