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Dafni Antonakakis (Stathopoulos)
Dafni Antonakakis (Stathopoulos) died at home on Thursday, March 10, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her devoted husband, Yianni, and her daughters Tina and Elizabeth. Dafni was loving, dedicated, generous, and beloved by so many. Grace, beauty, strength, and elegance were her signature style, and a true appreciation for life made her value every moment. Dafni reminded her family and friends until her final days that she was leaving this life feeling fully loved and satisfied. She is mourned deeply by her family and friends.
Dafni was born on October 23, 1948 to Elisavet and Stavros Stathopoulos, in the village of Skopia, Greece where her family was displaced during the Greek Civil War. She was predeceased by her parents, her sister Hrysoula, and her brother Spiros.
Dafni leaves behind her husband of 53 years, Yianni; her daughter Tina Metis, and son-in-law Peter Metis; her daughter Elizabeth Beebe, and son-in-law Jonathan Beebe; her grandchildren, Katie, Yianni, Niko, Markos and Daphne. She is also survived and adored by her sisters Florika and Kaiti, numerous nieces, nephews and their children, along with many extended family and dear friends.
Dafni grew up in Drosopigi and finished high school in Florina. When she was 19, she helped her neighbors, who could not write, fill out forms to apply for work visas to leave Greece for America, Canada and Australia. On a whim, because there was one leftover form, she filled one out for herself. This whim brought her to Rochester to work at Hickey Freeman and to live with her uncle (Minas Stathopoulos, deceased) and his family, whom she had never met but who welcomed her with open arms and to whom she was forever grateful.
Months after arriving, she returned to Greece to marry her high school sweetheart, Yianni, who has spent his life loving her, and admiring her as a wife, a mother, grandmother, and friend. Together, they started a life in Rochester: two daughters, a new business, a new home. Dafni became an expert gardener, a fortune telling reader of coffee grounds, a thrower of superb ouzo and mezze gatherings, and a complete master of her kitchen. She nourished her friends and family every single day, and when her daughters moved away, would ship tsourekia and spanakopita across the country and even across the Atlantic to make sure her loved ones would never long for her love and the smell of her kitchen.
Dafni was active in her church and her community, including Agia Paraskevi and Philoptochos. Over the years, she also made hundreds of loukoumades to support the Greek Festivals.
Dafni was a friend to so many and was able to be a dear friend to people of all ages. And she made people laugh. She never admitted it, but she also cheated at cards, even with her own grandchildren!
Her grandchildren were her greatest pride. She loved them unconditionally. To them, she is the person who embodies love and nourishment, and who would do anything for them. Yiayia is deeply embedded in their hearts and souls and in them, she will carry on living.
Dafni’s family and friends are invited to call on Wednesday, March 16, from 5pm to 7pm at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 962 East Avenue, with Trisagion Service at 7pm. Funeral Services will also be held at the church, on Thursday March 17 at 9:30am, Interment at White Haven Memorial Park, and Makaria (Mercy Meal) to follow.
The family asks the courtesy of NO Flowers; in lieu of flowers, please make contributions in Dafni’s memory to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 962 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607 Donate Online or to the Open Door Mission, .P.O. Box 14236 Rochester, 14614 Donate Online