Mary Roftsias Gikas
May 4, 1933 – September 11, 2020
Mary Roftsias Gikas Mary Roftsias Gikas fell asleep in the Lord on September 11, 2020 in Poway, CA at the age of 87.
Mary was born May 4, 1933 in Manchester, New Hampshire to Nikolaos and Marina Roftsias from Epirus and Thessaly, Greece. As the only child of immigrant parents Mary said she was spoiled with love, Greek cooking and sweets! Mary enjoyed her childhood in Manchester, growing up on a small farm with her dog “Jerry”, singing in school plays at Manchester Central High and being active at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church. Learning Greek at early age enabled Mary to live in Greece for an entire year when she was just 22 years old. From Greece she also travelled to the Holy Lands in Jerusalem and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt. In 1959, Mary married Stellios “Ted” Gikas, also from Manchester, who worked in the family business Crystal Laundry. After starting their family, Ted and Mary relocated with their three young sons Nick, John and Paul to Southern California in 1969. Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego became Mary’s spiritual home and place where she would offer her time and talents for the next 50 years.
Anyone who knew Mary knew that her sons always came first. She never missed a baseball or basketball game for years on end, was always involved in school projects and PTA groups and always made sure the boys were in church on Sunday. “Mrs. Gikas” was dear to coaches, teachers, friends and parents alike.
If Mary ever took some time for herself she loved to oil paint landscapes, sew and sing with her lovely voice around the house. As a New England girl, Mary also loved the many family ski trips made with dear friends to the snow-capped mountains of California.
Holidays and parties were always major events for Mary, preceded by days of shopping for the right ingredients, cooking and baking. Mary learned to cook well from her mother but also had a “hobby” of collecting Greek cookbooks. Mary served the Church her entire life. At St. Spyridon she worked to improve the Sunday School through the 70’s. In the early 80’s she began the Saint Spyridon Library and several years later the St. Spyridon Bookstore. From 1984-1989 she served as the St. Spyridon Philoptochos Society President, while in 1988 she was simultaneously appointed to the Diocesan Philoptochos Board by His Grace Bishop Anthony. During this time, Mary developed a wonderful working relationship with Bishop Anthony, who very much respected Mary’s hard work and opinion on the many programs Philoptochos was developing. A heartfelt moment in Mary’s life was in 2008 when she received the St. Spyridon Philoptochos Society Anthousa Award in recognition of her philanthropic and public service to the community. All the while Mary served in official capacities, only God knows how many individuals she helped and touched along the way with her genuine love and concern for others.
Mary Roftsias Gikas was a very gentle and caring person. She was intelligent and of the highest moral character. The warmth of her heart and the gracious spirit of her soul will be remembered by all. She leaves a tremendous legacy of unconditional love for family and friends, a lifetime of devoted service to the Church, and an example of unwavering and steadfast faith in God. Although Mary’s health steadily declined over the past several years she received unsurpassed care from her loving husband of 60 years that allowed her to die peacefully in her home which she loved so much.
Mary is survived by her husband Stellios, three sons Nick, John and Paul, daughters-in-law Lauren, Joy and Meltem and grandchildren Cameron, Mark, Ted and James.
A Trisagion will be held Thursday, September 17 at 6:00 p.m. at El Camino Memorial Park in Sorrento Valley. Viewing at 5:30 p.m. Due to Covid restrictions only the first 50 guests will be permitted in the room. A private funeral will be held at the Miramar National Cemetery the following day, again due to Covid restrictions.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to “Bishop Anthony Philoptochos Student Aid Endowment Fund” or “Kids ‘n’ Cancer Ministry”, both c/o Ladies Philoptochos Society, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, 245 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 or online at www.sfphiloptochos.org/donate . Donations can also be made to the “Saint Spyridon Bookstore” and mailed to the church.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Mary Roftsias Gikas
Chris & Lisa Kotitsa
September 15, 2020
Our Condolences to the Gikas Family for the loss of Mary. My wife Lisa remembered Mary from the bookstore when Lisa first attended church at St. Spyridon. Mary was very welcoming and hospitable, and Lisa enjoyed talking with her during many fellowship hours after services. My recollection was first with the 3 boys throughout the Sunday School and Young Adult League years. Later, I remember Mary being a very dedicated and loyal person for all the events and functions offered by the parish. She will be very much missed by the entire community. May her memory truly be eternal!