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Memory Eternal: Presvytera Maritsa Andrews

BOSTON – Presvytera Maritsa Andrews died peacefully in her sleep on May 6 at the age of 96. Predeceased by her loving husband, Reverend Dean Timothy Andrews, and her daughter P. Zoe Stavri, she leaves behind her daughter Stephanie C Andrews and husband Marc A White Jr, and her son Christopher Andrews and wife Junko Kato, along with her beloved grandchildren Marina White and her husband Peter Kerr, Marc A White III, and Alexandra White and her husband Henry Fox. She is also survived by nieces and nephews both in the U.S. and Greece whom she cherished.

Maria Stavrides, later known by the affectionate diminutive name ‘Maritsa’, was born on the Greek island of Lesvos in the village of Skalohori. When Maritsa was a teenaged girl, the Nazis invaded and occupied her beautiful island for over three years. After World War II, and wanting to make a better life for herself, she traveled to Montreal where she worked for a year before her loving cousins from New Jersey drove up to bring her to the United States. The rest, as they say, is history.

This eligible young Greek beauty, Maritsa, soon found herself among the sizeable Greek community in New York and New Jersey. She was introduced by her future brother-in-law’s wife Helen to her scholarly brother Dean Timothy Andrews. Dean was living in New York City completing dual master’s degrees at Columbia and Pratt Universities, after having graduated in 1942 from the first graduating class of Holy Cross Theological School, then located in Pomfret Connecticut.

On February 1, 1953 they married and later that year on July 4 he became Father Dean and she, Presvytera Maritsa.

Presvytera Maritsa and Father Dean, a true team, had their first parish at Saint Sophia’s in San Antonio, TX before moving to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Ipswich, MA. They were the first permanent priest and Presvytera at St. Catherine’s in Quincy, MA, St. George’s in Bethesda, MD, and later St. Mark’s in Boca Raton, FL. Prior to their final assignment in Florida Father Dean became the Director of Libraries at Hellenic College/Holy Cross and they settled in Westwood long enough to raise their children P. Zoe, Stephanie, and Christopher. Together they filled in as substitute clergy at over 100 parishes throughout New England, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania before ultimately relocating to Boca Raton. While being a Presvytera, mother and wife was more than enough to keep Maritsa busy, her love of fashion and style led her to a fulfilling career in the fashion industry. She served many loyal customers, first in the designer department of Lord & Taylor, then at Sara Fredericks in Boston, and later on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. When she moved back to Boston, she took on yet another career – as chauffeur, sports spectator, giver of hugs, and confidante to her beloved grandchildren. A wake was held and the funeral followed at St. Demetrios Church Weston on May 16. Remembrances in her memory may be made to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 57 Brown Street, Weston MA 02493 .

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