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General News

Memory Eternal – Aspasia Mitchell

NEW LONDON, CT – The family of Aspasia ‘Esther’ Macris Mitchell, 88, of Niantic, CT, regrets to inform everyone their beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother has lost her life to colon cancer after a three year battle.

Born in Hartford, to Peter George and Nicholetta Kikopoulos Macris, Aspasia was the matriarch of the Mitchell family. Completely devoted to her family, she leaves behind her loving husband, E. Peter ‘Terry’ Mitchell of Niantic of sixty-one years, her four children, Lea M. Rand, Joanne Mitchell and her partner Kathrin Burmester, Nancy Mazzulli and her husband Armand III, and her son, Peter Mitchell. Esther was Yia Yia to three sweetheart grandchildren, Adam Rand and his wife Dr. Jeanne Pavlakis, Zoë Mazzulli, and Armand Mazzulli IV whom she loved to lavished her attention upon. Last summer, Esther was also graced with a year as the great-grandmother to her dear Penelope Antonia Rand. Esther was predeceased by her oldest grandson, Alexander Rand. Aspasia was the youngest of three children along with her older brother was Father George Macris, the priest of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church from 1950-1956 and her dear sister, Elpida Macris.

Though she knew of Terry since she was a kid, it was not until she was twenty-five at a Greek Orthodox Youth Association dance at St. George’s Church, Hartford that they began dating. Several months later, in January 1960 they were married in New London. She worked in the Niantic Public Market next to Main Street Grille for a short period and lived with Terry’s family at their home on Pennsylvania Avenue where their first daughter, Lea was born.

In the early 1970s Terry and Esther dedicated themselves to their church and community after the birth of their son. They asked of God for his well-being and pledged to do everything in their ability to help the church thrive. Esther followed her husband into many activities at St. Sophia Hellenic Orthodox Church. She was a 30-year member of St. Sophia’s Enosis Philoptochos chapter where she served as an officer. She was named Chapter Philoptochos Woman of the Year in 2004 and also served Philoptochos at the national level as a member of the Executive Board, as Executive Secretary, and as chair of many committees. For her service, she was awarded the silver cross from Archbishop Dimitrios. She also served the Boston Metropolis Philoptochos as a board member and committee chairperson.

Esther was active in many civic activities. She offered 4,000 hours of volunteer service to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, served as President of the Women’s Auxiliary, and as member of the Board of Trustees and Managers of the Lawrence and Memorial Benevolent Society. Esther served on the East Lyme Planning and Development Committee, the State of Connecticut Commission on Aging, and the Permanent Commission on Women.

She was also active in the Greek-American Community, serving as President of the Dione chapter of the Daughters of Penelope for six terms, and as District Governor. She was named Penelopean of the Year both at the chapter and district levels. She was elected to serve as the National Advisor to the Maids of Athena for two terms.

Esther enjoyed many activities with her family. Her love of cooking was shared with her daughters and friends. She loved to spend time in Vermont during the winters, skiing and reading voraciously. She also sailed with her family for thirty years on their boat. She travelled widely in the United States and Europe and cherished her visits to family in Greece.

We would like to thank her doctors, Dr. Jason Haldas and Dr. Stephen Lattanzi at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital as well as her nurses Margaret and Cathy at the Smilow Cancer Center.  Donations can be made to St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church Foundation Fund, Smilow Cancer Center and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital. 

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