Mary Bertas Rennis (1923-2021) died October 15, 2021, from natural causes at her home in Rockland, Delaware, surrounded by her loving family. Mary, the daughter of Greek immigrants, was born and raised in Bryn Mawr, PA, along with her three sisters, Helen, Sophie, and Anne. As a teenager while attending Lower Merion School, Mary and her sisters also worked at their Father’s restaurant “El Greco” in Bryn Mawr. Mary graduated from Drexel University with a B.A. in Business in 1944. She met her husband-to-be, Frank Rennis, during her university years, and the two were married after Frank returned from serving in Europe during WWII. They were married for 55 years. Frank passed away in 2001.
Mary lived for years in Havertown, PA, where her four children were born, and in 1971, the family moved to Villanova. Mary was a devoted mother, Chief Bookkeeper and Accountant for her husband’s firm A&R Engineering (Philadelphia), and managed a multifamily apartment building that she and Frank owned in Swarthmore.
Mary loved gardens and gardening and was an active volunteer in the community. Her many activities included the Girl Scouts, Villanova Garden Club where she served a term as President, Hellenic University Club, and Saint Luke’s Greek Orthodox Church where she taught Sunday School and managed the Church gardens. Both Mary and Frank were very active in the establishment of St. Luke’s Church. Mary was awarded the Medal of St. Paul for her services to the church.
An avid cook, Mary was famous for entertaining friends at home as well as preparing wonderful family and holiday dinners. She was especially known for her candy apples, which she would hand out during Halloween, her cookies, and pound cakes. She loved music and played the violin in her spare time.
Mary was known for her phenomenal energy, work ethic and generosity. She is survived by her sister, Anne (nee Bertas) Trivelis; three daughters, Deborah (William) Hartnett, Esq., Denise Rennis-Finney, Ph.D., and Jamie (Ray) Rennis-Hurtado; two grandchildren, Joseph (Marissa) Hartnett and Lauren Hartnett; and two great grandchildren, Isabelle and Colin Hartnett. Mary was predeceased by her husband Frank, her son James, and son in law Colin Finney.
Visitation with the family will be from 10-11 AM with the Service beginning 11 AM on Monday October 25 at Saint Luke’s Greek Orthodox Church, 35 North Malin Road, Broomall, PA 19008. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Saint Luke’s Greek Orthodox Church in Broomall, PA.