Mary (Maroulla) Tillis, born in Vatili, Cyprus, on January 30th, 1923, died peacefully surrounded by her granddaughters and son-in-law on May 26th. She was devoted to her only daughter Andrea, and her grandchildren, Maria and Helena.
Though her life was full of unexpected challenges, Mary was never one to dwell on things beyond her control. So dedicated was she to creating a better life for her and Andrea that she traversed the Atlantic in 1951 at the age of 26 after the tragic, sudden death of her husband, George. Mary realized that the best opportunities were in America. Without knowing the language, Mary worked tirelessly as a seamstress in the dress factories of New York. Though her job was not glamorous, she relished in the act of doing and loved being on the move and having the ability to work. She was happiest running from one place to another, and in no time had skillfully mastered the New York transit system and subway.
Incredibly strong-willed and determined, she took great pleasure in her independence. This laid the foundation for her daughter to pursue higher education, ultimately attaining her Juris Doctor and passing the New York Bar on her first attempt. Never having progressed further than the 6th grade, Mary was incredibly proud of her daughter’s accomplishments.
To know Mary was to understand and appreciate that her stubborn, hard headed nature was second only to her sense of humor. She loved to laugh, and would be the first to crack a joke and laugh at herself. Though her years were long, she found humor in the smallest things and treasured the simplest experiences in life – sharing stories, spending time with loved ones and having a good cup of coffee.
She is survived by her younger sister Georgoula, son-in-law Demos and granddaughters Maria and Helena. Mary is finally reunited with her daughter Andrea, husband George, brothers Jimmy and Harry and sisters Alexandra, Thekla and Dora … and dog Snoopy.
Friends and family are welcome to attend her viewing from 10am to 11am Tuesday, 6-1-21, at St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church, 35 N. Malin Rd, Broomall, PA 19008. The funeral will follow at 11am. Interment will be at Arlington Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family has asked for donations to:
Saint Basil Academy
79 Saint Basil Road
Garrison, NY 10524
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