A Tribute to Helen Demos Papoutsy

- by Christos Stavrakoglou, President of the Vatoussa Revitalization Foundation in Lesvos, Greece


Respected Lady Eleni,

These few words that will be read during your funeral service are words that express Vatoussa’s love to you, the birthplace of your late husband, Mikel Papoutsy.

We did not have the opportunity to meet you personally. We have had the chance, however, to get to know your children Christos and Mary and your grandchildren, thus being fortunate enough to learn about you and to think of you as one of our own.

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Greek Translation

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We know that you have been a lady respected by all, kind and gentle, with a heart filled to capacity with love for others. We also know that you overcame all of life’s complexities with patience, inner strength and dignity. As a member of a generation that suffered much, the first generation of Greek immigrants, you toiled to gain roots on American soil.

A young widow, without your husband’s protection, and at the same time a young mother, you struggled to bring up your children and to instill in them Christian values and Hellenic ideals and traditions.

Various individuals have also told us that even in quite an advanced age, you possessed inner strength and the will power to engage in social activity. You worked; you were productive and offered to people around you your precious knowledge and experiences of a complete and wholesome life.

These were the things that we heard from people that knew you.

Even if they had not said anything to us about you, we could have said quite a lot about you, because we came to know your beloved son, Christo, the man with the big heart who bears all of the characteristics of a good upbringing. How true it is that the parents do put their own stamp on their children!

We pray that the American soil now covering you will be light upon your body.

We offer to your children and grandchildren who always displayed their love for you and always tried to make things more comfortable for you, our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy. And as they fulfill these last loving obligations to you, may they find comfort in the thought that they stood by you until the end.

Respected lady, rest now in divine tranquility. Our thoughts come from your distant homeland and have the refreshing mist of the ocean and the aroma of Hellas. May they sweeten your eternal sleep.

Christos Stavrakoglou, President

Vatoussa Revitalization Foundation

English translation graciously provided by Professor Nina Gatzoulis of the University of New Hampshire. Editing by Mary Papoutsy, who assumes responsibility for any inaccuracies.

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