Pat “Pitsa” Panagiota (nee:Gourdomihalis) George, 72, passed away peacefully among her family on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, after a period of declining health.
The last of six children and the daughter of the late Demetrios and Anna Gourdomihalis, she was born on January 3, 1947, in the small farming village of Filisi, Greece outside of Sparta.
Pitsa obtained an elementary school education.
Most of her childhood was dedicated to working on her family’s farm where she tirelessly nurtured the peanut and cotton plants and later, orange tree saplings.
Pitsa married and then immigrated to America at the age of nineteen for the opportunity of a better life. She and her late husband Larry settled in Cleveland where she quickly acclimated to American culture, learned the English language and became a U.S. citizen.
A devoted homemaker and mother, she also worked along-side her husband managing rental properties in pursuit of their American dream.
The passion of Pitsa’s life were her three daughters whom she loved deeply and for whom she sacrificed much to provide them with the opportunities that would allow each to pursue her own path. She instilled the values of her Greek culture and Orthodox religion always encouraging her children and grandchildren to embrace the challenges and opportunities of a boundless future.
Pitsa was an active member of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Rocky River, Ohio, and was involved in many organizations including the Greek School PTO and the Philoptochos Society. She also served as an advisor to Goya and held various leadership positions in connection with the annual Greek Festival.
Pitsa enjoyed playing on the church bowling league, recreational tennis with her friends, needle point, crocheting, gardening and of course, watching her Greek television.
She held a lifelong passion of cooking and over the course of her adult life, compiled thousands of recipes for her “Greek American Cookbook”.
With an inquisitive mind and endless appetite for learning new things, Pitsa embraced the technology of the iPhone and Facebook.
At age forty Pitsa was diagnosed with leukemia and with the prayers of many, and an experimental treatment, she was saved with an autologous bone marrow transplant. In spite of the complications from leukemia, Pitsa never slowed down and always set the example for those around her with her wide smile and entertaining personality. Pitsa contained an inner strength, resilience and will to live that can only be described as Spartan.
Pitsa is survived by her daughters: Elena-Helen (Bill) Nicolozakes of Zanesville; Anna (Don) Younker of Akron; Athanasia-Tammy (Matthew) Donelan of Rocky River; grandchildren: Paul Younker, Marina and William Nicolozakes; sister Demetra (George) Zoumaras, of Chicago, IL; brother: Anastasios (Evaggelia) Gourdomihalis of Filisi, Greece. She leaves behind many beloved life-long friends, Koumbari and nieces & nephews & grand-nieces & nephews.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of forty-six years, Larry Thomas George; her brothers: George (Alkioni) Gourdomihalis, Constantinos (Asimina) Gourdomihalis; sister: Stella (Thanasi) Rembelos; and nephew Mihalis Gourdomihalis.
All funeral services will be held Monday, November 25, 12Noon, at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 22909 Center Ridge Rd., Rocky River, Reverend Father Andrew Lentz officiating.
Family will receive friends Sunday from 2-4pm at the Busch Funeral Home 21369 Center Ridge Rd. Fairview Park, Trisagion service at 3:45pm.
Interment Lakewood Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church Philoptochos Society or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Cancer Society, 3 International Dr. Suite 200, Rye Brook, NY 10573 or lls.org.
The family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.
Arrangements under the care of CANNON LOPRESTI & CATAVOLOS FUNERAL HOME.
For online tributes and condolences please visit www.CLCfuneralhome.com
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