Antoinette Manos Gianopulos

July 30, 2023
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Antoinette Manos Gianopulos, arts educator, musician and lifelong learner whose creativity knew no bounds, died peacefully at home on July 30, 2023. 

Daughter of Greek immigrants Thomas G. Manos and Pauline Lagakos Manos, Nettie was born on February 18, 1927, and grew up on Belleview Avenue in Camden.  Bouzouki, mandolin, banjo and violin music filled their home and Nettie soon learned the piano to accompany the family orchestra.  She spent summers in Ocean City at “Noah’s Ark,” nick-named so because the house was bursting at the seams with her brothers and cousins.  Nettie worked the cash register at Tom’s Diner on the Philadelphia waterfront as a teenager, also earning pocket money giving piano lessons with her mentor and neighbor, Ella Ketterer.

After successfully lobbying her parents to allow her to attend college, Nettie became “Toni” when she matriculated at the University of Pennsylvania.  Riding the trolley across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge each day, followed by a bus ride to campus, Toni made lifelong friends with her classmates who served as summer counselors at the Green Lane Camp for Girls.  Her uncanny musical ear led her to MacEdward Leach of Penn’s Folklore Department, where she transcribed his field recordings of North Carolina folksongs.  She began work at Farm Journal with her 1948 Fine Arts degree in hand.

Nettie became active in the Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia, an organization for college graduates with a love of things Greek and a passion for learning.  At an HUC dinner dance in 1950, Nettie met the boyish-looking Nicholas Louis Gianopulos, whom she assumed was someone’s baby brother.  She soon learned that Nick was three years her senior, a WWII vet and a newly minted Penn State structural engineer.  They married in 1953.

Nick and Nettie eventually settled in a tiny apartment over a barn at the Harriton Estate in Rosemont.  While Nick spent his days at Keast & Hood, Nettie became a passionate weaver and studied art history with Violette De Mazia at the Barnes Foundation.  They soon welcomed daughter Tiana and son Elia.  After a herd of black angus broke through a fence and stampeded toward Elia’s baby carriage, Nick and Nettie quit the farm in 1962 and moved to Gladwyne.  Daughter Beth joined the family there.

Nettie’s passion for making music and art was not quelled by the demands of parenting.  She took solfege lessons with Eleanor Sokoloff of the Curtis School of Music and sang with the Philadelphia Orchestra Chorus.  Undaunted by being a “non-traditional aged” student before the term was coined, Nettie enrolled at the Philadelphia College of Art in the late 1960s.  She then taught studio art at E.T. Richardson Middle School for many years.  She continued her studies in art, education and music at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Tyler School of Art and elsewhere, eventually earning a master’s degree from Villanova University and racking up enough credits for at least one more.  She loved teaching children to make art and music, including her beloved granddaughters Georgia and Olivia.

Nettie was also fascinated by languages.  She spoke Greek to her children, engaged a French tutor when they were in kindergarten and drove them to “Greek school” following their “American school.”  Nettie loved comparing word roots, particularly those with Greek origins.  Her library contained dictionaries in a dozen languages. 

Nettie was proud of Nick’s engineering success and of his second career as an adjunct faculty member at her alma mater’s Graduate School of Fine Arts.  They hosted decades of pancake breakfasts for Nick’s students and his Name Day Parties each December.  Family vacations to see Nick’s building and preservation projects instilled a love of history and architecture in their children.

Nettie was predeceased by Nick, her brother John S. Manos and her brothers- and sisters-in-law Patrick L. and Norma Harden Gianopoulos and James R. and Georgia Gianopoulos Ruel. She is survived by her sister-in-law Elizabeth N. Manos, brother and sister-in-law George T. Manos and Jane A. Siegel, Ph. D., children Christiana N. Gianopulos (Paul H. Butler), Elia N. Gianopulos (Monica M.), Elizabeth C. Gianopulos, granddaughters Georgia Ann Gianopulos and Olivia Nicole Gianopulos and many cousins, nephews and nieces.

A viewing will be held at 10:00 on August 4, at St. Luke Green Orthodox Church, 35 N. Malin Road, Broomall, followed by a funeral service to begin promptly at 11:00.  Arrangements are care of the Vraim Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Nicholas L. and Antoinette M. Gianopulos Scholarship at the Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia, P.O. Box 42199, Philadelphia, PA 19101.

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August 4, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Luke
35 N. Malin Rd.
Broomall, PA 19008

Funeral Service
August 4, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Luke
35 N. Malin Rd.
Broomall, PA 19008

Interment following funeral service
August 4, 2023

West Laurel Hill Cemetery
215 Belmont Ave.
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004


Nicholas L. and Antoinette M. Gianopulos Scholarship at the Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia
P.O. Box 42199, Philadelphia PA 19101


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