GRAND RAPIDS, MI (from the Grand Rapids Press, published on Dec. 29) – Catherine (Ekaterini/Katina) Nicholas, age 84, joined our Heavenly Father with her family beside her on December 25. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, George; her children Sam (Kimberly) Nicholas, Maria (Richard) Roberts; sisters Eleni Maglara, Panagiota Poziopoulos, Annoula Papakonstatinopoulou, Athena Tsinoukas, Christina Maglara; brother Niko Maglaras; grandchildren, Alicia Nicholas, Michael Greiner, Andrew Greiner; several beloved nephews, nieces, grandnephew and grandnieces. Katina was born in the small village of Digieliotika, Aigion, Greece to the late Maria and Evaggelos Maglaras. She had an amazing childhood growing up with her five sisters and brother on the family farm. Her parents raised her with a strong Greek Orthodox Christian faith. When she was seventeen years old she started a successful tailoring business in Greece and was well known for the beautiful dresses she made. When she was 22 years old she married the love of her life, George Nicholas, on June 1st, 1958, and came to this country soon thereafter to start their family. She showed tremendous courage leaving her family back in Greece, coming to a foreign country without knowing the language, and starting her new life. Katina was an active member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church where she taught Sunday School and volunteered her time for the Holy Trinity Philoptochos Society and the Daughters of Penelope. Katina loved raising and nurturing her children, traveling back home to Greece to visit her family, and enjoyed cooking great meals for friends and family. She also enjoyed sewing, gardening, golfing, fishing, reading, and regular visits to Panera for coffee where she would meet friends and make many new friends. Katina had an impact on everyone who got to know her and had a deep love for her friends, family, and her church. She’ll be remembered as a kind, selfless, thoughtful person who gave much of her time and talents to others. She touched many lives and will be deeply missed. Her family greeted friends at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on December 29, when a Trisagion Service was held. The funeral took place there on December 30. Interment was at Rest Lawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in memory of Katina to the Philoptochos Society at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
VINELAND, NJ (from The Daily Journal, published on Dec. 26) – It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Papamihalakis. Emmanuel passed away peacefully in his home, with his family, on December 21 in Vineland, NJ. He was 66 years old and had just fought a yearlong battle with cancer. Emmanuel was born on August 6, 1953 in Chios, Greece to George and Kaliopi (Makridis) Papamihalakis. In 1968 he and his family moved to Indiana. While he was vacationing in Greece in 1980, he met the love of his life, Panagiota. They married a year later, and Emmanuel then moved to Vineland, NJ. He began his career as a certified mechanic, operating several Amoco gas stations. He also had a passion for cooking and fell into the restaurant business. He worked for several local restaurants and even opened and operated his own, The Spaghetti Palace, in the 1980’s. Emmanuel will be sadly missed by his loving wife of 38 years, Panagiota; three children, Kaliopi, George (Beth) and Dimitrios (Sara); three grandchildren, Emilia, Delaina and Emmanuel; brother, Dimitrios (Kalliope) Papamihalakis; niece and nephew, Markella and George; in-laws, Dimitrios and Ploumou (Gouvakis) Kanos; brother in-law, Emmanuel (Sophia) Kanos; and numerous loving and caring cousins, aunts and uncles. He is preceded in death by his parents. In addition to being a loving father and dedicated husband, he was an avid gardener. His pride and joy were his lemon and fig trees. He admired classic cars, enjoyed listening to music and rooting for Chicago Bears. He was an active member of St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Church and volunteered at many church events. Family and friends were received on December 28 and funeral services immediately followed at St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Church of Vineland and Emmanuel was laid to rest at Siloam Cemetery, Vineland. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Church. Arrangements are by DeMarco-Luisi Funeral Home 2755 S. Lincoln Ave., Vineland. Memories, thoughts and prayers may be extended to the family by visiting dlfuneral.com.
FAYETTEVILLE, PA (from the Public Opinion, published on Dec. 24) – Maria Pettas, age 75, of Fayetteville, PA, died on December 22, as a result of a pedestrian accident in Fayettevlle. Born on February 14, 1944 in Greece, she was a daughter of the late Michael Kalathas and Carol Kanelos Kalathas. Maria was retired as a former co-owner and operator of the Flamingo Restaurant in Fayetteville, where she, alongside her husband Konstantinos, faithfully served many local patrons over the years. A member of St. Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Chambersburg, Maria is survived by her husband Konstantinos G. Pettas of Fayetteville; three children, Georgious Pettas of Fayetteville, Angeliki Pettas of Chambersburg, and Michael (Amanda Butts) Pettas of Chambersburg; two grandchildren, Marielle and Myra Pettas; and 5 brothers: Charles, Tom, George, John, and Tony Kalathas. She was preceded in death by one brother, Nick Kalathas. Her funeral service was held December 27 at St. Mary Orthodox Church of Chambersburg, with interment following in Norland Cemetery. Condolences may be expressed at geiselfuneralhome.com.
SOMERSET, NJ (from the Home News Tribune, published on Dec. 23) – Elena Stavrianidis passed away on December 20 while under hospice care at St. Peter’s University Hospital. She was 94 years old. Mrs. Stavrianidis was born in Batoumi, Russia (currently Georgia) and in her teens moved to Greece to avoid Communist persecution. She married her husband George in 1946 in Greece and the couple moved to Queens, NY, in 1962. The couple raised their family there until moving to Somerset in 1979. Mrs. Stavrianidis was a longtime member of the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway. She was active in the Philoptochos Society and the Daughters of Penelope. She was an avid music lover, playing the piano occasionally at family gatherings. She was known for her excellent cooking and her eagerness to provide hospitality and philanthropy to the needy. She was predeceased by her husband George in 2008 and is survived by her children Peter and Dora and their spouses Maggie and Tasso, a brother Stavros from Greece, her grandchildren George, Jason, Constantine, Sophia and her spouse Pablo, Elias and his spouse Renee, and her great-granddaughter Dorothea-Elaina. Visiting was held on Thursday December 26 at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway. Please consider a contribution in Mrs. Stavrianidis’ name to St. Basil Academy, 79 St. Basil Road, Garrison, NY 10524.
PARK RIDGE, IL (from the Nelson Funeral Home, published online, Jan. 14) – Tasos Varvouletos, age 77, of Kiveri, Argolidos Greece, passed away on Monday, January 13, 2020. Beloved husband of Angie, nee Virvilos, loving father of Maria and Peter Varvouletos and Toula (John) Boudouvas, and proud grandfather of Michael, Georgette, Austin, Ellena and Angelina. Devoted son of the late Konstantinos and Maria nee Papadatos, and dear brother of Christos (Anna), the late Demetri (Vasiliki), Tom, Panagiotis (Argyro), George (Panagiota) Varvouletos and Panagiota (Demetri) Chania and brother-in-law of James (Marina) and Kosta (Despina) Virvilos and Vasiliki (the late Steve) Poulos. Fond uncle of many nieces and nephews and their families. Tasos was an avid reader as well as an armchair philosopher, so it was clear to see why any forms of repair came easy to him, as he possessed a “MacGyver-like” ingenuity. In recent years, he took up cooking and could rival his Chef son-in-law! His stifado was potentially award winning! He will be deeply missed by all who know him, worldwide. Describing Tasos is best said by his grandchildren, “We were your angels, Pappouli Fouli, now you are ours.” Visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, January 15, 2020, from 4-9 PM, at Nelson Funeral Home located at 830 Talcott Road in Park Ridge. Family and friends will gather on Thursday morning, January 16, 10:30 AM, for the funeral service at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church located at 2727 W. Winona, Chicago, IL 60625. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, River Grove, IL. Arrangements made by John G. Adinamis Funeral Director, Ltd. For more information please call 847-375-0095.
NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA (from the Courier-Post, published on Jan. 15) – Louis J. Vastardis, 97, of Newtown Square, passed away peacefully on January 12, 2020, surrounded by his family. The devoted and loving husband of the late Goldie (nee Stamis), he is survived by children John (Mary), Celeste (Axel) and Nicholas (Theresa), grandchildren Christina, Louis, Eric, Kristin, Alexis and Gregory, and 3 great grandchildren. He grew up on the island of Andros in Greece, and later served during World War II with the British Air Force in the North Africa campaign as well as the allied invasion of Italy. After the war he emigrated to the United States where he owned a construction company which built many restaurants and diners in the Philadelphia area. Relatives and friends are invited to his viewing Sunday 4-7 PM at St Luke Greek Orthodox Church, 35 N Malin Rd, Broomall. A second viewing will be held Monday 10-11 AM, followed by Funeral Service 11AM, also at St Luke. Interment SS Peter and Paul Cemetery, Springfield. In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations to St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church in his memory.