General News

Greek-American Woman Dies While Playing on Slot Machine 

September 23, 2022

NEW JERSEY – After spending the day at Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, a woman passed away at 89, while playing on her favorite slot machine. Maria G. Makri Liberty visited the famous casino on September 18, with her best friend, as well as the friend’s daughter and grandson.

Once the four entered the casino, they parted, going to different areas, with the two friends staying together. Around half an hour had passed by, when Maria spotted a slot machine she loved and began playing, soon telling her friend, “I’m winning.”

When the friend’s daughter and grandson wanted to rejoin the two, she stepped away to go find them, but a few moments after, she heard someone calling her to go back.

“Once I got there, I saw Maria sitting on her chair with the happiest smile on her face,” her close friend who was with her at the time told TNH. She added, “her hands were put together, just like when we pray. When I went nearer, I put my hands on her face and kissed her forehead. In the beginning I thought she fainted, before realizing what had actually happened. Security later came and told us to put her on the floor, until CMS would arrive. Even though they performed CPR, it was too late.”

Maria G. Makri Liberty. Photo: Courtesy of Dionysia M. Liberty

According to the family, the most likely cause of death was an aneurysm which was diagnosed around eight years ago, however, it was inoperable. Her daughter Dionysia Miltiadi Liberty said that the aneurysm was very large and close to her heart when it was first diagnosed.

Maria G. Makri Liberty was born in Makriotika, Pylaros, in Kefalonia. Her mom Dionysia, after whom her daughter was named, was widowed at 40 years old during World War II and was left with four children, however the family was well taken care of by the uncles.

One of them, noted businessman Argyrios Fantis, a big philanthropist who started the A. Fantis School in Brooklyn, sponsored her to come to the United States.

Her daughter Dionysia described her mom as “sharp, alert, and someone who had great intuition throughout her lifetime.”

The funeral will take place on September 24, at the Ascension Greek Orthodox Church in Fairview, New Jersey. The family plans to donate the deceased’s winnings to a family in need in Kefalonia.

Instead of flowers, those who wish to donate in her memory are kindly requested to do so at the following locations:

St. Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Church 153 West 105th St, New York, NY 10025.

St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church 124 Wadsworth Avenue, New York, NY 10033.

Ascension Greek Orthodox Church 101 Anderson Avenue, Fairview, NJ 07022.


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