Thursday, July 28, 2022

Tessie Peros


        Tess Peros (a.k.a. “Tessie”, a.k.a. “Anastasia”, a.k.a. “Why are you asking me so many questions?”), 83, of Altamonte Springs, Florida, passed away peacefully at home in her sleep on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022.  Her dazzling blue eyes opened for the first time on October 23rd, 1938, the youngest of three children - and the only daughter - born in New York City to John and Stavritsa Ayvas, both Greeks, driven out of their native Turkey during the Greek and Armenian genocide.

        Tess graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, alongside singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka.  She wanted to continue her education to become a kindergarten teacher, but was discouraged by a well-intentioned, but sadly “old world” mother, who repeated the thankfully retired mantra: “What man will ever want you if you have an education?!” 

        And so, she began working a Manhattan music industry office job at famed 1650 Broadway - at which she excelled.  Soon after, at a Greek dance in Brooklyn in 1957, 19-year-old Tess was asked for her phone number by a 24-year-old Greek immigrant rascal named George Peros.  Tess said No.  But when George flashed the same insistent smile and Greek dancing moves at a second dance, she said yes.

        Tess and George were married on September 27th, 1959, had three sons, Michael, John, and Steven (who all sport “George” as their middle name), and in 1968 moved from Brooklyn to North Babylon, New York, where they raised their young family in working class Long Island.

        Tess, an indisputably world class cook of all things Greek, aided George as he founded “GP Painting and Decorating” (later re-christened, “George’s Painting & Decorating”).  Tess became an active member of Babylon’s Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and its Ladies Philoptochos, and alongside George was instrumental in the tireless fundraising that allowed the church to grow from its humble beginnings in a tiny former synagogue to breaking ground on what is today a glorious cathedral in West Babylon.

        As her children grew, Tess worked as a beautician for many years, first in a salon, then privately at her home, and then as a bookkeeper.  But it wasn’t until after “retirement” that she decided to take another stab at what her mom had shot down: working with kindergarten children.  She answered an ad to be a Teacher’s Aid and was hired, enjoying her work more than she ever had in her life. 

Tess is survived by her sons, Michael (Barbara), John (Jim), and Steven (Deana), as well as niece Stephanie, nephews John, Teddy, and Gregory, grand dogs, lots of extended family, and her most precious and loyal Misty.  A viewing and Celebration of Life will be held at Dobbs Funeral Home, 430 N. Kirkman Rd, Orlando, FL 32811, on Sunday, July 31st, from 6pm to 8pm.  Colors and laughter are encouraged.  Funeral services will be held at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 129 N Halifax Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118 on August 1st at 11:30am.

        In lieu of flowers, contributions in Tess’s name would be appreciated to Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in West Babylon, NY, or Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Daytona Beach, FL, or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.  The family would also greatly appreciate an online condolence, with any story or anecdote you wish to share, by visiting this link:


Tom said...

To a casual observer, a wife and mother of three boys might seem (literally) outmanned, but not Mrs. Peros. Thank you for being so accommodating with the guy who kept showing up at your door to watch so many movies with your sons. Once when I thought I’d been there too much, you answered the door and asked, “Where have you been?” God rest, say hello to Mr. Peros for me.

Anonymous said...

Anton,Irene and family
To Michael, John and Stephen. I will never forget the day we got together on zoom to celebrate your mothers birthday. It was great to see all of you especially the birthday girl. Her beautiful blue eyes, her great smile and the LOVE 💕 that was felt by all.
Whenever your mom, dad and Yaya came to visit us in Emerson My dad, Manny would take out the ‘Oude’ and start playing music. Everyone would get up and dance, you could feel the joy and the love of being together with family.
Now is the time to celebrate all of the cherished moments of Her life.
Eternal be her memory, eternal be her rest. Love, Anton

Anonymous said...

