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Helen's Story

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MARBLEHEAD - Helen Thomas Macheras passed away peacefully on Wednesday afternoon at the Lafayette Nursing Home in Marblehead, MA at the age of 96.
Helen was born in Salem, Mass. to James and Constance (Sokorelis) Thomas. She was the beloved wife of the late George J. Macheras who passed in 1978. They lived in Virginia at the beginning of their marriage in 1948 and moved to Salem, Mass. in 1961 and then to Marblehead in 1969.
Helen was a vibrant, curious, and accomplished woman with a zest for life. She was a 1939 graduate of Salem High School. Following high school she went on to earn her Bachelors and Masters in Education from what is now Salem State University and received a degree from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music. She spent decades teaching piano, languages, and business education. Helen taught in formal settings for the length of her professional career in Virginia and at the Memorial Junior High School in Beverly. She continued decades after her retirement to teach Adult Education, including the Council on Aging in Marblehead. She devoted many hours to volunteering at Marblehead Arts Association, Marblehead Arts Festival, Salem Hospital, and entertained by playing the piano at the Lafayette Nursing Home, where years later she would be a resident.
In 1954, Helen entered and was the first runner-up in the Mrs. Virginia pageant. She was proud of her Greek heritage, and was a congregant of the St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Peabody where sang in the choir and was a member of the Daughters of Penelope. She loved traveling and was chosen twice to chaperone an elite group of students on the Journey to Greece Program. She always kept active composing poems and music, attending lectures, plays, movies, museum exhibits, and sang with the Paul Madore Choir. She loved to dance, walk by the ocean and swam at the YMCA until the age of 88 years old.
But above everything was family. Helen was a devoted, passionate, involved and beloved Mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, known as "yia-yia". With utter delight, she spent endless hours of activities with them. It was not uncommon on a weekend night in the 1980s for her to have a full-house of grandchildren baking Greek pastries together and watching Star Search before snuggling into bed with her. She will be deeply missed by all of her family.
Helen is survived by her three children and their spouses, Dean and Linda Macheras of Monroe, La., Janice and Peter Kostopoulos of Marblehead, Mass., Constance and Michael Welch of Marblehead. She was the grandmother of Christine Macheras Chapman and her husband, Mark, Alana Welch Strom and her husband, Christian, Justin Welch and his wife, Caroline, Alexis Kostopoulos Dwyer and her husband, Greg, Vanessa Kostopoulos Quick and her husband, Ryan, and Christina Kostopoulos. She is also survived by her seven great-grandchildren, Carly and Carson Chapman, Grant and Aubrey Dwyer, Charlotte and Bennett Quick, and Juliette Strom.
ARRANGEMENTS: Visiting hours will take place on Sunday February 4, 2018 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Murphy Funeral Home, located on 85 Federal St., Salem. Funeral services are private at the request of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to St. Vasilios Altar Fund. For more information or online guestbook, please visit www.MurphyFuneralHome.com or call 978-744-0497.
Published on February 1, 2018
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