February 22, 2013 6:09 AM
"Yiayia Maria" fell asleep in the Lord on February 9, 2013. Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1919 to John and Zoe Kottalis, she was raised in Greece, returning to the U.S. in 1938. She met and married her beloved John in1940 and settled in Flint, Michigan, where they raised their two children, James and Andriana. Possessing a vibrant personality and boundless energy, she excelled at everything she tried, becoming an accomplished cook, gifted and creative seamstress and an enthusiastic lover of Opera. She was grateful for her many years and made the most of each day, determined not to waste the time God had so generously granted her.
After John retired they headed west to Sacramento, thrilled to leave the Michigan winters behind! Their final move, in 1973, was to Santa Barbara, which they enjoyed together until his passing in 1977. An innately intelligent woman, she loved attending lectures, concerts, