Mary Zutes Polites was born, November 2, 1914 in Rochester NY to
immigrant Parents from the villages of Poulithra and Niata of the
Arcadia region in Greece. She was the fourth child of 7 children.
As a teenager she helped her father in the candy business and learned
the love of chocolate and Spanish Peanuts.
Her mother, Calliope, wanted to return to Greece to visit family
in 1930 and Mary went with her. She spent 6 months and took in
all the sights she learned in history class. One thing she told her
children was the relatives were curious as to why she wanted to
see the Parthenon and the Acropolis. The story is the relatives
said “why would you want to visit the Acropolis as
it is nothing but rubble.”
Mary entered the Miss Ahepa contest in 1938 and won first
place. She was a natural beauty and was being courted by many
beaus. It wasn’t until 1940 that she and her sister visited
Philadelphia and met the people in the Greek Community
one of whom was Constantine Dean Polites.
Dean would drive to Rochester to visit Mary and the courtship
began. They were married in Rochester, NY in a blizzard on
February 1, 1942 .
The war took Dean to Europe and Mary being pregnant went
back home to her family in Rochester. Her first born, Mary Diane
was well cared for by Mary’s loving family.
After the war and Dean came home they established a home
in Upper Darby, PA where Dean ran the family florist business.
Two more children were born, Alexandra Calliope, and
Christopher Dean to complete the family.
Mary was a good business woman and helped her Husband
as the bookkeeper in the flower shop. Every Sunday, she
took her children to the Greek Orthodox Church, first to
St. Demetris, next to the Cathedral of St. George and finally
St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church in Broomall.
In 1961 Mary and Dean were one of 100 families who established
St. Luke’s and this became the family’s church.
Mary was involved in the Ladies Auxiliary at St. Luke’s
which is now called the Ladies Philoptochos Society
of St. Luke’s. She helped organize many fund raising functions
to help support the young church and was voted as the
President of the then Ladies Auxiliary 1964-1965.
Mary was also involved in civic associations outside her church.
She became the President of the Soroptimist Club( an association of
the Lions Club) which supported nursing students with scholarships.
More importantly, she lived to see the marriage of her 3 children
The birth of her 6 Grandchildren and her 7 Great Grandchildren.
Throughout her life she loved her family and friends. She was a
gracious hostesses and entertained frequently. Her spontaneity
and joy for life meant there was never a dull moment when you were
with her. She will be remembered by so many, with volumes of
stories and fond sentiments being expressed that make all of our
family smile and laugh. She is now reunited with her beloved
husband of 62 years.
Due to the current Covid-19 circumstances, we are sad that we cannot
have a proper celebration for a woman who deserves to have her life celebrated.
However, when there comes a time when we can get
together we will celebrate a life full of love, happiness and joy.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Z. Polites, please visit our floral store.
St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church
35 North Malin Rd., Broomall PA 19008