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Mary PAPPAS Obituary
Mary Malavazos Pappas born on the 26th of August 1915, in Portsmouth, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Friday, the 27th of May 2011, in Houston, Texas.
She is predeceased by her parents, Christine and Christos Malavazos, husband James H. Pappas, son Gregory J. Pappas, brother James Malavazos and sisters Margaret Semos and Joann Kaler.
She is survived by her son Harris J. Pappas and his wife Vicky, her daughter Vicki Pappas Giannukos, her son Christopher J. Pappas and his wife Maria. Also surviving are her grandchildren, Mary H. Pappas, Evy Pappas and her husband Nickolas Spiliotis, Christina H. Pappas, H.D. Pappas, Eleni H. Pappas, Tom H. Pappas, James C. Pappas, Katina C. Pappas, Georgea C. Pappas, Michael C. Pappas and Victoria C. Pappas, John Giannukos and his wife Lesli, Dimitri Giannukos, Gregory Giannukos and his wife Philisa, and George Giannukos, nephews Sperry and Jeffrey Kaler and seven great-grandchildren.
She graduated from Portsmouth High School where she excelled in academics, golf, tennis, and theatre.
A trailblazer in women's roles, Mary trained to fly airplanes for the WAF, was one the first women Quaker Oats field salespersons and worked in the field for Ohio Edison Electric as a home economist instructing on the benefits of electric appliances.
She met and married a young soldier and entrepreneur named Jim Pappas and moved to Texas where she gave birth to their twins, Harris and Vicki, and two sons, Chris and Gregory. They settled in Houston where her husband and his brothers, Tom, George and Pete Pappas, started the Pappas Refrigeration Company and their Pappas group of restaurants.
Her never-ending energy was devoted to her family, her church and the many charitable institutions she supported. A member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, she was an officer and long standing member of the Philoptochos, the women's auxiliary group to the Cathedral. She was also a member of the Daughters of Penelope. Mary enjoyed golf and bridge up into her 90's.
During their marriage, Mary and her husband served as Godparents and spiritual guardians to many children in the Greek Orthodox community. She enjoyed each of her 15 grandchildren, taking on the role of the quintessential "Yiayia" by establishing a memorable and special relationship with each. She gave Greek cooking lessons to the Houston community, served as chairperson of numerous Greek Festival committees and served the entire Houston community with her benevolent donations of time, talent and service as well as generous financial support. It was in her honor that "Yiayia Mary's Restaurant" was conceived and opened. Mary's mark on Houston has been decades in the making and is a lasting tribute to her loving and generous nature instilled in her by her Hellenic Orthodox upbringing.
The family extends their thanks to Dr. Theresa Vicroy for her wonderful care and to her many caregivers, especially her longest serving attendants Lupe and Miroslava.
A private funeral service was held on Monday, the 30th of May, to celebrate Mary's full and wonderful life.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Mary's name be directed to Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3511 Yoakum Blvd., Houston, TX, 77006; or to Hellenic College-Holy Cross, 50 Goddard Ave., Brookline, MA, 02445.
"May her memory be eternal."


Published in Houston Chronicle on May 31, 2011
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