Chrisafia A. Chrisanthopoulos peacefully fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, November 5, 2021, with her beloved son by her side.
Chrisafia was born in September 1937, to Sotirios A. and Petroula (Calomeris) Koutsovitis, in Geraki, Geronthron, along Mount Parnonas near Sparta, in Laconia, Greece.
As a young girl, Chrisafia quickly learned the qualities of discipline, responsibility, courage, and determination, having experienced firsthand the effects of the German Occupation during WWII, the Greek Civil War that followed, as well as having to raise her two younger brothers alone at 17 years of age while her parents were in Athens for her mother’s health needs.
The foundation of these qualities was her faith in Christ. From a little girl, she would attend services with her mother at the Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in her village, quickly learning the traditions and hymns of the church, which she continued and chanted joyfully throughout her life.
Also, throughout her life, Chrisafia enjoyed singing many Greek Traditional Folk songs with her beautiful melodic voice. She looked forward to the Holidays when she would enthusiastically sing all verses of the traditional Christmas and New Year’s Carols every year.
She attended elementary school in Geraki and high school in Sparta. While in school, she was appointed leader for her class exercise program, while competing in track and field, notably triple jump and high jump.
Chrisafia had a strong passion for the arts. She enjoyed drawing, knitting, crochet, and needlepoint. After high school, she applied her artistic abilities in the field of cosmetology, styling the hair of her friends and neighbors. She attended cosmetology schools in both Sparta and Athens, returning to Geraki, where she quickly built a loyal clientele.
Her fondest memories of growing up in Geraki was helping her mother with cooking and house chores, raising her two younger brothers, harvesting olives, feeding her father’s sheep, and above all, riding through her father’s olive groves on her beautiful and loyal horse, Kokkina, which she greatly loved.
In 1961, Chrisafia traveled to the United States aboard the Greek Liner Queen Anna Maria to visit her aunt Panagiota, who helped raise her mother when they both prematurely lost their mother.
During her visit, Chrisafia met and became engaged to Andrew P. Chrisanthopoulos. They were married at Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia, which they attended for many years with their son. At the Cathedral, Chrisafia established the Hellenic Language Catechism Class and was director of the Greek-speaking parts for the Christmas Pageant and other Sunday School presentations. She greatly enjoyed teaching the many students that attended her class throughout the 32 years she educated.
She also participated in the Cathedral Choir, volunteered at the Church Festival, and demonstrated Diakonia by welcoming new visitors to the church.
Shortly after her marriage, Chrisafia attended beauty culture school, gained her Cosmetology License, and established herself as a dedicated hairstylist with a loyal following at Gimbels and Strawbridge & Clothier Department Stores, establishing long friendships throughout the years.
In addition to her joyful and melodic singing, Chrisafia enjoyed cooking, having hosted many family and friends. She also enjoyed gardening, keeping in touch with family and friends, knitting, decorating, reading the Bible and other religious books, and sending Christmas and Easter Cards.
She will always be remembered for her faith, courage, strength, and dignity, but above all, her compassion and love for others. Among her final words was the phrase ‘Continue to look forward towards the Light [of Christ]. For where there is love, there is life.’
Chrisafia was predeceased by her loving husband of 25 years, Andrew, survived by her beloved son, Panagiotis, her brothers Nicholaos (Emelia) Koutsovitis, Athanasios (Eleni) Koutsovitis, nephews Petros Koutsovitis, Sotirios (Ioanna) Koutsovitis, Sotirios (Elisavet) Koutsovitis, niece Rafaela Koutsovitis, grandnephew Nikola, grandnieces Emelia, Paraskeve-Eleni, Athanasia.
She is also survived by her cousin George (Carmina) Ayazides and family Christopher, George Jr., Alexandra/David/Andrew/Anna Collavecchio, Thad/Hillary/Kai Alexander, and many loving family and friends.
Friends and family are invited to her viewing from 10 am to 11 am on Thursday, November 11, 2021, at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. George, 256 S. 8th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107. Funeral service to follow at 11 am. Interment will follow at Westminster cemetery.
Contributions may be made to St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral.