Maria Konstantinopoulos, 87, passed away in the comfort of her own home on May 22 after a brief illness.
Maria was born on June 6th, 1933 to Pantelis & Athanasia (Bakoulis) Sakkas in Aitoliko, Mesologgi, Greece. She was raised in what was then a rural community of Agios Ioannis Rentis, which sits between the port of Piraeus and Athens. She had a happy childhood with a loving, large, extended family despite many hardships; parents who were refugees from the Smyrna Catastrophe, the German Occupation during WWII, and the Greek Civil War that followed.
A chance encounter with a young Greek man named Alex, working in America, who transported a package for his employer’s mom, and her aunt, Kalliope Girves, led to a wedding in 1965, a move to Akron, Ohio, and a wonderful 56 year marriage. She loved her new city, Akron, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, where she was active in various activities and organizations, and her work, Ino Hakeem & Ino’s Fashions, who became like another family to her. She loved being closer to her ‘American’ aunts and cousins, of which there were many; Girves, Konstand, Stiliaras, and Melonas. She loved her large new family in Akron as well; Konstantinopoulos, Konstan, Pavlantos, Vasilatos and Georgiakopoulos. She was also very appreciative of the International Institute of Akron, for helping her learn English and adjust to her new country. Of course, there were many new friends as well, of which Cleo Manos & Meropi Koutrodimos were the most special.
Most of all, her passion was her family; her husband, sons, daughter-in-laws, grandkids and her sister/sister’s family. She enjoyed making them amazing traditional Greek meals, followed with some of the best Greek pastries in town. She was known for her Isli, Finikia, and Galaktobourika.
In her retirement, she and Alex spent most summers in Greece splitting time between Rentis, Paraloggi, and her family home on the island of Aegina. She enjoyed spending time with family in Greece but loved most the summers when her children/grandchildren would come to visit.
Maria is survived by her loving husband, Alex; sons, Ted (Faye), Pantelis (Elene), and Minas; grandchildren Sia (23), Alexi (19), Niko (18), Mariana (16), and Alexia (15), all of Copley. She is also survived by her nephew Pantelis Georgiadis, and Theophilos & Alexandra Constantinou, who she also considered her children. She is also survived by many cousins, nephews, nieces, Koumbari and Godchildren in both the US and Greece; Nancy, Dena, Niko, Katerina, Yianni, Yianni, Georgia, Maria, Petros, Pavlina, Leonidas, Mary, Christo, Georgos, Vasili, Markella, Elena, Vasiliki, Eugenia, Tammy, and Alexandra.
She was preceded in death by her parents, In-laws Theodoros and Ekaterini Konstantinopoulos, her sister Matroni, brother-in-law Kosta, and niece Eleni Gerogiadis of Akron, her brother Panayiotis (Meropi) Sakkas of Moschato, Greece and sister-in-law Vasiliki (Christo) Tsoukalas of Paraloggi, Arcadia, Greece.
Services will be held 1 p.m. Thursday, May 27, at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 129 S. Union St. Akron, 44304. Burial will be at Mt. Peace Cemetery. The service will be livestreamed on the Annunciation Akron Youtube page. Calling hours will be held Wednesday, May 26 from 5-8 p.m. at Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Rd., Akron, 44333 with a Trisagion service at 6 p.m. Memorials may be made to Fr. Bartz Camp Scholarship at church. To share a Memory, Send a Condolence, Light a Candle or Send Flowers, visit the Tribute Wall at www.billowfuneralhomes.com (Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel)
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