OBITUARY

Presvytera Eleni Alexopoulos

May 10, 1936November 1, 2020

Presvytera Eleni Alexopoulos, beloved wife of Reverend Soterios Alexopoulos, passed away on Sunday, November 1st. Presvytera Eleni, longtime resident of Nashua was born on May 10, 1936 in Schini, Olympia, Greece, the daughter of the late Dionysios and Vasiliki Chronopoulos. She and her family immigrated to the United States in 1954. She was a proud American citizen, but that did not lessen her love of her Greek heritage.

Presvytera Eleni attended the Teachers’ College of St. Basil Academy in Garrison, New York, graduating as valedictorian and president of her class in 1964. In July of that year, she married Soterios Alexopoulos (a graduate of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Theological Seminary) in a double wedding ceremony with her sister and brother-in-law. It was also the very first wedding at the Holy Cross Chapel on campus. After Father Soterios’ ordination to the priesthood, Father and Presvytera were assigned to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Lewiston, Maine.

During their Diakonia in Lewiston, she helped Father Soterios in his ministry by organizing and directing the Greek School, the Sunday School, the Youth Group, the Greek Dance Group, and the church choir (which she also directed for nine years) thus beginning a 48 year partnership in ministry with her husband. She also published a 150 page scrapbook documenting the life of the community during their nine years in Lewiston.

In 1973, Father and Presvytera were transferred to Saint Philip Greek Orthodox Church in Nashua, New Hampshire where they served the community for just under 22 years.

In Nashua, Presvytera Eleni again had the honor of teaching hundreds of children our Greek Orthodox faith, our Greek language, culture, history and heritage as the Director of the Greek School (the first professional teacher of this community), the Sunday School and the Youth Group. She presented numerous programs for Greek Independence Day in March, the Greek Letters in January, and for many other important events, including the annual Raising of the Greek Flag at City Hall and participating in the Greek Independence Day Parade in Boston. The Greek School of Nashua received many awards from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Education with a “number one” rating, and from the Greek Government for “best performance,” and was recognized by the Greek Ministry of Education as equal to those in Greece.

Presvytera Eleni also directed and organized the Sunday School for 22 years with 20 Sunday School Teachers (including professional art and music teachers). The children participated in the Diocese Oratorical Festivals, presented Christmas Pageants, visited nursing homes, collected food and clothing for the poor and supported the orphans at St. Basil’s Academy.

Presvytera organized the Greek Dance Group with three groups of different ages, teaching them 25 dances from various regions of Greece. These Groups not only performed numerous times a year at St. Philip, but also in the community at large, including the Nashua Public Library, the former Arts and Science Center, the City of Nashua Ethnicity Day, the Hellenic Nursing Home in Canton, Massachusetts, the Nursing Homes in Nashua and at the Maliotis Cultural Center in Boston.

In addition to the above, Presvytera Eleni organized the Parent Teacher Organization with the mothers of the Greek School. She organized the Teen Cheerleaders who participated in the YMCA Church Basketball League. Also, she directed the Junior Choir in the 1980’s. She chaired the Religious Booths at our Grecian Fairs for twenty-two years.

Presvytera and Father also organized the Ladies Society AGAPE (the philanthropic arm of our church) in 1973 with 98 ladies at their first meeting. The AGAPE continues today.

Presvytera also hosted, at her and Father’s home, many dignitaries, Archbishops, Bishops, priests, civic leaders, Greek Government officials and many more when they visited Nashua.

Finally, Presvytera published another 280 page scrapbook in 1994 for St. Philip documenting the Life of St. Philip Community and her and Father’s ministry in Nashua.

Father Soterios retired from St. Philip in 1994, but Presvytera continued as the Greek School Director until 2001.

In 1995, Father Soterios was asked to come out of retirement and become the part time priest at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Clinton, Massachusetts. Just as she had done in their previous two communities, Presvytera helped Father with the Sunday School and other ministries. Father and Presvytera served St. Nicholas until their “2nd retirement” in 2012.

Father Soterios has always said that God had blessed him with the best partner to be his Presvytera for their active 48 year ministry. They did it together, and he would have never been able to do it without her. They were honored and privileged to serve these three wonderful parishes.

Presvytera was so proud of all her students throughout her life and loved them as though they were her own children. She was so happy to see her students, as adults, involved in the life of the church as Parish Council members and ministry leaders. For 48 active years of ministry, she devoted her talent, her energy and her life for the youth of the three parishes that she and Father Soterios served. She also was so very thankful to all who helped her along the way with the ministries. She appreciated everyone’s love, respect, understanding and support for so many years.

Presvytera Eleni was honored with many awards and accolades for her accomplishments. She was honored by the Greek Consul of Boston, the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, the Counselor of Education of Greece and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Education for all her hard work, effort and dedication to preserve our Hellenic Christian civilization. She was named Teacher of Year at St. Philip in 1989 for continuous love, loyalty and dedication to the Youth of St. Philip. In addition, she received the Metropolis of Boston Ministry Awards twice – once in 1993 as the honoree from St. Philip, and once again in 2002, when Metropolitan Methodios awarded Presvytera Eleni the Award for her lifetime of service and her leading role in all ministries of our Greek Orthodox religion, our Greek traditions and our Greek heritage.