Athena, Aleko & Family
To our dear cousins, Michael, John, Steven and Family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Aleko and I will never forget the beautiful times we had together with your family throughout the years. There was always music at your grandparents house or my parents house during all the parties they had. When my father played the oud everyone danced. The music and food was outstanding connecting us to our Asia Minor roots. It was so much fun! I am thankful for the precious memories our families made and miss them tremendously.
Aleko and I really feel fortunate that we were able to visit Aunt Tessie in May. She seemed so happy with her beautiful smile and her big blue eyes. We chatted, reminisced and enjoyed being together. We will never forget the love we felt during our visit. We also were able to meet Deana, who made our visit even more special. You could see how proud and happy she was that her sons were there for her till the end. Bravo to all of you!
We love and will miss you Aunt Tessie but we are comforted that you will continue your journey to heaven and be reunited with your loved ones. Rest In Peace and eternal be your memory. 🙏🏻❤️✝️

Anonymous said...

An obituary which paints a picture of a special lady. I so wish that I would have had the opportunity to spend time with such a remarkable lady. I’m thinking that George must have been some charmer to attract such a beautiful woman. I do thank her for Steven who has completed my daughter’s life. Rest In Peace Tess.

Anonymous said...

I have so many fabulous memories of Tess. That is because every time I saw her she was such a bright light in the room.
I remember going to the OMA Christmas Tree festival with her and John several years back. I enjoyed walking around with her and getting her perspective on the various tree decorations. I remember we laughed quite a bit. I also remember her fabulous cooking. Oh she was quite the cook. But most of all I will miss seeing her at Christmas & hearing her laugh.
I am so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I am a Black man, who loves Greek food. Mrs. Peros (I will never be able to call her by her first name), is wholly responsible for this. Her son Mike and I have been friends since high school. We were roommates in college. As both our moms would send us back to campus with “care packages”, after the weekend. We were (and are still) brothers, so we would share. The magnificent food, spoiled me for life! I am still in search of baklava that even comes close to that of Mrs. P. And I believe that it’s for two reasons - skill and love. Everything she touched, was filled with love - not just for her boys but for their friends, who always felt like we were her boys, as well. Thank you, Mrs. Peros. God bless you. We love you. I know that all who encounter you in heaven, will be well loved and well fed. ❤️

Connie said...

Tessie came into my life in our Very Senior Years and to both our surprise we became very close. She knew how I missed my friends from CA and was always a good listener. We spoke of how we raised our family and made friends along the way and then we met and a wonderful friendship began. I am so happy to have had her friendship and love and I miss her smiling face already.

Athan Vorilas said...

Just a wonderful lady. Her impact along with her wonderful husband will always be felt at our St. Nicholas Babylon community. May their memory be eternal.

Anonymous said...

I didn't have the pleasure of meeting Tessie but from the description of her and her life, we would've been fast friends. 💖 Deepest condolences to John and the Peros family and extended family. May her Spirit and illuminating smile continue to light up your hearts. Love, Margaret Nolan

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful life Tess has lived—filled with joy, great food, and loving generosity. I envy those who knew her well and send heartfelt condolences to her family. As this lovely obituary says, in her memory, “colors and laughter” are indeed “encouraged.” Sending love and comforting thoughts to all, especially my beloved John and Jim. —Peg O’Keef

Rose Markisllo said...

Mom is what I called you back in my 20's, and what I call you today. In contrast to the time before I met you, you showed me what it meant to be a family, to be kind, and generous and loving. It changed me, I had a new perspective of how life could be. Little did I know that I would be fighting my personal demons for a very long time... raising two children of my own.. I worked very hard to be more like you. You knew how to have fun! Your cooking was A-mazing... your dancing was entertaining, your smile radiant!

I never knew that your dream was to be a teacher.. isn't that funny... how I became a teacher. Im happy for you that you realized your dream... its never too late. I love you with my whole heart, you know that. So happy that you are with Mr. George on the other side. I look forward to "seeing" you there when it is my time. Love to Mike and John and Steve xoxo

Anton Aneson said...

Whenever I was in Aunt Tessie's presence, she always made me feel like I was so very special.
I guess that's the way everyone felt being with her. A special lady. A special legacy.
I hope to live and pass on that legacy, as well. Grateful for how she taught us, with her life and her love.