Joyce Flamos Fisfis My Yiayia, Living Life to the Fullest
The definition of “joy” is “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness,” and those characteristics are what made my grandmother who she was. Joyce Fisfis was a selfless person whose sole purpose in life was to make others around her smile and enjoy life.
Joyce Flamos was born in 1928 in Connecticut to immigrant parents from the island of Chios. She had an older brother, George, and when she was a young girl, her family decided to move to Philadelphia, where her father opened up a luncheonette, “Peps.” Joyce graduated from Frankford High School and married Nicholas Fisfis of Monessen, Pennsylvania in 1949. Nick and Joyce opened an imported Greek food store on Castor Avenue and a food distribution company that served the tri-state area. They were a huge part of St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Joyce was the president of the Philoptochos for several terms. Together, Joyce and Nicholas built a wonderful life for their two children, Peter and Carol, and eventually their five grandchildren.
Since I was her second grandchild and was named after her, this was an honor that was bestowed upon me. Joyce was able to walk into any situation and bring a smile to everyone’s face. She made sure she went out of her way to greet everyone and made them feel that they were the most important person in the room. There was not a malicious bone in her and she loved life to the fullest. She was one of a kind who is missed every day by everyone who had ever met her.
Sadly, we lost her fifteen years ago this March. To this day, people remind us often how much they miss Joyce and her love of living life to the fullest.
Submitted by Joyce Stavrakis, Joyce’s granddaughter