Mary Kyriakoudis, 86, of Washington, D.C. died on February 15, 2020.
She was born on November 22, 1933 in Stamford, CT to immigrant parents, Theodore Tavlarides & Rose Mellios Tavlarides.
She graduated from Stamford High School in 1951 and St. Basil’s Academy in Garrison NY in 1954 with a degree in Education of Modern Greek.
She traveled to Greece as a young woman to visit the country of her heritage and to be a better teacher. She met Apostolos, her husband of 60 years, at a name day party and was intrigued by the short but charming young Greek man who spoke fluent English with a quirky British accent. They were never apart from that evening forward. Apostolos frequently ribbed her about the three souvlakia she managed to eat every night for the 3 months of their courtship. They eloped on April 4, 1959 and were married by a Greek Orthodox priest and two witnesses. They honeymooned to the U.S. on a cruise ship and settled in her hometown of Stamford, CT. They had 2 kids, Anna and Photios.
She was a teacher of modern Greek in the Greek school system for over 30 years. In the 1970s, she wrote and published a series of textbooks that were relatable to American children, covered Greek culture, history, geography and folklore as well as language, and are still being used today. After her husband ended his career in the textile industry, she persuaded him to start their own business. They opened Newfield Restaurant & Pizza in 1980. In 1992, they sold the restaurant and moved to Washington DC with their kids to start Melio’s Restaurant. Both restaurants were comfortable, established landmarks imbued with Mary’s heart and soul. She was well-known and loved by her customers. Mary and Apostolos retired together in 2005.
Mary was a hardcore Democrat, loved baseball, Georgetown basketball, gardening, Jeopardy and crossword puzzles. She loved the beach, played softball (first base) and enjoyed team bowling. She played the violin well into her retirement. She absolutely loved food— especially her daily tiramisu.
She is predeceased by Apostolos, her husband of almost 61 years, and survived by her daughter Anna, son Photios, son-in-law Paul, daughter-in-law Natalie, three grandchildren Elizabeth, John and AJ, brother-in-law Alex, sister-in-law Anna, 9 nieces and nephews and friends and loved ones.
Friends may call on March 5, 2020 in the Chapel at Woodland Cemetery 66 Woodland Place, Stamford, CT from 12:00-12:45 PM with prayer service to immediately follow at the cemetery. If sending flowers, please send directly to the cemtery chapel, not the funeral home.
Arrangments are under the diirection of Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home 453 Shippan Ave Stamford(203)-359-9999. To send condolances to the family, please visit www.gallagherfuneralhome.com
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