Martha Tavoularis Callas
April 13, 1926 – March 11, 2020
Callas, Martha Tavoularis April 13, 1926 – March 11, 2020
Beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and sister, Martha passed away peacefully at home. Her decline over the past couple of years has been slow, steady, and filled with grace; the end came quickly, quietly and without pain – truly an answer to Martha’s prayers these past few months.
Martha was born in Lowell, Massachusetts to Panayiota and Nicholas Tavoularis, Greek immigrants who would go on to become the parents of six children. When Martha was eight, the family moved to Long Beach, California, where the Tavoularis kids enjoyed going to the beach, and watching Sunday matinee double features. When Martha was a teenager, the family moved to Los Angeles, where she attended George Washington High School. After graduation she went to work in the local shipyards as part of the war effort, and then later in she worked in a medical office.
After the war, Martha met John Callas, and following a short courtship they married and moved to the San Fernando Valley. During the first ten years of their marriage they would have four children. Martha always said that the happiest time in her life was when her kids were small, and she was volunteering for the PTA, scoring Little League games, cheering at football games, listening in on piano lessons, and cooking, always cooking, for her family, from simple weeknight dinners to elaborate holiday parties. Cooking and developing recipes became a way for her to offer love and express creativity. Her family was her greatest joy.
Her best friends were her sisters Pat and Pauli. They traveled the world together, from Korea to Morocco, and of course their beloved Greece. Martha kept wonderful journals of their travels, always with details about their meals. The sisters talked daily – you could count on the smallest details of their lives to be shared every morning and afternoon. Those phone calls were a vital part of her everyday life.
Martha leaves behind sons Greg (Jackie) and Steve (Tina), and daughter Tricia (Jim) O’Donnell; grandchildren Adriana (Aki Vourakis), Joanna (Sam Travlos), Ericia (J.D. Schwalm), Nicholas, and Jane; five great grandchildren; sister Pauli Smith, and brothers John, Dean, and Alex Tavoularis. She is preceeded in death by her husband John, and her dear sweet son John.
The funeral service will be held Friday, March 20 at 10:30 at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 9501 Balboa Blvd, Northridge 91324. In light of the current medical crisis, we have canceled the makaria, and we understand if you are unable to attend the service. If you do not attend, we ask that you pay tribute to Martha on Friday with a prayer.
Donations may be made to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles or Saint Nicholas Philoptochos Society.
- Funeral Service Friday, March 20, 2020
- Committal Service Friday, March 20, 2020
IN THE CARE OF