On Tuesday September 6th, one of the most incredible women who ever lived began her journey to be with the Lord. My mother, Bess Marianes, just shy of her 90th birthday, was the personification of love and perseverance. She always stressed the 4 F’s: Faith, Family, Friends and Filotemo (and yes I know some of you spell that last one Philotemo).
She was indefatigable and totally devoted to her (extended) family and friends. What she overcame in her life as a depression survivor is unimaginable in today’s American society of abundance. Yet her passion for education and excellence was not only passed on to her children and grandchildren, but shared with every child she reached as a school teacher in East Chicago, Indiana and every young person in her church community whom she adopted.
Most importantly, she was loved by her whole family and everyone whose life she touched. With all she did for others, and all she accomplished in her life, there is no doubt that she has earned a “good account before the awesome judgment seat of Christ” as we pray in each Divine Liturgy.
YiaYia’s granddaughters, Dr. Alexis Marianes and Eliana Marianes provided the most powerful, beautiful, uplifting and entertaining musical tribute and eulogy to provide insights into some of mom’s well-lived life and memorable moments.
Watch her granddaughters sing 2 powerful adapted tributes to their YiaYia, “The Leader of The Band” and Yiayia’s Christmas Carol “Big Fat Flakes”:
Watch the short but powerful eulogy here with the 15 Ways you can be like YiaYia:
Eliana’s list of 15 Ways You Can Be Like YiaYia can be downloaded here:
Her obituary is below this presentation of some of our favorite photos of mom’s incredible “life well-lived”:
“Bess V. Marianes, 89, of Atlanta passed away peacefully on September 6, 2016 after a life well-lived.
Mrs. Marianes lived for her family and was extremely proud of her 2 children, 2 granddaughters, 10 nieces and nephews and her 5 Godchildren. She was a retired school teacher in East Chicago, Indiana and dedicated member of the Greek Orthodox Churches in East Chicago and Hammond, Indiana and Atlanta, Georgia. She was a long-time member of the Ladies Philoptochos Society and Daughters of Penelope.
Mrs. Marianes was preceded in death by her husband, William C. Marianes; her parents, Constantine and Mary Vambakas; and her brother, Chris Vambakas. She is survived by her sister Helen Ioakimidis; her daughter and son-in-law, Connie and Frank Kratky; her son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Audrey Marianes; and her granddaughters, Dr. Alexis Marianes, and Eliana Marianes Lundberg and her husband, Fr. Paul Lundberg.
The family will receive visitors from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 9, 2016 at A.S. Turner & Sons in Decatur, followed by a memorial service at 7:00 p.m. The funeral service will occur at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 10, 2016, followed by interment at Floral Hills.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Marianes Family Scholarship Fund in the AHEPA Chapter 1 Educational Foundation, 7971 Magnolia Square, Sandy Springs, GA 30350. May her memory be eternal.”