Dec 6, 1947 - July 11, 2021
Constantina "Tina" (Chriss) Wertz, a loving matriarch and devoted friend to many, died peacefully at home on Sunday, July 11, 2021, with her beloved husband Robert "Bob" Wertz by her side. She was 73 years old.
She was born to Rubini Kolliopoulou and Strato Chriss in San Francisco, CA on December 6, 1947. A lifelong resident of the Sunset District in San Francisco, Tina grew up in a loving family within a vibrant and close-knit Greek community. She attended Lawton Elementary School, A.P. Giannini Middle School and Mercy High School. With a passion for education, she earned both her bachelor's degree in Sociology and teaching credential from the University of San Francisco. While in college, she worked as a counselor at the San Francisco Juvenile Hall where she met the future love of her life, Bob Wertz, who was working as a probation officer. Legend has it that their second date was postponed because Bob was taking his little sister, Alice, on a trip to Disneyland. Tina was smitten with his devotion and love for family and has been ever since. Bob proposed to Tina on Christmas Eve 1972 in front of his parent's house before Christmas dinner. They were married less than a year later on July 21, 1973. Shortly after, they moved into their home on 24th Avenue in the Sunset District which they lovingly restored over many years and where they raised two children, Stephanie (born in 1976) and Kristina (born in 1979).
Tina took great pride in her home, and together with Bob, they created a warm and welcoming gathering place that served as a home and respite for many. She was an extraordinary hostess, throwing meticulously planned parties for family and friends. Her openness, warmth and ability to connect were immediate. Tina faithfully maintained friendships and relished bringing people together, fostering connection and unity in her large family. She even gathered regularly with her friends from kindergarten for over 65 years. Hardly a day went by when she wasn't seeing friends and family or checking in on the phone or hand writing notes to them. She was a true socialite with boundless energy, filling her days with projects, activities, and loved ones.
Tina was a devoted educator. She worked for decades as an elementary school teacher and tutor. She was also an avid piano player and jogger, participating in the Bay to Breakers over the years. One of her great joys was travelling the world, including journeying to Greece many times to visit family. On a trip to Vietnam, she and Bob befriended Vân who later joined their home in San Francisco and became their "third daughter."
Determined to survive and thrive, Tina will be remembered as a tireless fighter. Despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, she continued living her life to the fullest, supported by Bob's loving care. Nothing could slow her down. She loved her husband dearly and felt blessed to be a part of his big loving family. She loved the sun and enjoyed escaping the foggy Sunset to garden and sunbathe in their second home in Sonoma. She also loved Christmas; annually transforming her home with ornate decorations and gathering friends to celebrate with her. Tina was full of pride and determination. Her perseverance was admired by all who knew her.
She is survived by her husband, Bob Wertz whom she affectionately called "Bobbymou", her three daughters: Stephanie Fletcher and son-in-law Ryan of San Francisco, Kristina Wertz and daughter-in-law Kara Desiderio of Taghkanic, NY, and Vân Pham Sinkinson and son-in-law Jeremy of San Francisco. She also leaves behind her two grandchildren whom she loved with her whole heart, Olympia Ruby and Emilio Robert, as well as her brother Christo Chriss and his son Alex Chriss, her cousin and best friend, Pete Stephens, and many other loving friends, in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews who will always remember her dearly as Aunt Tina.
There will be a Trisagion Service (Greek Orthodox wake) at 11am on Friday, July 16th at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in San Francisco, followed by a luncheon in the church hall.Those wishing to make a memorial donation can contribute to the St. Anthony Foundation of San Francisco or the Building Fund at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in San Francisco.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Jul. 12 to Jul. 13, 2021.