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Lena S. TzavarasJuly 28, 1920 ~ April 9, 2017 (age 96)
Lena Stathakis Tzavaras of Kennett Square, PA, formally of Signal Mountain died on April 9, 2017.
She was born on July 28,1920, to Pete and Stavroula Stathakis. She was the seventh of their nine children. Lena was a mischievous child and her high spirited nature made it easy for her to make friends throughout her life. She worked in her Father's diner during World War II while her brothers went to war. She met and married Gus Tzavaras in Little Rock in 1947 and moved to Chattanooga. They owned the Greystone Apartments and eventually the Volunteer Luncheonette in the Volunteer Building which they had for many years until they retired in 1970. She worked full time in the luncheonette as well as raising their two children, Paula and Peter, which in the 1950's was unusual in that women did not work outside of the home.
Lena and Gus were active members of the Greek Orthodox Church where Lena served as choir director for over 50 years as well as being very active in the Greek Ladies Philoptochos Society. She never hesitated to do anything the church needed to be done. She always greeted newcomers from out of town to the church and many of them became a part of our family, as she called them her "adopted children".
She lived with her daughter, son-in-law, and one and only grandchild, Zoe from when she was two who Lena took great pleasure in “spoiling rotten.” Zoe’s friends took to calling her the Greek name for grandmother “Yia-yia” and enjoyed her delicious baked goods, colorful language, and joking manner. Even after her affectionately termed kakó korítsi (“bad girl”) became a “damn Yankee”, Lena and Zoe enjoyed a close relationship including frequent phone calls, visits to Chattanooga, and some special vacations such as in 1999 when Lena, Joel, Paula and Zoe visited Ellis Island where Lena’s parents had immigrated through from Greece in the late 1800s.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her siblings, Mary ,Nick, George, Louis, Bill and Sam. She is survived by her daughter, Paula (Joel) Rind of Kennett Square,PA, her son, Peter (Sharon) Tzavaras of Morgantown, West Virginia, her granddaughter, Zoe Rind (Dennis Ryan) of New York, NY, her sister, Janie Terzolas, of Monroe, LA, and her brother Ted Stathakis, of Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Lena's family would like to thank Kendal at Longwood and Neighborhood Hospice for their compassionate care during her illness.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 13th, from 12:00 pm to 1:45 pm in the hall at the Greek Orthodox Church in Chattanooga with the funeral following at the church at 2:00 pm with Father Stavros Ballas officiating. Interment will follow in Lakewood Memory Gardens, East.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made to the Greek Orthodox Church, 722 Glenwood Drive, Chattanooga. TN 37404.