PALLOS HILLS, IL.- Family and friends gathered on Sunday, July 18th, to celebrate the joyous occasion of Mrs. Panagiota Kassos’ 100th birthday. Mrs. Kassos was born on July 20th, 1904, in Pentalofos, a village in the province of Kozani. Throughout the 100 years of her life, she has seen many events celebrating happiness and beautiful memories. In 1925, while living in Pentalofos, she married Aristotle Kassos, and together they shared three children: Paraskevi, Vasilios, and Xanthippe. She heroically lived through the Turkish Occupation of her village, two World Wars, and Civil War before arriving with her family in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1951.
Sadly, her daughter Paraskevi passed away in 1940 at age fourteen, and her husband Aristotle passed away in 1980 at age 82. Son Vasilios married Virginia Koustas in January 1961. They reside in Haverhill, MA, and share two children: Aristotle and Panagiota. Daughter Xanthippe married Byron Stylianos Papanikolaou in September 1960, who was subsequently ordained and is currently pastor of the SS. Constantine and Helen parish in Palos Hills, IL. They share three children: Sultana, Evans, and Aristotle. These beautiful unions blessed Panagiota with twelve great-grandchildren: Athanasios, Nikolas, Byron, Zachary, Christos, Alexa, Athanasios, Arianna, Byron, Eleni, and Alexander.
Like many Greeks of her generation, the Second World War brought poverty and adversity to Mrs. Kassos’ family. The survival of her family of those difficult years and her courage to move them to the United States is a testimony to her depth of character and her steadfast determination. The fruits of that move are five college-educated grandchildren with successful careers and many great-grandchildren with hopeful futures. “Whatever good any member of our family enjoys, whatever we value,” says her youngest grandson, Telly Papanikolaou, “we would not have any of it if not for her strength, her resolve, her faith in God, in humanity, and in the future. We owe everything to her.” Mrs. Kassos’ life was simple yet rich, she had little formal education and was yet wise beyond her years. All the members of her immediate family, together with many relatives and friends, were present at the celebration to convey best wishes and to pray that Lord always keep her under His protection.