Martha Karakitsos, nee Leotsakos, age 89, of Apidea Laconia, Greece, passed away on Sunday, December 20, 2020. Beloved wife of the late George Gyftakos, and later of the late Peter Karakitsos. Loving mother of Michael (Peggy) and Timothy (Leonor). Proud grandmother of Martha, George (Alejandra) and Martha Maria Gyftakos. Devoted daughter of the late Reverend Michael and the late Presbytera Panagiota, nee Vlogiannitis, Leotsakos. Dear sister of Angela (the late Peter) Tavoularis, Hrisafia (Elias) Capouleas, John (Zoe) Leotsakos, Konstantinos (Kyriaki) Leotsakos and Paul (Maria) Leotsakos. Martha is preceded in death by siblings, Barbara (the late Konstantinos) Matthopoulos, Demetra (the late Demetrios) Grammatikakis, Evrethiki (the late George) Aliferis, Nikos (the late Joanna) Leotsakos, Sotiris (the late Iannoula) Leotsakos and Takis Leotsakos. Gratitude goes to Eleftheria Agorianits, who shared a loving bond with Martha for many years and created memories that will last a lifetime. Fond aunt, cherished godmother, cousin and trusted friend of many, here and all around the world.
Martha was a philanthropist whose life’s purpose was to help her fellow human beings. Martha was a selfless person and had a passion for making a significant contribution to society as a whole. Martha lived her life in devotion to God and the Greek Orthodox faith. Throughout most of her life, Martha served as a Board Member of many Hellenic American Non-Profit Organizations, whose mission is to preserve, promote and further the Hellenic history, traditions and values, and more specifically, the Laconian heritage and culture. Martha served as Honorary Vice President & Publicity Director of the Sparta Society of Chicago, Publicity Director & Ambassador at Large of the Pan-Laconian Federation of the United States and Canada, Inc., Member of the Knights and Ladies of Sparta and Member of the Board of Directors & Publicity Director of the Pan-Laconian Progressive Brotherhood of Chicago.
Despite the difficulties Martha faced early in her life, she managed with unparalleled dignity, conscientiousness, honesty, and morality to overcome them and fought to achieve the goals she had envisioned. Martha was a compassionate, optimistic and dynamic human being. Martha’s tireless lifetime engagement in philanthropic deeds in Chicago and Greece are reflected in the awards she deservedly received, recognizing her outstanding and devoted service and distinguished contributions towards the advancement of the programs and progress of the aforementioned associations, as well as to the Hellenic Community. Through hard work, dedication, resilience and faith in God, she persevered and built a better life for herself and her family. She raised her family with endless love, integrity, and discipline, instilling in them the importance of preserving the traditions and values of the Hellenic culture and Orthodox faith, as well as showing love and solidarity toward their fellow man. Martha went above and beyond the call of duty to provide for her children and grandchildren, who will be forever grateful for her sacrifices and invaluable guidance. Martha was so kindhearted, generous and extraordinary that the many people whose lives she touched will never forget her. Motivated by selfless altruism, she placed the needs of others before her own. From this day forward, the loss of such a remarkable human being will create a void in the lives of Martha’s family and friends. Her loved ones mourn her passing with a heavy heart, while giving thanks for a life rich in the meaningful legacy that she has bequeathed to those she has left behind.
There will be a restricted Visitation on Sunday, December 27th, from 4 – 8pm, at Nelson Funeral Home, 820 Talcott, Park Ridge and again on Monday, December 28th, from 9 – 10am, at St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church. All guests must wear face masks, practice social distancing and no congregating will be allowed. The Funeral Service is and Interment are private. You may watch remotely online starting at 10am, as St. Haralambos livestream the Funeral service and JGA livestream the Graveside service.
Martha loved her faith and was a devout philanthropist. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made payable to the Gyftakos Family and mailed to John G. Adinamis Funeral Director, Ltd, c/o Karakitsos Family, 2800 S. River Road, Suite 170, Des Plaines, IL 60018. The donations will be forwarded to His Eminence Metropolitan of Monemvasia -and Sparta Efstathios to be used at his discretion for philanthropic endeavors.
May Her Memory Be Eternal.
Martha’s Eulogy 1:
Martha’s Eulogy 2: