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1963 - 2019
Maritza Deratzou was born on September 10, 1963, to Gary and Mary Deratzou. She grew up in Drexel Hill, PA and then her and her family moved to Havertown, PA. She enjoyed her early years by going to Hillcrest Elementary School in Drexel Hill and then to Brookline Elementary School in Havertown. As a young girl she always enjoyed being around people and was very friendly. She would help her father in his store, Pic-N-Pay in Upper Darby, PA. She liked being a cashier and stocking inventory.
Maritza graduated from Haverford High School in June, 1982 with Health Assistant Training from Aston Vocational Technical School. In her last year of high school, she volunteered as a Candy Striper at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Also, in high school, she enjoyed being the manager of various sports teams and thrilled in their wins. The team members considered Maritza one of their own and she enjoyed every minute of it.
After graduation, Maritza went right to work at Bryn Mawr Terrace as a Health Assistant and as a Dietary Assistant until February, 1990. Maritza liked talking to the patients at Bryn Mawr Terrace and was sadden to see when a patient she was close to would pass away. She left to work at The Shipley School, in Bryn Mawr, as an assistant cook and food server, where she served food to students and faculty and assisted in preparation of faculty teas.
For most of her career, over 20 years, she worked at Suburban Food Service, in Havertown and then in Concordville. She enjoyed preparing many kinds of hot and cold foods for the food service trucks, taught new employees how to do various tasks, organized orders, and even volunteered to go with the drivers to serve food at various sites.
In every position that Marita held, she always made friends with her co-workers and they enjoyed her company. She would make people feel at ease by being her friendly self and by making jokes. Each day she came home from work, she would have a million stories to tell about her adventures during the day.
Her final and present working place was at Radnor High School as a food service worker in the High School Cafeteria. This is where she found her niche. She enjoyed being with the students and talking to them as she served them at her “Snack Bar”. The Cafeteria set up a separate Snack Bar so that students could buy a snack without having to be in a line with the main meals. She knew every student who came to her Snack Bar and would be able to anticipate what they would want before they would ask for it. She had a great smile and a cheerful disposition in every transaction. She loved to create nicknames for students and they loved her. She also would work above and beyond her job description by helping with organizing the inventory, talking to her boss about the ordering, and helping out wherever she was needed.
At work, Maritza was always thrilled to tell the students that she could joke with them but that her sister, a teacher at the school, had to be the serious one. The students were always excited when they made the connection between Maritza, the cafeteria lady, and her sister, Susan, their teacher. The students liked that Maritza would be in her sister’s classroom at the beginning and end of some days, where she would help her sister with the preparation of laboratory work.
Maritza enjoyed being home and, especially, before her mother passed away in February, 2015, she would tell her mother stories of her day. She liked doing things with her family and would do anything for them. She was very proud of her older sister and older brother and would, at any moment of time, tell people about them. She enjoyed playing the guitar, bowling in a bowling league, doing “Seek and Find” Puzzles, reading “Sports Illustrated”, and watching sports on TV.
After a long six months with leukemia, she succumbed to the disease through an infection. Maritza is survived by her father, Mr. Gary Deratzou; her sister, Dr. Susan Deratzou; her brother, Dr. Benjamin (Beth) Deratzou and her two twin nephews, Luke and Mark Deratzou; her aunt, Mrs. Margaret Obozian; her various cousins including Mrs. Maryann (Michael) Moore (and their two children, Nicholas and Molly), Mrs. Margaret (Andy) Gairo (and their two children, Marissa and Jimmy), and Mr. Jack (Colleen) Obozian.
In her short life, Maritza Deratzou was the best sister and daughter that anyone could have had. She was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. She was funny, vibrant, full of life, cared about people, and would do anything for you. She wanted to make people laugh and be happy, even if she was not feeling so good. She was well liked and well respected and will be dearly missed. One friend described Maritza as “a warm, kind, beautiful, funny soul too soon to be taken from us”. She is buried at Arlington Cemetery with her beloved mother and near her beloved grandmother. May she rest in peace and be with her mother, Mrs. Mary Deratzou, and her grandmother, Mrs. Maritza Sinanian.
American Cancer Society
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