Mary Franggos

Obituary of Mary Maihos Franggos

On Sunday, December 15th, Mary Maihos Franggos, 94, wife of the late John Franggos passed away after a period of declining health.

Mary was the youngest child of Greek immigrants, John and Sophia (Talambecos) Maihos. After graduating from Peabody High School during World War II in 1942, Mary worked at Sylvania Light Plant to help with the war effort. While working there, she was exposed to the beryllium powder which coated the fluorescent light bulbs, and lived the rest of the years of her life with a chronic lung condition, berylliosis. Thanks to the excellent care of Massachusetts General Hospital Doctors Harriet Hardy and John Stoekle, Mary was able to live a long and productive life.Following the war, Mary worked as a hairdresser, met and married her husband John, and together they moved to South Peabody where they raised their family. She maintained a beauty shop in her home for many years.

In her ninety-four years, Mary was active in many philanthropic organizations, but her Greek Orthodox faith was the driving force in her life, and the Church was the recipient of her most ardent efforts. She was a Sunday School teacher, and a member of the Philoptochos women’s fellowship. The mission of the Philoptochos is to help the poor, participate in charitable works, and promote and perpetuate the Orthodox Christian faith and traditions. Mary was a supervisor of seminarians for the Metropolis of Boston’s religious education program, worked closely with professors and other clergy at Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and was selected “Parishioner of the Year” by the parish in 2015. Additionally, Mary was a past chapter president and active member of the Daughters of Penelope, a Greek women’s organization whose mission is to promote Hellenism, education, philanthropy and civil responsibility.

In the larger community, during the 1980’s, Mary was a member of the Massachusetts Home Extension Council. She worked with others to help educate families about the importance of maintaining good nutrition. Mary was a lifetime member of the TOPS program which helps people lose weight using sensible eating strategies. Her association with both of these organizations further widened her network of close friendships.

After working for the Peabody School Department’s Media Center, Mary decided to pursue an Associates Degree in Gerontology at North Shore Community College. Her program was among the first offered by the college, and she had the opportunity to meet and work with some of the leaders the Gerontology field. She worked for North Shore Elder Services, and served as an Ombudsman to safeguard the rights of elders. During this time, she and her husband John were among those who shared their experiences with aging, and were featured in the PBS documentary, “Growing Old in a New Age”.

In the effort to further expand her life experiences, Mary took art and painting classes, enjoyed making crafts and was an excellent seamstress. Her sewing creations included evening gowns, coats, children’s and adult’s clothing, and home decorations. However, one of her greatest joys was sharing her love of Greek cuisine with everyone she met. She was an excellent baker of many Greek sweets, and each Christmas would share her signature sweets with everyone, including the mail carrier and the newspaper delivery person!

Mary and John honeymooned on a cross-country road trip. During their marriage, they had the opportunity to visit many global locations including the homeland of their parents on a visit to Greece, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and an anniversary visit to Hawaii.

Mary is survived by her daughter, Mariann and her husband George Illingworth of Peabody, and her son Peter and his wife Tracey of Byfield. A beloved Yiayia, she is survived by her grandchildren, Neia and Anthony Marks, Theodora and Nathan Kennedy, Alexis and Jacob Bissonnette, all of Peabody, and John Franggos of Byfield. She is also survived by three great-grandchildren, Nathan, Victor and Ricardo. Additionally, she is survived by her devoted niece Dorothea Ingalls, whom she helped raise, her cousins, Presbytera Theodora Paleologos, Nicholas and Byron Matthews, Ruth Morfis, Sophia Tsopanas, many nieces, nephews, godchildren, relatives and numerous dear friends.

Mary was predeceased by her beloved husband John, her parents, her siblings James and his wife Georgia Maihos, Dorothy Maihos, Stella and her husband William Garnham, Julia and her husband Arthur Hammond, Rose and her husband Gordon Crossman, brother-in-law Charles Franggos and niece Barbara Hayes.

Mary’s family would like to especially thank the compassionate caregivers who helped her during her final months.

A visitation will be held on Friday, December 20th, from 4-8PM at the Conway Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn Street, Peabody.  Her funeral will be held on Saturday, at 9AM from the funeral home followed by a service at 10AM at the St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church, 5-7 Paleologos Street, Peabody.  Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Burial will be at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Peabody. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church.



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