Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rest In Peace, Ethel

From the Lowell Sun, via reader and frequent commenter, ASM826 (paragraph breaks added by me).

Athanasia "Ethel" Eliopoulos, 94, died Friday, October 5, 2007, at D'Youville Manor. Ethel was born on Feb. 10, 1913, in Lowell, Mass., the daughter of the late Elias and Eleni (Mangiavas) Eliopoulos.

She graduated from Lowell High School, and attended Boston University before leaving to pursue a professional working career. She received formal training as a stenographer, was an expert in shorthand, and a licensed Real Estate Broker before becoming the first woman in the United States to hold the position of local Director of Social Security in a district office.

After serving nearly 50 years in various capacities, Ethel enjoyed a long and illustrious career and was considered a pioneer in the field of Social Security. She was the recipient of many awards within the Greek community as well as one of the first women to receive the John J. Bartlett Award, this prestigious award is given for extraordinary service within a United States governmental program. This award is extremely rare as under one-half of just one percent of government employees ever receive it.

During her working years Ethel appeared regularly on Saturday morning local radio and was involved in a Question and Answer column that appeared periodically in the Lowell Sun Newspaper. She also co-wrote, directed and starred in a short tutorial film that was used in training for Social Security start up offices.

Ethel traveled extensively throughout her life having visited many countries including but not limited to China, Greece, Ireland and Turkey as well as numerous locations throughout the United States. She particularly enjoyed Sannibel Island, Florida.

Upon retiring from Social Security, with little to no respite she quickly returned to work in the private sector working with her niece buying and selling antiques in an Essex, Mass., Antiques shop.

She is survived by two sisters, Pauline Hollis and Bessie Natsios of Lowell; and a brother, Peter Eliopoulos of Palm Bay, Florida. Her many nieces and nephews will miss their long tradition of celebrating Christmas Eve together. The family is grateful for her countless friends, and the wonderful care she received at D'Youville Manor. With her passing, Ethel's final wish was ultimately granted when she did not have to see Hillary Clinton become president.

ELIOPOULOS Friends will be received at the M.R. LAURIN FUNERAL HOME, 295 Pawtucket St., Lowell on Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. Her funeral will take place on Thursday at 9 a.m. from the Funeral Home to be followed by services at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Lowell at 10 a.m. Interment to follow in Westlawn Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made in her memory to the Holy Trinity Church, Lewis St., Lowell, MA 01854. Funeral arrangements under direction of Louis M. Fazio III, M. Richard Laurin, Scott Laurin.

May her soul find eternal peace.