Chrysi Sophocles, born Hrisafie Mamatseos on October 15th, 1921, was one of four girls of Greek immigrants, Constantine and Anna Mamatseos, of Bristol, Connecticut.
From her earliest youth, Chrysi worked in her father’s ice-cream shop, The Palace of Sweets, and graduated from Bristol High School in 1939. She excelled in math and science and was one of few women in her time to graduate from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston in 1943. In 2013, she attended her 70th class reunion accompanied by two of her grandsons.
In 1944, Chrysi met and married the love of her life, Sophocles Michael Sophocles in Waterbury, Connecticut. Soph, a graduate of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Pomfret, Connecticut, was ordained a priest, and together they moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to join the St. Nicholas parish.
Reverend Sophocles earned Master’s degrees in History and Philosophy, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan. Sophocles was named a Fulbright Scholar and spent 1953-54 at the University of Athens, where he researched and wrote a book. Together, Sophocles and Chrysi traveled extensively throughout Greece and to the Patriarchate. In 1959, the couple moved to Rose Tree Media, PA so that Sophocles could teach Philosophy at Widener University.
As Presvytera, Chrysi was an active member of the Greek Orthodox Church community while raising two children, Michael and Anna, and also pursuing her career in pharmacy. She was a beloved member of the Choir, the Philoptochos and Senior Guild of St. Demetrios Church in Weston, Massachusetts and the St. Luke’s Choir, Senior Women and Ladies Philoptochos in Broomall, Pennsylvania. For thirty years, she worked as a pharmacist at the Mackey and Lima Pharmacies in Pennsylvania and the Wayland Apothecary in Massachusetts.
Fueled by her faith, she sought to improve others’ lives in both her personal and professional communities. Her selfless efforts to care for the betterment of others were noticed on a national level by the Greek Orthodox Church. She was distinguished: the Metropolis Parishioner of the Year at St. Demetrios, 1991, the NJ Metropolis Service of the Year at St. Luke, 2014, and Awarded the 50th Philoptochos Pin at St. Luke, 2018.
After her retirement from pharmacy, Chrysi was a dedicated volunteer at various nursing homes and at Bryn Mawr Hospital, caring for others until she was well into her 90’s. She hand knit baby blankets and booties for expectant mothers of families, friends and strangers alike.
Adventurous, a voracious reader, and a life-long learner, Chrysi traveled with her grandchildren to five continents. She loved nature, gardening, music, Scrabble, walking on Brigantine Beach to get ice cream, and baking and cooking everything from scratch, especially her renowned Spanakopitas and Koulourakia.
Chrysi will be remembered for her unconditional love of her family, her unwavering faith, and for consistently giving to others -- not just philanthropically but with her positive, fun-loving energy, her time, patience and her benevolent spirit. She had a contagious laugh and elevated all around her with her singsong voice, home-cooking, and good humor.
Fitting that her birth name, Hrisafie means gold in English: to know her was to see that Chrysi truly had a heart of gold. Chrysi was 97.
Chrysi is survived by her son, Michael (Dorothy), daughter, Anna (Nicholas), 7 grandchildren; Demetrios (Nancy) Hadgis, Sophocles (Renee) Sophocles, Hrisafie Hadgis, Alexandra (Alfredo) Ruggiero, George Sophocles, Michael (Kristin) Hadgis, Nicholas (Meghan) Sophocles —each claims to be her favorite—and 8 great-grandchildren; Cassandra, Michael and Eleni Sophocles, Alexandra and Nicholas Hadgis, Michael and James Hadgis, Alfredo Ruggiero. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, churches, and communities.
Viewing and funeral services will be held on August 27th at 10 and 11am at St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church, 35 N. Malin Rd. Broomall, PA. The luncheon (Makaria) will take place at the Waynesborough Country Club in Paoli.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church, 35 N. Malin Rd. Broomall, PA or to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 57 Brown St. Weston, MA 02493.
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