Original Amalia Member
Marianthi Siozopoulos Georges was born in Dafni, Kozani, a small village in the mountains of Macedonia, in 1913. At the age of nineteen, the oldest of three daughters, having known only her small village, Marianthi was told that a husband had been selected for her. He was also from Dafni but had lived in America since 1909. Coming to Philadelphia on the brink of the Great Depression, Marianthi banded with other Greeks to face difficult times. Together with her brothers- and sisters-in-law, friends, and families, living in a slum apartment, they were determined to keep their culture and religion. When the Depression ended and as World War II began, the community grew and prospered and families moved out to the suburbs.
Marianthi worked hard in the family’s restaurant and raised their two children, George and Peggy. Her home was filled with Greek culture, food, music, dancing, name day celebrations, and the rich Greek language and religion. With her friends, she helped to establish the base of the Greek American community.
Marianthi and so many of her sisters who had left Macedonia some 20 years before had never lost their concern for Greece. In 1953, while Greece still stumbled to recover from the wars, Marianthi and twenty-one other women met in the home of Constance Karros to form the Amalia Chapter of the Pan Macedonian Society. Their purpose was to send aid to Greece.
In 1957, for the first time after many years, Marianthi decided to visit Greece to see her mother and her family. She took her daughter Peggy, me, to visit the village of her childhood.
Marianthi retired from working in their restaurant with her husband in the early 1970s. She enjoyed good health and the joy of her grandchildren and friends until late in life she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Her journey through the tumult of the 20th century, her life with her friends and family in America has been a journey of determination, accomplishment, merit, and memories. We are indebted to Marianthi and her Greek American sisters.
Written by Peggy Sophia Georges, Marianthi’s daughter