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Evangeline Karagianis

March 10, 1918 ~ September 22, 2023 (age 105) 105 Years Old
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Evangeline Karagianis Obituary

Evangeline Karagianis “Van'' to her friends and “Yiayia '' to her family, was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island.  She was the daughter of Eleni and Harry Gunaris, who had emigrated from Greece and Albania.  Van had an older sister, Ann, as well as a younger brother, George, who died at a very young age.  As a child, Van was conscientious and shy, but a  very active sports enthusiast.  After graduating from Central High School in Providence, she worked as a bookkeeper for an international food wholesale company, owned by the Goltsis family.


Van was married to John G. Karagianis in 1942, and lived in Wilson Park in Brighton, MA.  After her only son, George was born they moved to Needham, MA where she worked with her husband in their family business, Crossman’s Market.  Later, they purchased J.W. Higgins Co., a country market and liquor store in Dover, MA. 


In 1955 John was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, requiring significant surgery and hospitalizations.  Van then juggled operating the business, raising her son, and supporting her church, with frequent trips to doctors and hospitals.  In 1959, as John recovered, the family made frequent trips to the Holy Land (16 in total) to visit and support shrines and churches there.


Van was a dedicated church member and active in the women’s auxiliary of St. Demetrios Church in Weston, MA and worked as a volunteer at the VA hospital in Bedford, MA.  In addition, she and John did frequent entertaining of friends, family, staff and clergy in their Wayland home. 


In 1974, when her husband died, Van and George operated both their businesses until 1985, when she retired to her lovely condo overlooking the ocean at White Cliffs, in Plymouth, MA.  Van spent many happy years there and eventually moved in with her family in Milford, in 2008.  There, she was active in the Hopkinton Senior Center as an avid quilter, and attended Sts. Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church in Marlborough, MA. 


In 2017 Van accompanied her family as they retired and moved to South Carolina, where she attended John the Baptist Church in Myrtle Beach.


Van had a lifelong passion for children and adored her seven great-grandchildren (who adored her back).  She christened thirty-three godchildren and prayed regularly for each one of them.  Van also loved to cook, and would often cook for her neighbors, bringing over delicious dishes which were hard to resist.  An avid reader, it was hard to keep her supplied with books-she often borrowed 8-10 books at a time from the library!  In her spare time she also developed a passion for puzzles-crossword and especially jigsaw puzzles.  Hundreds of completed puzzles were photographed for her album!

Van leaves one son (George), her daughter-in-law (Diane), three grandchildren (Rebecca Tuchak, Christopher Malis and John Karagianis), seven great-grandchildren (Tyler, Nyla, Callie, Avery and Carter Tuchak, and Sebastian and Asher Malis), three nephews (Jim and George Tsiumis and John Anes), her thirty three godchildren, and many devoted friends and family.


“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”


1st Corinthians 13:13


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