PHILADELPNIA, PA – Bertha Rorres (born Panagiotitsa Papatheodorou) of Broomall, PA died peacefully in her sleep on June 8. She was 101 years old.
She was born in Vrondamas, Lakonia, Greece on January 28, 1915. Her father died where she was only seven years old and it became necessary for her to forego high school in order to help her mother care for her three younger siblings: brother Theodoros (who eventually emigrated to Argentina) and sisters Lygeri and Christina.
Panagiotitsa came to Philadelphia in 1937 as a young bride. She and her husband, Harry (Argyrios) P. Rorres and their three children initially lived in Philadelphia’s ‘Greek Town’ and subsequently moved to West Philadelphia and then to Havertown, PA. In 1968 her sister Christina and husband John Vasiliou also emigrated to Philadelphia with their children, Demos and Diana (now Poulimenos); the extended Vasiliou and Poulimenos Families continue to flourish in the Philadelphia area.
Mrs. Rorres was a stay-at-home mother for her three children while they were young; after they were grown she helped her husband manage several restaurants that he owned.
She was a member of St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia for nearly 80 years and active in Philoptochos for many years. In 1995 (at age 80) she traveled to the Holy Land on a tour led by then-presiding priest at St. George Cathedral, Fr. James Katerlis; a highlight of the trip for Mrs. Rorres was a visit to St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai. She also traveled many times to visit family and friends in Greece and Argentina.
Mrs. Rorres loved learning and was an avid reader (both Greek and English). She read the National Herald faithfully for 79 years! She also enjoyed gardening and cultivated wonderful vegetable and flower gardens in the backyards of her homes well into her 80s.
Mrs. Rorres was the beloved mother of Dr. Chris Rorres, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Drexel University, (wife, Billie) and Rena Rorres Baker of Ventnor City, NJ (husband, Jack). She enjoyed spending time at the New Jersey shore with her daughter and son-in-law and her granddaughters, Stephanie Baker and Kristie Baker Gardener, and their spouses. Her eldest son, Peter Rorres, an astronautical engineer, died in a tragic accident in 1967.
Funeral services for Mrs. Rorres took place on Monday, June 13 at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey officiated at the service along with the Very Reverend Archimandrite Ambrose Bitziadis-Bowers, presiding priest at St. George Cathedral, and the Rev. Fr. Georgios Kouzelis, presiding priest at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Upper Darby.