May 1, 1924 – January 2, 2019
Chrysoula “Soula” Molho passed away peacefully the evening of Wednesday, the 2nd of January in Houston, Texas surrounded by her loving family. She fell asleep in the Lord while her son, Jack, and granddaughter, Catherine, played her favorite Greek music.
Soula was preceded in death by her husband of 74 years, Charles Molho of Thessaloniki, Greece and her son Joseph Molho, her mother Rhodama Amanatides Stefanides and father Savvas Stefanides, her brothers Zacharia Stefanides and Harry Stefanides, and her sister Evo Stefanides, all from Katerini Greece.
Affectionately known as “Yia Yia” (Grandmother in Greek), Soula is survived by her sister, Despina Stefanides Berberian; her children, Grace Molho Sideris and Michael Sideris, Beatrice Molho, and Issac “Jack” Molho and his wife Donna Molho; her grandchildren, Soula “Beba" Morris and her husband Allan Morris, George Molho, Georgia Sideris Daniel and her husband Shawn Daniel, Charles Molho, Christopher Molho and his wife Camila Molho, Sara Stathatos and her husband Ramiro Barrios, Carly Bradshaw and her husband Chad Bradshaw. and Catherine Harris and her husband Adam Harris. Her legacy further survives through her great grandchildren, Christopher Barrios, Zachary Morris, Beau Bradshaw, Isabella Barrios, Noah May Bradshaw, Arielle Barrios, Sophia Molho and soon to arrive Issac Joseph Molho. She is also survived by her loving nieces, nephews, and cousins all around the globe.
Our mother was born in Katerini, Greece on May 1st, 1924 and brought up in an Evangelical home. Reverence for the Jewish faith was instilled in her from a young age. In 1942, her family was caught hiding British soldiers in their home and they were captured, but that would not stop her. Not only did she survive 3 years in Auschwitz, but she also risked her life to save the lives of others. The British Government recognized her and she received a commendation for her selfless and heroic acts during the war. Many have, and will continue to, call her a “Survivor,” but it is truly an understatement. There are no words that can describe the strength, valor, and compassion that she possessed. After her liberation from Auschwitz in 1945, influenced by her upbringing and respect for the faith, she converted to Judaism. Our mother taught us to love all people as one, no matter their religion or ethnicity. She married our father, Charles Molho and lived in Germany for a few years before immigrating to the United States and settling in Galveston, Texas. They moved to Houston in the 1970’s, where they became members of Congregation Beth Israel and actively participated in the Holocaust Museum of Houston and Shoah Foundation.
In every meaning of the word, she truly was the Matriarch of the Molho family. Instilling values of philanthropy, kindness, love, and forgiveness to not only her family, but to every person she met. Our mother didn’t know the meaning of “prejudice” – she taught us to be smart and patient, and judge people by their actions and honesty, not by any other measure.
A prolific master in the kitchen, she taught each of us how to cook. She had a passion for creating delicious meals for friends and family, and she put love into each and every dish she made. As children, she would regularly make after school meals for us and our classmates. And wo be unto he or she that didn’t clean up after themselves. This was obvious when considering her favorite “fragrance” was Clorox or Lysol, she had just as much passion for cleanliness as she did for cooking.
There is no way to properly convey who our mother was in these few short sentences. She was a woman of strength, morals, humor, and discipline, who always demanded honorable behavior. She was funny beyond words, but also the most compassionate, emphatic, and caring person one would ever have the pleasure of knowing.
This world will be a bit less bright by her passing, but Heaven has received a remarkable Angel, one who strove each and every day to make the lives of others better by deed and example.
The family would like to especially thank Dr. G. Ponce de Leon and Dr. Wood, as well as all the doctors, nurses and caregivers at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital who treated mom in her final hours. These dedicated professionals went above and beyond to make her as comfortable as possible, and for that we are eternally grateful.
Her final words were how good God is and how if we only ask prayerfully, He will always be there for us. Godspeed Mom, Yia Yia, Soula…Godspeed.
Services will be officiated by Rabbi Lyons of Congregation Beth Israel. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Holocaust Museum of Houston.
- Celebration of Life Sunday, January 6, 2019