Glitsos, Helen Stamatis
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97, passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 18th. Helen was a member of one of the pioneer families of Phoenix, whose parents, Milton and Cresanthe Stamatis, helped found the Greek Orthodox community in Phoenix in the early 1900's. Born August 28, 1915 in Stockton, California, Helen and her family moved to Phoenix just a few years later, to open what would soon be known as the most prestigious and lively restaurant in town, The Grand Café. Located at 34 West Adams Street, The Grand featured nightly entertainment, linen tablecloths, and sterling silver place settings. Helen graduated from Arizona State Teachers College (now, ASU) in 1938. She was on the Student Council, served as president of Matthews Hall, and she was the Cotton Princess at the Sun Bowl football game in El Paso, Texas. Helen married Gus Glitsos in 1941, having been childhood sweethearts since they were 10 years old. She taught in the Phoenix elementary school district for 38 years prior to her retirement in 1982 and then she taught Sunday School for 16 years at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Helen remained active in her sororities, Theta Chi Delta, Delta Kappa Gamma and Alpha Delta Pi and was a Docent at the Phoenix Museum of History. She was also active in "First Families of Arizona," an organization dedicated to the State's pioneer families. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Gus; her parents, her daughter-in-law Elaine, and three brothers, James, Pete, and Sammy Stamatis. She is survived by her son John, whom she and Gus adopted in Greece; and three grandchildren, Michael, Christopher (C.J.) and Jennifer. A visitation will be held from 5-7pm Friday evening, August 23rd, at Messinger Mortuary, 7601 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale with a Trisagion at 7pm. Funeral Services will be held at 9am Saturday at Holy Trinity Greek Cathedral, 1973 E. Maryland Avenue, Phoenix, followed by entombment at Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery in Phoenix. The family requests donations in lieu of flowers be sent to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 21, 2013