Elefteria Melissakis, New York 1988
Elefteria Melissakis circa 1980's in Flushing, Queens, New York, born November 24, 1922 and passed in November of 2011:
Elefteria Melissakis was born in post WWI Europe just before the Great Depression. Elefteria married George N. Melissakis and had seven children, six surviving. Five sons, Nikitas Melissakis, Kosta Melissakis, Paul Melissakis, Steve Melissakis and John Melissakis and one daughter, Eleni Ikonomou. At a very early age, she learned to fend for herself after the premature death of both her parents. This altered her life as she was uprooted and went to live with an older sibling being the youngest child. To help support the family she worked in a silk factory after learning her mathematics and letters. She grew to become a lean, dark beauty with delicate features and almond shaped brown eyes. Born in another era she could have gone on to be the Martha Stewart of her day as she became a very accomplished young woman, in not only the garden making many a blossom and vegetable bloom appreciatively but in the kitchen as well. She was a woman of distinctive taste, could easily whip up a gourmet meal with all the frills, and loved to entertain hosting Christmas and Easter gatherings with her family. Everyone marveled at her artisanship, creativity and might I add her deserts, making the best carrot cake I have ever tasted. She was also talented with the yarn knitting, crocheting and did stunning needlepoint centerpieces. She had gusto for life and an infectious laugh; she enjoyed the company of family, friends and strangers and loved to travel. In later life, she worked as a private companion and health care aid to two elderly Greek women. As her children migrated around the world, she would travel to see them often on her own to visit her grandchildren of whom there are 12 and her great grandchildren of which there are presently 7. Elefteria lived her last days in her home in Tsvaras, Crete, tourists would routinely stop to take photographs of her vibrant garden. Elefteria Melissakis was observant and active within her faith, she was beloved within her community and many turned out for her funeral.
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