Phaedra Koveos was born on July 31, 1947 in Larnaca, Cyprus. She was the 10th child to Nikolaos Christodifides and Efrosini Petrou Christofidou. One of her first memories was when her brother Stelios became engaged to Irinoula. She remembered it because of her father’s reaction. He had said, “Δεν θελουμε προίκα. Μόνο το κορίτσι θελουμε.”
She didn’t have too many memories of her father because he worked a lot but she remembered losing him in January, 1955, when she was just 7-years-old. From that point on, her mother worked at the family καφενείο, carrying buckets of water to keep the business going and support her children. Mom always spoke of her mother with such admiration, talking about how hard she worked for her family. Her eldest sister, Koula, took care of mom. She made sure she went to her piano lessons and that she had everything she needed at school. She would say, «Η Κουλά με μεγάλωσε.» One day when a teacher smacked mom and left a mark close to her eye, Koula went to the school and threatened the teacher.
Mom is survived by five of her 9 siblings, Koula, Stelios, Taki, Chloe, and Miro. The others, Petros, Stavros, Maroula, and Antoni, she has joined in heaven.
After traveling the globe visiting her siblings, mom settled in New York where she married Konstantinos Koveos in 1975. Twenty months later in January 1977 she gave birth to her first baby after a difficult delivery. She prayed to Αγία Ειρήνη Χρυσοβαλάντου to keep her baby safe and named her baby girl Chrisovalantou. Almost three years later Nicky came and then Froso in 1983. There was nothing more that mom wanted than to be a mother. And she was the best mom, doing everything her girls needed and wanted. One day when she said to Nicky. “I had the best mom” Nicky said, “No you didn’t, because I have the best mom.” And mom beamed.
She gained three sons in Paul, Billy, and Joe, when her daughters married. Before each wedding, she threatened each of them that they better take care of her girls.
The only thing she loved more than being our mom was being a yiayia. Her love for her grandchildren, especially Dean because (she joked to make the others jealous), “He’s my first” was immeasurable. She is survived by her five grandchildren, Dean, Nikki, Zoe, Fotini, and Thanasi. She had one grandchild on the way, who she’ll never get to meet. Instead, when the baby comes it’ll have a guardian angel.
She is survived by family members in Cyprus, Australia, England, and the United States. Siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and friends are all devastated.
In these last few years, mom spent her time with dad traveling to Cyprus, visiting various supermarkets for the best deals in produce and meats, and cooking for her family. When she found out she was sick she told her three girls, “Να είσαστε αγαπημένες και να προσέχετε τον πατέρα σας.”
We don’t know how long mom was sick because, like a true mother who always put everyone else first, she didn’t tell us that she wasn’t feeling well. After a very short hospital stay, she went on her «μακρινό ταξίδι» just before 5 am on March 13, surrounded by her family. She has left them all stunned and heartbroken.
Mom was loved by everyone who knew her, from her daughters’ friends to her own friends with whom she shared coffee and κουβέντα. She was the first person to step up to help someone in need.
Visitation is 4 to 8 pm, Sunday, March 15 at Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Home, 47 Jerusalem Avenue in Hicksville, NY. Mom’s funeral service will be at noon Monday, March 16 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, also in Hicksville. Burial will be St. Margaret’s Cemetery in Plainview.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in mom’s name payable to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church sent to 60 Avoca Avenue, Massapequa Park, NY 11762
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