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Greek CommunityThe Passing of a Greek Activist Pioneer: Soteria Fillos

The Passing of a Greek Activist Pioneer: Soteria Fillos

Hellenic News of America
Hellenic News of Americahttps://www.hellenicnews.com
The copyrights for these articles are owned by HNA. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of HNA and its representatives.

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By Catherine Tsounis

Soteria Fillos, a kind and gracious individual who worked tirelessly behind the scenes at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Flushing, NY, the largest Greek community outside of Athens, recently passed away. At the age of 83, Soteria left behind a legacy of selfless service and unwavering dedication to her community. She was a familiar face at St. Nicholas Church Festivals and Philoptohos Lady Society events, always lending a helping hand with a warm smile alongside her husband Theodore.

Soteria’s brother, the legendary Archon and Philanthropist Stephen Cherpelis, was instrumental in their community endeavors. Together, they worked tirelessly with children, grandchildren, and fellow countrymen from Karpenisi, Central Greece, contributing to the expansion of the church and educational initiatives.

Andy Tsiolas and Christopher Fillos fondly recalled their parents’ involvement in food preparation for St. Nicholas Church Festivals dating back to 1959. Soteria and Theodore, along with their family and network, have been steadfast supporters of community service initiatives.

Photo by Catherine Tsounis

In these challenging times, scholarships for middle-class college students are scarce, often overlooked by community and political leaders. Soteria was among the unsung heroes who supported youth empowerment through scholarships, ensuring the continuity of leadership within our churches and societies.

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The Syllogos Enosis Evritanon Amerikis To Karpenisi, of which Soteria and Theodore were members, embodies the spirit of Greek heritage and resilience, supporting middle-class college students in the study of Modern Greek. Their generosity and selflessness have empowered Greek Americans to pursue higher education while staying connected to their roots.

Soteria’s advocacy extended beyond her community involvement. She rallied friends to support initiatives promoting Greek language, culture, and Orthodox faith, including events organized by The Hellenic News of America, Hellenic American National Council, Prometheus Greek Teachers Association, The Heritage Museum of Epirus, and Hellenic Paideia Association of America. Her unwavering loyalty and respect for Greek heritage were truly unforgettable.

Photo by Catherine Tsounis

Despite the hardships her family faced, including the devastation of their hometown by Nazis during WWII and communist guerillas during the Greek Civil War, Soteria and her loved ones remained steadfast in preserving their Hellenism. Through their dedication to St. Nicholas Church and related organizations, they nurtured and perpetuated Greek culture and Orthodox faith in their community.

Though Soteria may no longer be with us, her spirit lives on in the hearts of all who knew her. As Pericles once said, “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” Soteria’s legacy of service and compassion will continue to inspire generations to come.

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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