Obituary of Eleni Kyriakatos
After a long, heroic, 16 year battle with cancer, Eleni left us peacefully on February 5th, 2024. Although the last three months were particularly difficult, she was constantly surrounded by loved ones. She was thinking of her family until the very end.
Eleni is predeceased by her parents Aggelis and Kyriaki Koutsos, her sister Matina and her brother Kyriako. She is survived by her husband Andreas, sister Panagiota, daughters Catherine (Mike), Sandy (Jim), Effie (Emmanuel), her beloved grandchildren Mia, Kyra, Andreas, Cami, Hope, Daniel and Maeve as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews in Canada, the United States and Greece.
Eleni was born in the idyllic and remote village of Kyparissi, Laconia, Greece in 1946. She moved to Canada as a young teenager where she attended high school in Montreal. While working as a cashier at the Ville Marie, the cutie caught the eye of Andreas and the rest is history.
They moved to Ottawa with their three young daughters in 1979 and became deeply immersed in the Greek community. Whether it was being part of the Greek school parents and guardians association, or as an active member of the Daughters of Penelope, you would always see Eleni in and around the community.
After her children had grown, she would join her husband at work at the Carlingwood Family Restaurant where she was a customer favourite, always chatting and showing an interest in each and every person who came in.
In 2002 Eleni became legendary as the coolest Yiayia around, jet setting to Vancouver and New Jersey to dote upon her beloved grandchildren. It was a common site to see Yiayia in matching outfits (yes, even the shoes) with Mia, galavanting around Vancouver. Once Mia and Andreas were in Ottawa she then became soccer and hockey Yiayia extraordinaire running around to practices and tournaments. She was also greek food delivery Yiayia because who else was going to properly feed those kids. Sandy? Nai kala. Although the spanakopita and koulourakia shipments to New Jersey would have to clear customs, her hand delivery would ensure that Kyra and Cami also were properly fed. It’s a wonder that she didn’t also feed the customs agents. She would run circles around her daughters when taking care of the kids. The seven hour drive to New Jersey was nothing for her and she would never miss any event. She lived for her grandchildren.
Eleni LOVED to travel with her grandchildren, friends, and family and was always ready to go anywhere, anytime. Be it weekend trips to Paris with her daughters or travelling solo to Greece with the grandchildren, she never ran out of energy.
She leaves behind an immense void in our family and will be terribly missed.
The family is eternally grateful to the doctors, nurses and staff at the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, in particular Dr Terry Ng, for his constant and unwavering care.
Those who wish to pay their respects may do so at the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, 1315 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa on Thursday, February 8th. Visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:30 am, followed by the funeral service at 11:30am. Internment at Pinecrest Cemetery. Immediately following the internment, friends and family are invited to gather for a Makaria reception to celebrate Eleni’s life, at the Hellenic Event Centre.
Donations can be made in memory of Eleni to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church at https://helleniccommunity.com/donations-stewardships/ and the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation at https://www.ottawacancer.ca/
We will miss you Yiayia.