BOSTON – Harry John Girdis of Arlington, MA, passed away on February 24 at the age of 92. Beloved husband for 55 years of the late Georgia Girdis; devoted father of Mariene Girdis and Dean Girdis and his wife Susanne Leloup; cherished grandfather of Nicholas, Alexei, and Nathaniel Girdis; brother of the late Arthur Girdis; son of the late John and Mary (Kiladis) Girdis from Alatsata, Asia Minor.
Harry grew up in Somerville during the depression and as a boy worked diligently to help his family. Upon graduation from Somerville High School, Harry enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving stateside. Upon discharge, Harry worked in real estate and attended college, graduating from Boston University. He had a long career in public service as a Statistician, first for the state of Massachusetts and later transitioning to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to retirement, Harry made a career change to Social Security Administration, training for weeks away from his family to become a claims specialist-investigator. He took great pride in helping people obtain the full disability benefits to which they were entitled.
Achieving optimal work-life balance to enjoy his hobbies, family, and friends was of primary importance to Harry. He was proud of his Greek heritage and had many close friends in the Boston-area Greek community, often getting together for Greek dances. Harry met his wife Georgia at an AHEPA dance and wrote to her for months until she agreed to let him come visit her in New York city for a date. After a brief long-distance courtship, they got married and moved to Arlington to raise a family. Harry and Georgia loved to spend time with friends and relatives, often entertaining and traveling. Every summer on Sundays, they gathered at Nantasket beach with friends for the weekly social. In winter, Harry took his family cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Harry's favorite pastimes included dancing, listening to jazz and Greek music, reading, and watching Boston sports. For years, he took a keen interest in photography, taking photo excursions with his friends, developing his own film, and entering competitions. A highlight for Harry was when he took the family to Greece to visit relatives, learn about its history, and enjoy being Greek.
Harry was a proud, devoted family man yet determinedly self-reliant. He lived independently in his treasured house until shortly before his death, and even into his 90s, raked and mowed his lawn. Harry will be greatly missed by his family and many relatives and friends.
Funeral Service was held privately at St. Athanasius The Great Greek Orthodox Church, 4 Appleton Street, Arlington, MA.