Elisavet (Liza) Kousis passed away on the 17th of October 2016. Born in 1933 in Ardassa, Greece, she was the first daughter of Georgios and Sophia Romanidis, who arrived there with their families from Trapezounta, Pontos, under the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
Although her father was a graduate of the Frontistirion in Trapezounta, one of the oldest and most prestigious Greek educational institutions in Asia Minor, once settled in Greece, they became farmers and thus Liza was raised in a rural environment.
Nevertheless, her father instilled in her a high value for education. Unfortunately, she did not have the opportunity to go to high school, as she had to support her parents from a very early age. She helped them tirelessly in raising the family and working in the fields during the hard years of World War II and the Greek civil war. Her brother, Stylianos and her youngest sister Pelagia live in the area of Kozani with their families. Her late sister Anasta passed away in 1973.
In 1956 she married the late Theodoros Kousi, a tailor, and they lived and raised their two daughters, Maria and Elpiniki, in Ptolemaida until 1970, when they decided to immigrate to the United States in search of better economic opportunities for their family. Liza was especially motivated to discover these opportunities and offer a better life to her children.
They arrived and stayed in Philadelphia, where they initially worked in factories of the clothing industry but eventually, under Liza’s initiative, they opened a small clothing alterations and dry cleaning shop, ‘Ariston’ cleaners. Even though working hours were very long Liza enjoyed her new work environment and was respected by her customers and the people she worked with. Her customers acknowledged and appreciated her work, which was of high quality.
When Theodoros passed away in 2000, she closed the store and retired, but also moved and lived in Rethimno, Greece, close to her daughter Maria, who lives in Crete with her family. However, she returned almost on an annual basis to Philadelphia for extended visits with Elpiniki and her family.
Liza was an extraordinary woman who highly valued education, knowledge, family and freedom of choice. She had a sharp sense of rights and responsibilities which she followed conscientiously, setting an example for her family. She provided tremendous and sustained moral support towards the educational and family goals, not only for her children but also for her nieces and nephews.
Unfortunately, she was not able to win her battle with cancer in the last five years of her life, a battle she endured courageously with all the inner strength she had to the very end, to be able to see her grandchildren as long as possible.
We will always remember her for her independent spirit, for instilling us with her values, for her commitment to her work, for her profound dedication to her family and her infinite love for her grandchildren Eleftheria, Markos, Nikos, Pavlos, and Sophia.
Maria and Elpiniki
Elisavet (Liza) Kousis’ funeral will be held on October 20, 2016, 11:00 am at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia. Interment, following funeral service, at Lawnview Cemetery in Rockledge, PA.