Obituaries in Greek-American Community

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kondarinis, FILE)

SPRINGFIELD, MA (from The Republican, published on Nov. 29) – James C. Boratgis, 97, a longtime resident of Burton Street in the Forest Park section of Springfield, was Called Safely Home on Wednesday, November 28, 2018. He passed into Eternal Life at Manchester Manor Health Care Center in Manchester, CT surrounded by the care and comfort of his loving wife, Evdokia, and his wonderful caregivers. He was born in Lynn, MA on April 15, 1921, a beloved son of the late Charles and Angela (Papalas) Boratgis. He was raised in Lynn, graduated from local schools and later attended Emerson College in Boston. He moved to Springfield in 1964 where he lived for nearly the remainder of his life. He was last employed as a baker at the former Gus and Paul’s on Sumner Avenue in Springfield. He previously worked for Woolworth’s in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the former Forbes & Wallace Department Store in Springfield and the former Abdow’s Restaurants. He was a communicant of Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Springfield. An avid sports fan, he enjoyed following the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. He leaves his beloved wife and soul mate, Evdokia “Kiki” (Karasavvas) Boratgis. They were married in Athens, Greece on March 8, 1964 and were blessed with over 54 years of happiness together. He also leaves his two loving sons, Ernest Boratgis and his wife, Denise Pesce-Boratgis, of South Windsor, CT and Charles Boratgis and his wife, Denisa, of Calabasas, CA; and his three cherished grandchildren, Evelene Boratgis, Alecia DiPietro and her husband, Marc, and Angela Boratgis. His family will receive friends on Monday, December 3, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. which will be followed by a prayer service at 12:30 p.m. at the St. Pierre – Phaneuf Springfield Chapels, (413-737-1177), 7 Chapin Terrace, Springfield, MA 01107. His burial will follow the service at Oak Grove Cemetery, 426 Bay Street, Springfield, MA 01109. His family requests that memorial donations be made in his memory to Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 22 Saint George Road, Springfield, MA 01104. For more details, please visit:

CHESTERTON, IN (from the Northwest Indiana Times, Published on Nov. 30) – Maria J. Nicoletta Bratsakis, supermom, passed into the hands of our Lord following declining health, November 28, 2018, her husband John’s birthday, who preceded her in death. She is survived by her immediate family: her two sons and daughters-in law, Jim and Alexis (Mitchell) Bratsakis and John and Heather (Anastos) Bratsakis. She was a grandparent to John and Heather’s illustrious children; Anna, Dimitri and Constantine. She is also survived by her brother John Demopoulos. She was a loved Thea to nieces Marguerite (Bratsakis) Matthews, Dr. Anna Demopoulos Katz, and Maria Demopoulos, and nephews Jim Bratsakis, George Bratsakis, Jim Kontras, Nick Flesor and James Demopoulos. Maria was born in the Bronx, New York to Anna and James Demopoulos on May 30, 19…(not allowed to divulge actual year). Maria was the oldest sister to her brother John. She was a proud graduate of Zoodohos Peghe (ZP) Bronx School. After graduation she moved to Sheboygan WI then eventually Chicago where she graduated from Amundsen High School and continued on to get a Philosophy degree from Depaul University. Maria met John Bratsakis, who had crashed her brother’s wedding, and got married on January 21st, 1962 at St. Demetrios Church in Chicago, IL. Maria and John traveled the globe which included trips to Australia, following the route of the Titanic, visiting the beaches of Normandy, China and, of course, Greece. Maria’s was proudest to be called mom to Jimmy and Johnny. She never missed a football game, wrestling match (although her eyes were closed when the boys were wrestling) or concert. She somehow found time to be a community leader: in Community Concerts bringing the Joffrey Ballet, Dizzy Gillespie and a host of other world-famous acts to Valparaiso. She continued her philanthropic ways through Tri Kappa, rising to the state level, to continue and further the sorority’s reach. As a leader for the VU Friends of Art, she was an integral part that built the Dick Brauer Art Museum at Valparaiso University. She was also involved in the Daughters of Penelope and, in her final act, she served as president of PEO. Maria will be waked at Moeller Funeral Home – Valparaiso, on Sunday, December 2, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the Trisagion Service at 3:30 p.m. The Funeral will be at St. Iakovos Greek Orthodox Church, 36 W 700 N, Valparaiso, IN 46385, at 10am Monday, December 3, 2018 with the interment service following at Graceland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the St. Iakovos Building Fund.

POTTSTOWN, PA (from the Published in The Mercury, published on Nov. 27) – Christy A. Christ, 86, former co-owner of the original Very Best Weiner Shop, 252 High St., Pottstown, and resident of Manatawny Manor, has departed this life to join his wife, Victoria, in their heavenly home with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Born in Downingtown, PA, to parents Alexander and Teressa (Marmarou) Christ, he graduated from Downingtown High School where he was a quarterback for the football team, ran track and threw javelin. While in high school, Chris, a saxophone and clarinet player, became part of an eight-piece band called the Serenaders. The band played at a variety of venues throughout the West Chester, Coatesville, and Downingtown areas, which included an event at the Sunnybrook Ballroom. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy upon graduation, and was stationed out of Norfolk, VA, on the destroyer USS Soley. A veteran of the Korean War, his battle station was the Captain’s “talker,” transferring messages to the torpedo shack or to the gun mounts. Because of his proximity to both, he lost hearing in his left ear. He said he was blessed to travel the world with the Navy and return without a scratch, and then marry the love of his life, Victoria George. In 1955, after an honorable discharge from the Navy, Chris joined his father-in-law, Christ George as a partner in George’s restaurant business, The Very Best Weiner Shop, located at the time on South Hanover St. in Pottstown. When the eatery moved in 1971 to its original location, 252 High St., Christ George retired and Chris welcomed his brother-in-law, John Brower, as a partner. Chris appreciated his 52 years as co-owner of the Very Best; often saying a highlight of his time in business was conversing with the many customers who patronized the restaurant. He was a past member of the Rotary Club, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Elks, and a member of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. He enjoyed playing his sax as accompanist to his wife, Vicky, a talented pianist, and traveling the US and to Greece – the birthplace of each of their parents. Chris & Vicky cherished time spent with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren – fondly remembering vacations in Disney World and the Jersey Shore. Chris and Vicky live on in the hearts of their family, Cherie Viscardi, Gilbertsvile, PA; Melanie (Rennie) Tucker, wife of Eric, Pottstown, PA; and George Christ, husband of Denise (Bicer), Pottstown, PA; as well as grandchildren Alexa and Nicholas Viscardi; Erik Tucker; Aaron Christ husband of Katie (Tellis); Sara (Christ) Brenner, wife of Michael; and Christie Christ; and great grandchildren, Autumn and Amber Tucker, and Caleb and Isaiah Christ. Sisters, Mary McCarter, Irene Alex-Kolb, Thelma Miller, and Angeline Christ, predeceased him. A celebration of his life will be held at Warker-Troutman Funeral Home, 726, E. High St., Pottstown, PA on Friday evening, November 30, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm. Burial, officiated by Pastor Lee Hallman of Tri -County Bible Church, will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to the Montgomery County SPCA, 1059 Sweisford Road, Perkiomenville, PA 18074; or American Legion Pottsgrove Post 244, PO Box 477, Sanatoga, PA 19464; or Tri County Bible Church, 142 Buchert Rd, Gilbertsvile, PA 19525. The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the compassionate people who helped care for Chris and Vicky during their three years as nursing home residents. To view obituaries or to send condolences go to

SPRINGFIELD, MA (from The Republican, published on Nov. 27) – Elizabeth “Bette” Cokotis, 91, of Springfield, MA, and formerly a resident of East Longmeadow, MA for 32 years, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, November 25th at Baystate Medical Center, surrounded by family. Elizabeth was born to Greek Immigrants who came to America through Ellis Island and worked long hours in the woolen mills in Central Mass to achieve a better life for their family. Her parents are the late Panteleimon and Alexandra (Noutsis) Zacopoulos and she was born in Milford, MA and raised in Uxbridge, MA. She graduated from Uxbridge High School and Hill College of Business. She was retired from Mass Mutual Insurance Company and previously worked at Grants Dept. Store, Blake’s Clothing Store and Shawmut First Bank. Bette served on the St. George Olympians Drum & Bugle Corps Committee and was also a member of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos (Friends of the Poor) Society at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral and at St. Luke. She was an active communicant of The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Luke in East Longmeadow where she and her late husband were among an energetic group of parishioners who were incorporators of the newly expanded suburban parish in East Longmeadow in 1976. They were both 30 year members of the church choir, and volunteered for many fund raisers. In addition to her love of the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots, Bette loved to share her baking and cooking skills with her grandchildren and volunteered in many workshops for the Taste of Greece. She participated in Bible Study and enjoyed the St. Luke Romeos and Juliets Senior Club. Elizabeth was predeceased by her beloved husband of 51 years, John Cokotis in 2007. She is survived by her 3 sons; William of Springfield, Peter and his wife Nancy of East Longmeadow, MA, Reverend Father Thomas, Pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Holyoke, MA and his wife Maria of East Longmeadow, and her five cherished grandchildren; Richard of Chicopee, Billy of Palmer, Jennifer Russell and her husband Derek of Springfield, Julie of Nevada, Christopher of Arizona and great granddaughters, Alexa and Peyton. She also leaves behind her beloved sister and brother in-law, Catherine “Tina” and Harry Jordanoglou of Webster, MA; and her sister in-law, Mildred McKinnon of Uxbridge. Bette was predeceased by her older infant sister, Elizabeth and her beloved brother Nicholas Zacopoulos of Uxbridge. In addition, Bette leaves behind many loving nieces and nephews, cousins and close friends. Elizabeth will lie in state at 10AM and funeral services will follow at 11AM. on Thursday, November 29th at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Luke in East Longmeadow followed by a burial at Hillcrest Park Cemetery, Springfield, MA. Wilbraham Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. The family would like to thank her Primary Care and Specialty Doctors, the dedicated nursing and patient care staff at Baystate Medical Center 7th Floor Mass Mutual Building and Daily Building 6A, as well as the physical therapists and CNTs at Wingate East Longmeadow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in memory of Elizabeth to St. Luke Philoptochos/Food Outreach, 400 Prospect St., P.O.Box 381, East Longmeadow, MA 01028, Holy Trinity Philoptochos/Food Outreach, 410 Main Street, Holyoke, MA 01040, or a charity of one’s choice. For further information, please visit the Wilbraham Funeral Home website at

UNION, NJ (published online, Nov. 27) – Christos Dimitrakakis age 72, passed away November 24, 2018. Born in Evros, Greece on March 17, 1946, Christos came to this country in 1968 where he settled in Union, NJ. He went on to become a Carpenter and opened up his own woodworking shop in Irvington, NJ, where he still worked up until his very last day. He later met his wife Despina and they had three beautiful children together. Christos was known in the community and to everyone around him as a philanthropist and worked very hard to make sure his family was taken care of. He always had a smile on his face that could light up an entire room. Chris lived his life the way he wanted, making sure that he and everyone around him was always happy. He enjoyed the simple things in life like playing with his grandkids, being in good company, taking Bella for walks, gardening, and his Sunday trips to the flea market. He was amazing husband, father, grandfather, father-in-law, brother, and a friend to everyone. Christos is survived by his wife Despina, his children George and Rania, his children-in-law Stella and Kosta, and his sweet grandchildren, Christos and Athanasios. He is predeceased by his parents, and his daughter Maria. Visitation: Wednesday, November 28, 4-8 p.m. Trisagion Prayer 7 p.m. Paskas Funeral Service, 2800 Morris Avenue, Union. Funeral: Thursday, November 29, 10 a.m., St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church 721 Rahway Avenue in Union. Interment immediately following at Fairview Cemetery, Westfield.

