Mary Verongos

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Mary Verongos Mar. 8, 1932 - Aug. 15, 2014 MISHAWAKA - Mary Verongos, a master baker whose dinner rolls were so light they had to be weighted down and whose baklava was so rich and golden it belonged in Fort Knox, died Friday night at the Center for Hospice Care in Roseland. She was 82 and lived her entire life in Mishawaka. Although her baking -- and her secret recipes -- brought her the widest fame, her occupations were many. She taught piano, was a librarian and story lady at the former Northside branch of the Mishawaka Public Library, served as a confidential secretary at the Bendix Corporation in South Bend and worked in the catalog department of University of Notre Dame library. Ultimately, at an age when many people are thinking about retirement, she became the proprietor of a restaurant, Grecian Delights, in Mishawaka, that featured her baked goods and recipes. It was run with the help and talents of her daughter Sophia Verongos and her son, George Verongos, and other family members took part in building the business. The restaurant was an outgrowth of baking. She and her husband, Gus Verongos, developed the baking into a business after he was laid off from his job in what would prove to be the final year of his life. Later, Mary always said she cherished that year they shared at home, especially because her husband had worked 10 hours a day, six days a week for decades. She often said that she considered it a gift that they were able to build what would be her future livelihood: a catering business and a farmer's market booth where she could sell her creations. After Gus Verongos died suddenly, in 1984, Mary continued her baking, and every Saturday morning, she woke before dawn to go to market. During the week she was a teacher's aide at Emmons School. Mary Verongos was born on March 8, 1932, to William Magrames, a business owner, and the former Helen Lambropoulos, both emigrants from Greece. She grew up on West 8th street in Mishawaka along with her brother, Louis Magrames, who died in 1972, and two sisters, Esther Magrames of Mishawaka and Yeoryia Megremis of New York City, and graduated in 1950 from Mishawaka High School. She and her sister, Esther, traveled to Greece to explore their heritage and meet their extended family. On the trip, Mary met and fell in love with Gus Verongos of Piraeus and decided on a change of itinerary. Instead of returning home as scheduled, Mary stayed on in Greece and she and Gus were wed there on Sept. 23, 1953. They set up housekeeping in Mishawaka, and became the parents of four children. When Mary was not working inside or outside the home, she served at various times as an officer of the P.T.A. Council of the Mishawaka schools, president of the Emmons School P.T.A. and director of the junior choir of the Sunday School of St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Church in South Bend. She was a longtime member of the Daughters of Penelope, Gaia chapter #60. In the early 1970s, Mary was part of a local revolutionary moment (at least to hundreds of grateful girls), when, as a member of a student-parent committee convened after a protest, she helped draft a school dress code that struck down the requirement that girls wear skirts to school. She was a pianist whose favorites ranged from "Misirlou" to "Malague¤a" and a seamstress who sewed little-girl dresses that were confections in velvet, organdy or dotted swiss for her daughters when they were young. Mary loved to read books, especially mysteries, and to watch television thrillers, and more than once she was heard to warn a character on the screen: "Look out behind you! He has a gun!" She is survived by her sisters Esther and Yeoryia; three daughters, Sophia Verongos Anderson of Mishawaka and her husband, Peter North Anderson; Dina Verongos Weston of Overland Park, KS; and Helen Verongos of Montclair, NJ, and her husband, Craig Winston; a son, George Verongos, and his wife, Zo‰ Fallon Verongos, of Seattle, WA; six grandchildren, Andrew, Alexander and Anastasia Weston and Zane (TJ), Clare and Davyn Winston; and a great-grandchild, Aiden Weston. Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Hahn Funeral Home in Mishawaka where a Trisagion Service will be held at 6 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in South Bend. Father George Konstantopoulous will officiate and burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, Mishawaka. To leave the family an online condolence, please visit our website at Memorial donations may be made to the Friends of Hospice (centerforhos or to the church.

Funeral Home
Hahn Funeral Home
505 W. 8th Street
Mishawaka, IN 46544
574 255-1474
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Published in South Bend Tribune on Aug. 18, 2014
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