Presvytera Eleni was a member of the St. Philip Ladies Society AGAPE, the New England Greek Teachers’ Association, the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres, the Daughters of Penelope, the Pan-Elian Society and the Teachers’ College of Saint Basil’s Academy Alumni Association.

Presvytera enjoyed gardening, walking, traveling to her native Greece, but most of all she loved her family and being with her five grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Fairview for their care and love for Presvytera Eleni.

Presvytera Eleni is survived by her husband, Father Soterios; her daughter Vasiliki and her husband Jimmy; her daughter Tina and her husband Alekos; her grandchildren, also known as her “asteria” (shining stars): Thanasi, Maria, Sotiri, Christo and Peter; sister Christina (Elias) Vasilopoulos; sister-in-law Theodora Chronopoulos; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Giorgos and Katerina Alexopoulos; sister-in-law Ifigenia Alexopoulos; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins here and in Greece, and simbetheri, Peter and Maria Christopoulos and Athanasis and Louiza Miris. She was predeceased by her sisters and brothers-in-law, Demetra and George Pappas, and Maria and Demos Papadopoulos; her brother, Napoleon Chronopoulos; brother-in-law Theofilos Alexopoulos; and her sister-in-law, Katina Ropotos.

To ensure everyone’s health and safety, masks will be required at the wake and funeral and there will be social distanced seating during the funeral in the church. Overflow seating will be in the church hall. In addition, the funeral will be livestreamed on YouTube on the St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church, Nashua, NH channel.

While the family would very much like to greet all the mourners at the wake and funeral, they will not be able to do that because of Covid restrictions and in order to keep Father Soterios and all mourners safe. And there will be no funeral luncheon (makaria) at this time, again due to Covid. We appreciate your understanding, and we hope, God willing, for the one year memorial, we will be able to celebrate Presvytera Eleni’s life with a memorial luncheon.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church Youth Ministries in Nashua, NH or to St. Basil’s Academy in Garrison, NY.

A visitation will be held from 10am-11am on Friday November 6, 2020 located at St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church, 500 W Hollis St. Nashua NH. A Funeral Service will be then held at 11am on Friday November 6, 2020 located at St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church with a burial following immediately at Woodlawn Cemetery.

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Presvytera Eleni Alexopoulos

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Barbara Boucher

November 9, 2020

My most memorable time with your wonderful mother was at the death of my mother. Over thirty years ago, but I still cherish the memory of how kind she was to me at such a difficult time. She eased the great pain of my loss, and I know you have many memories and the love of your family and friends to help at this difficult time. May her memory be eternal.
Barbara Boucher

Michael Stylianos

November 7, 2020

Father Alexopoulos: Cindy and I wish to extend our heartfelt condolences on the passing of your wife and family matriarch Presvytera Eleni. Nashua's Greek community is greatly indebted to her for the many significant programs she initiated while at St Phillips. She will be well and long remembered by all. With our deepest sympathies, Michael Stylianos

Maria Economou

November 6, 2020

Dear Family,
Our sincere sympathy on the passing away of your beloved beautiful Presvytera Eleni~ May she rest in our Lord's heavenly kingdom where there is no pain, suffering nor sorrow but life everlasting~ May her memory be eternal and may our Lord grant you peace, consolation and love especially during this difficult time.

John & Maria (Alexion) Economou
Homosassa, FL

Ann Poloski

November 5, 2020

My heart goes out to the family during this difficult time. Prayers for the family. A very special woman who will be missed by all who knew her and loved her.

Cynthia Nichols

November 5, 2020

I was very sorry to hear of Presvytera’s passing away. She was a lovely lady and always worked hard to help whichever community she and Father Alexopoulos were in. I always enjoyed her company. May her memory be eternal ,

Samuel Kouchalakos

November 4, 2020

Words are not adequate to describe our sadness upon hearing of the passing of Presbytera Eleni. We will not laugh and celebrate the similar 5/10 birthdate with Elizabeth and nameday with myself. Our families could not be any closer! What an accomplished and loving woman to family and, to us, the mother(parents} of our St Philip Community. Our deepest sympathies and condolences to Father and her loving family. She will never be forgotten and may God bless and keep her. Kouchalakos family

theodora stathopoulos

November 4, 2020

Dear Fr. Sotiri, Vasilike and Tina,
My sincere sympathy for the loss of your dear wife, mother and yiayia. I was fortunate to know her for more than 40 years. When my father passed away almost 26 years ago , Fr. Sotiri supported us as we prepared the funeral arrangements for his friend and fellow priest and Presbytera was right beside him quietly helping in her own special way. She was always a delight to be around with her radiant smile and kind words. May her memory be eternal and may God comfort you and you families.

Antonia Goranites Spirounias

November 4, 2020

So very sorry to hear of Presvitera Eleni’s passing! She was a friend and role model when at Holy Trinity in Lewiston. So much a part of our family! May God place her with the angels and hold her close! May her memory be eternal. Hugs to you Father, and the family!🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Karen Kamataris Sutherland

November 4, 2020

My deepest condolences to Pater and his family. My parents, Peter and Ruth Kamataris, enjoyed many years worshiping and working with Presvytera. May her memory be eternal.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

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