WASHINGTON, DC (from the Washington Post, published on Nov. 27) – William Nicholas Kotzalas, our loving stepfather of over 42 years, passed away on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018, a little over a year after his beloved wife Stella. He was born in Chicago, IL in 1928 and when the depression struck, he and his family returned to their familial Greek island of Naxos. Stuck there during World War II, he ran messages back and forth for the resistance as a teen during the Italian/German occupation. Back in the U.S., he served in the Korean War, worked at the architectural firm of Leo A. Daly, and was active in the Naxian society, serving as chair for a term. Bill enjoyed entertaining with his wife Stella at their beautiful home. An excellent athlete, his soccer and tennis skills were legendary and his trophies could fill a room, for which he never once boasted. Fiercely patriotic of the US, he also was very proud of his Greek roots, and could recount any historical battle or date for both WWII and ancient Greek history. His dignity, grace and big heart will forever inspire us all. He is survived by his loving sister Vivian Korkas; his brother-in-law General Constantine Korkas of Athens, Greece; Martha Alafoginis, Alexandra Maroulis Cronmiller and Rae Cronmiller; his grandchildren Kristina and Martin Vedder, Jackie and Mark Vandermeersch, George and Betsy Alafoginis, Katerina Cronmiller; and three adored great grandchildren; his dear nieces and nephews Nick and Cindy Kotzalas, Lena Jones, Olga and Bob Harris, Elena Korkas, Alexander Korkas, and Lexy and Matt Grimmig. Viewing will be at St. Sophia Cathedral, 37th & Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 29, 2018. Funeral immediately following. Internment will be private. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Sophia Cathedral.

SAN FRACISCO, CA (from the San Francisco Chronicle, published on Dec. 1) – Matilda (Tillie) Molho December 25, 1926 – November 8, 2018. Tillie passed away peacefully on November 8, 2018. She was 91 years of age. Tillie was born in Thessaloniki, Greece on December 25, 1926, the daughter of David and Louisa Amarillo. She grew up in a warm, loving home and shared a happy childhood with her brothers Sam and Solon. During the war, Tillie was separated form her family and was hidden by a Greek Christian family. Several years later she was reunited with her family in Greece. Tillie married Dr. Rene Molho on March 3, 1946, one year after liberation. On March 6, 1947 they had a son named Mario Sam. Together they emigrated to The United States in 1951. Tillie and Rene raised their son Sam in Oakland. Tillie traveled extensively through her lifetime. She also spent countless hours volunteering for Children’s Hospital and was very active in ORT. Both Tillie and Rene were philanthropists and supported the Hebrew University, Yom HaShoah and Temple Sinai, Oakland. Tillie was predeceased by her son Sam and her husband Rene. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Temple Sinai, Oakland or Congregation B’nai Tikvah, Walnut Creek.

HOUSTON, TX (from the Houston Chronicle, published on Nov. 28) – Pete Mougouris 1930-2018. Pete A. Mougouris, 88 of Houston TX, passed away on November 20, 2018. He was born in Homatero, Greece on July 14, 1930 to Anastasios and Kostantina Mougouris. He emigrated to the United States, with his wife, Panagiota, looking for opportunity. He ultimately settled in Houston, a city that he was proud to call his home. He worked at Shamrock Hilton for 28 years until the hotel was demolished in 1986. He enjoyed telling his family and friends stories of the celebrities and politicians that he encountered at the Shamrock. Pete was a member of the Annunciation Cathedral Greek Orthodox Church on Yoakum Blvd. for over 50 years. He enjoyed spending time with his family and going to church on Sunday. He looked forward to attending the Greek Festival every year. He was a proud converted Texan, and enjoyed taking trips with his family to the Hill Country. He valued education and instilled a love of learning and a strong work ethic in his two children, Tina and Taso, his two greatest accomplishments. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Panagiota, his son, Dr. Taso Mougouris, his daughter Tina and her husband David Elbert, who he referred to as his “best friend”, his adorable granddaughter Isabella, and his only surviving sibling, Petros Mountzouris of Austin. Visitation will be Thursday, November 29 from 5-8pm. Funeral Service will be Friday, November 30 at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3511 Yoakum Blvd. at 11:30am Burial following at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery.