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Marina Coletsos

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Marina Coletsos Obituary
Marina L. Coletsos

1936-2013 Marina L. Coletsos, 77, artist and patron in the Berkshire County arts culture, died after a short illness Sunday night, surrounded by family. She was born in Paris, France on May 30th, 1936 to Irene Lichine Lequoy of Russia and Robert Lequoy. During her childhood she was immershed in the art world of her relatives, also Russian emigrees, including the dancer and choreographer, David Lichine, and her uncle, the writer and wine expert Alexis Lichine. Her parents divorced and her mother remarried a merchant marine sea captain, James Belesiotis. The family became US citizens. Marina continued travelling with her parents aboard the merchant marine ships. She attended Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City where she studied painting and and designed children's clothes. She met her future husband, John Coletsos, on a family vacation in Canada where John was attending college. It was love at first sight.They married in 1959. They travelled throughout Europe, including to John's native city of Athens, Greece. The couple moved to Pittsfield in 1976 when John's profession as a quality control engineer led to a job at General Systems, Inc, headed by the Feigenbaum brothers. Marina is fondly remembered for her famous annual holiday party (with decorations and food that would make Martha Stewart proud) . She is known for her support of local culture, which included volunteering at Shakespeare and Co., The Berkshire Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage Co, Hancock Shaker Village, The Colonial Theatre and the Berkshire Museum, and had encouraged local politicians to create more of an arts presence in downtown Pittsfield. Another passion included education. She was a member and past president of the Pittsfield College Club which raised money for scholarships for women attending college. After her children were grown, she again turned her attention to painting, taking lessons and churning out one watercolor after another working far into the night, fueled by grape Tootsie Pops. Her subjects ranged from sports figures such as Tiger Woods and the Red Sox (as gifts to her grandson), to nature (including the coast of Maine,which she loved) and people in the world around her. Her last work was a scene from the farmer's market in downtown Pittsfield. She was pre-deceased by her husband. She leaves her sons, James and Andrew Coletsos, her daughter, Irene Coletsos, and her son-in-law, James Ross, and a grandson, Marcus Coletsos Ross, her in-laws Estelle Dine and Ellen Ross, Eugenia and Bill Souganidis and their children and grandchildren, cousins in Greece and France, and many friends including Ann Bloch, Claudia Delusky, Tina Daniello, Susan Sala, and Kathleen Townsend. MEMORIAL SERVICE: On Saturday, there will be a service at the Martin Memorial Chapel at the Pittsfield Cemetery at 10:30 am, to be followed by internment, and a celebration of her life at the First United Methodist Church on Fenn Street. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Berkshire Humane Society.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Nov. 14, 2013
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