Bessie Tsausis

December 18, 1933March 5, 2018

Bessie Tsausis of HeatherRidge, Gurnee passed away on March 5, 2018 at Rolling Hills Manor in Zion.

Born December 18, 1933 to Tony and Helen (Pilafas) Tsausis in Waukegan. She attended Central School where the Waukegan Public library presently stands. She graduated from Waukegan High School in 1951. Even though their father died while Bessie and John were in H.S. Bessie went to Lake Forest College and graduated in 1955 with her B.A. Summers she was a camp counselor for the park district and weekends worked at the Times Theater. She was the first student teacher at North Chicago H.S. Bessie taught at Central School until Thomas Jefferson Jr. H.S. opened. She would teach for 37 1/2 years, retiring in 1994 with most of those years at Jeffeson. She taught many students that would become leaders and active citizens in Waukegan. She received her Masters degree from National College of Education in 1968. She loved teaching and made many life-long friends. When she retired in 1994 she spent her winters in her condo in Bradenton, Florida. Living downtown, the library became an important part of her life. She understood the influence libraries were to families. She was on the library board for several years; expanded the home-delivery service and the homework telephone line. She was president in 1979 of Friends of the Library.

In 1963 she was a founding member forming the Waukegan Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Honorary International Education Society. It's function is to help and support women and give scholarships to young girls to attend college. She also served as president from 1966-1968. In 2013 she was honored with 2 other founders for establishing this chapter 50 years ago.

Politically Bessie worked on many of Adeline Geo-Karis campaigns from the 1950's as office manager, statician, and co-campaign manager. She attended several Inaugural Balls and swearing in ceremonies in Springfield.

She was a member of IFT/AFT and the retired teachers association. She served on YWCA Board for several years, and was a charter member of the National Women's History Museum in Washington, DC, League of Women Voters and Waukegan Historical Society.

As her grandparents were founders of the church and Greek Community of Waukegan-North Chicago, and her parents were active, Bessie also became dedicated to her faith and heritage. She was a life-long member of St. Demetrios Church. She was one of the "Geo's Choir Kids". She founded the Sunday school in the late 1950's, was a teacher and supervisor for 39 years. She was on the church board and many committees through the years. She attended many A.H.E.P.A., G.O.Y.A and Clergy-Laity conventions. In 2005 she was honored as "Mother of the Year" by the Greek Community. She is a past president of Daughters of Penelope and Philoptohos. In 1964 she was Chicago District Secretary when Irene Gorgan was district president.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents John Galinos and Athanasia Pilafas and her parents Helen and Tony Tsausis.

She is survived by her sister Ethel, brother John of Spring Hill, Florida. By cousins of the Michael, Phillips, and Pilafas families. Also by her beloved godchildren; Alex Axotis, Diane Tentes, Dr. Keri Katsalis Panagas, and Niko Drakopoulos.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 3 to 8pm with at Trisagion at 6pm at Marsh Funeral Home. Funeral service will be held on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 11am with a visitation starting at 10am at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1400 O'Plaine Rd.with Fr. Kosmas and Fr. John Pilafas, cousin of Bessie. Interment at Northshore Garden of Memories, North Chicago. A luncheon will follow.

Donations may be made to Delta Kappa Gamma Scholarship fund, St. Demetrios Church, and Friends of Waukegan Public Library


  • Visitation Thursday, March 8, 2018
  • Visitation Friday, March 9, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, March 9, 2018
  • Graveside Service Friday, March 9, 2018
  • Interment Friday, March 9, 2018

Bessie Tsausis

have a memory or condolence to add?

Elaine Pilafas

March 15, 2018

Dear Ethel and John, I was so devastated to hear about my wonderful first cousin passed away. Bessie was always a beacon of light. She was a kind and gentle soul. My Sisters, Brother and I would always be at house. It was one of our home away from home. We would play, eat and we were spoiled there by our wonderful Thea Eleni. Bessie was a renaissance women. She never met a stranger. She was a devout Orthodox Christian. She brought such joy to all who had the privilege to call her a friend. Bessie I will miss your laughter, kindness and wisdom. God bless you. Memory eternal my Orthodox Sister in Christ. God rest your soul.Until we are all together again in the light of Christ. Rest my sweet cousin. Love, Elaine (Eleni) ,

Laurie Nelson

March 8, 2018

In memory of Bessie- I am sorry about the loss of your beloved Bessie. I so enjoyed being her stylist! She loved to get beautified and it was my privilege to get to know her. I send my deepest condolences to you and to your family. Much Love, Laurie Nelson

Cindy Reiher

March 7, 2018

Bessie was a vital part of the professional and social life at Jefferson Middle School. She graciously offered guidance and advice when I was a new teacher which I much appreciated! I enjoyed working with her immensely. We also shared a few hands of bridge from time to time. She will be missed!