Tina Afendoulis departed this life on November 27, 2017 to join her husband, Sam and her granddaughter, Lainie who preceded her in death, to a place where there is no pain, sorrow or suffering but life everlasting. She is survived by her brother Danny (Pelly) Dallas, and her children and grand children; Stathi Afendoulis and his daughters Samantha and Alexandra, Georgia (Doug) Everse and their children Nick, Philip and Dasha, Chris (Phyllis) Afendoulis and their daughters Mari, Elena and Sophia and Becky (Eric) Trierweiler and their children Daniel and Tina.
Tina was born on May 28, 1931 to Greek Immigrant parents, Constantine and Georgia Dallas, who provided a foundation of strong faith, love of family, and service to others and community. Tina grew up in Detroit graduating from Mackenzie High School and attending Wayne State University. She worked as a dental assistant until she met the love of her life Sam. After they married in 1955, she moved to Grand Rapids and began a devoted partnership that exuded an abundance of joy that spread to all who knew them.
In the early years of marriage they began their family and Tina helped Sam and his brothers in the family Dry Cleaning business. As a daughter of restaurateurs she encouraged Sam to expand and open the Glass Hut Drive Inn, a beloved community hangout. Many “Hutsters” remember Tina and Sam as surrogate parents and extended family.
Tina was an incredibly loving Mother and without question her four children were her greatest joy. She was the heart of their home and worked tirelessly to nurture them. She was an accomplished cook and always had a kitchen that served up what seemed to be a never-ending source of delicious food and love. Tina found great joy in doing for others and her hospitality to extended family and friends was second to none.
The Church was the center of her spiritual and community life. She was an active member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and the Ladies Philoptochos Society, which she led for many years. In service to her church she used her organizational and culinary skills to help bring Hellenic culture and an awareness of Orthodox Christianity to the Grand Rapids community. She helped established the famous Souvlaki booth at the Festival of the Arts and her well-loved pastitcho (Greek style lasagna) recipe is used for the annual charitable luncheons and food sales.
In 1975 Tina decided to go back to work at her beloved J. L. Hudson’s Department Store. Starting in Bridal Registry, she was soon promoted to manager of the China Department and eventually became a manager in Human Resources. As a quintessential people person she thoughtfully worked to place people in positions that matched their talents and interests long before it was a business best practice. She retired in 1986 having made many wonderful friends, particularly Pam Blackmer, and carrying a host of good memories in her heart.
Tina had a passion and love for the Arts and sought-out opportunities to foster the cultural life of Grand Rapids through volunteerism. This all began at The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre and eventually led to involvement with a number of organizations, too many to mention by name, but in particular the Annual Festival of the Arts. After serving as Food Booth Chairperson she was asked to Co-chair The Festival in 1977. Tina enjoyed these opportunities to serve the community and the meaningful friendships that came with that service. In 1998, she and Sam were honored with the Grand Rapids Art Award for “distinguished service to the arts and significant and lasting contribution to the cultural life of the community”. Their portrait hangs in DeVos Hall with other recipients.
Tina cherished her extended family. She was dearly loved and will be missed greatly by her niece and Goddaughter Katherine (John) Hammond, niece Maria (James) Landon, sister-in-law Alexandria Afendoulis, brother-in-law Gus Afendoulis, his children Vicki (Charles) Phaneuff, Cynthia Kay Afendoulis and Stephen (Bess) Afendoulis. Nephews George (Debbie), Ted (Terri) and Mike (Kathy) Dallas. Many great nieces and nephews, Godchildren and cousins from both sides of her family. Tina’s cousin-in-law Bess Danos was her best friend for sixty-four years and was a constant and loving presence in her life.
Although faced with the challenges of short-term memory loss Tina’s world was still filled with joy and love. She so appreciated the people and activities that filled her days; the tender loving care from Mimi Kidane, Bible Study with Father James, fellowship with her Church Tuesday Group and hair appointments with her friend and neighbor Janet Dosenberry. Resilient and capable of change, she was able to develop special new friendships with the close friends of her adult children. She felt so blessed to have been embraced by them. Tina moved to Sentinel Pointe Retirement Community in 2015 where she enjoyed the company of many warm and friendly staff and residents.
One of her nieces captured the essence of Tina. “Simply put, Aunt Tina was pure love”. Right until the end she was teaching us how to live. She showed us a life full a grace and the epitome of a grateful heart. Not a day went by that she wouldn’t say, “I’m the luckiest woman in the world”. She was wrong; it was we who were the most fortunate to have known her. Her love will sustain us and her light will shine in our hearts forever. Memory eternal dear Mother, worthy of blessedness and eternal memory.
All services will take place at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 330 Lakeside Drive NE, Grand Rapids. Visitation on Thursday November 30th from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, with Trisagion Prayers read at 6:00 pm. Friday visitation at 10:00 am with Funeral services beginning at 11:00 am.
The family would appreciate memorial contributions to The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Endowment Fund, The Holy Trinity Ladies Philoptochos Society or Lainie’s Angels Foundation.