NEWPORT - Bessie (Vasiliki) Mellekas, wife of the late Stavros, died at the age of 101, Saturday, October 15, 2005, at the Newport Hospital, Newport, RI, surrounded by her family.
Born in Moria, Mytelinis, Greece, on January 1, 1904, she was the daughter of the late Theodore and Maria (Koukoutas) Mootos (Wotoglos).
Bessie was born during the time of the Turkish Occupation of Mytelinis and the Balkan War which freed the island in 1912. She immigrated to America in 1922 with her mother and brother James, who died at the age of 21. They joined her brothers Peter and Paul who preceeded them, and lived in Stoughton, MA. She worked as an embroiderer in a factory in Stoughton, MA. Shortly after, Vasiliki was introduced to Stavros and were married in 1923 and lived happily for 45 years raising four children.
Vasiliki had the honor of being the oldest member of St. Spyridon´s Church, as well as the oldest Greek Orthodox woman in Newport, RI. One of the original charter members of the St. Spyridon´s Philoptochos, Vasiliki, Past President, spent countless hours preparing for the annual bazar, knitting and crocheting many hand-crafted novelties.
Vasiliki's talents were instrumental in raising funds for the charitable endeavors of the organization. She continued to serve her church as a devoted parishoner attending weekly services and annually participating in the Hellenic Fest with food preparation. Vasiliki was a renouned member of the Newport community seen by residents as she completed her daily walks.
She is survived by her children, James Mellekas and his wife Toula of Middletown, RI, Ronnie Kastritis and her husband Paul of Sun City, CA, Maria Kosmos and her husband Steve of San Diego, CA, and John Mellekas and his wife Martha of Newport, RI; fifteen grandchildren and thirty-five great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; many great-nieces and great-nephews; and several Godchildren.
Her funeral will be held on Wednesday, October 19, 2005, at 10:00 a.m. from the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, followed by funeral services 11:00 a.m. in St. Spyridon's Greek Orthodox Church, 390 Thames Street, Newport.
Burial will be in Island Annex Cemetery in Newport.
Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, October 18, 2005, from 4-7 p.m., in the Memorial Funeral Home.
Memorial donations in memory of Vasiliki Mellekas may be made to St. Spyridon's Greek Orthodox Church, 390 Thames Street, Newport, RI, 02840.
Information and directions available at www.memorialfuneralhome.com.
[Editor's Note: This obituary appeared in the Newport News in October 2005.]