Zoe (Joy) Velonis (née Kavidopoulos) passed away on May 31st, 2011 at the age of 69. After a long and hard battle with cancer her life ended peacefully surrounded by many family and friends. She faced each day with courage and dignity until the very end.
She was born March 29, 1942 in Vathy, Samos, Greece. She moved to Vancouver in November 1963 to marry Ioannis (John) Velonis who she met as a child in Vlamari, Samos Greece.
She and John lived in Kitsilano with her sister and brother-in-law, Faye and Steve Geralis. Her first job was at Vancouver Hudson’s Bay Company cafeteria, and after many years of hard work and a short stint in Penticton, BC, she and her husband opened up a restaurant of their own in Lynn Valley. After the tragic death of her brother, Kostas Kavidopoulos, they moved to Chilliwack where they ran several different restaurants: Homers, the Navaho, Deana’s and lastly John’s Family Restaurant, and raised their three children. She took great pride in the work she did and always made her family her top priority. Throughout her life Zoe’s faith was very apparent to those around her and she led her life by example.
She is survived by her ever loving husband, John Velonis of 48 years, her son George Velonis, her daughter Athina Velonis, son-in-law, Christos Gitersos and her four granddaughters Zoe and Amelia Velonis and Mariana Zoe and Stella Gitersos who affectionatley know her as yiayia. They were her pride and joy and she lived for her frequent visits from them. She is also survived by her brother Emilios Kavidopoulos and her nephews Panagiotis and Kosta and their families of Vathy, Samos.
She also leaves behind relatives in Greece, California, Portland, Seattle and Australia, and many close friends in Chilliwack and Vancouver.
She was predeceased by her brother Kosta Kavidopoulos (1968), her daughter Deana Velonis (1987) and her parents Panagiotis and Stella Kavidopoulos of Samos, Greece.
A viewing for family and friends will be held on Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 at 7:00 pm at Henderson’s Funeral Home in Chilliwack, BC. A funeral service will be held on Friday, June 3rd, 2011 at 12:00 pm at St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church, 4500 Arbutus Street, Vancouver.
The Velonis family would like to thank all of their family and friends that have supported them and her throughout her life and especially the last seven years. Also, a special thank you to the nurses at Cascade Hospice who made her final moments as comfortable as possible. She was well loved and will be greatly missed.
Online condolences can be left at www.hendersonsfunerals.com