Elpiniki Lamera My Maternal Grandmother
Elpiniki (Niki) Lamera was born in Piraeus in 1915 as first of six children.
She had to work from the age of 12 as a shoemaker.
During World War II she had some major misfortunes in her life. She lost her father and her new husband. Despite the tragedy, she remained dedicated to her daughter (my mother) for the rest of her life and worked hard to help her become educated.
After my sister and I were born, she became the major caretaker for us, as our mother was working full time. Throughout these years she always lived her life following the principles of hard work, fairness and forward-thinking and she was always consistent in her guidance and decisions.
She was always a dedicated sister and aunt to the rest of her family. As she grew older, when my first daughter was born, her thoughts were on how to help my family raise her.
Olympie Papadopoulou My Paternal Grandmother
Olympie Papadopoulou was born in Prokopi, in Cappadocia, Asia Minor, present-day Turkey, in 1921.
She came to Greece with her family in 1924, at the age of three, with the population exchange and settled in Piraeus. She was the oldest of five siblings.
She started working at her father’s tailor shop at the age of twelve.
During the war, her marriage fell apart and for the rest of her life, she dedicated herself to the care of my father. She worked hard against established norms and was one of the few women running a men’s tailor store in her era. She supported my father during his education and in her fifties, she immigrated to the United States, where she worked at designer houses in New York.
During her retirement, she supported myself and my sister during our studies in North America. She lived her life with a “can do” attitude, always being positive and extremely hard working with complete dedication to her family.
Submitted by Denis Hadjiliadis, MD.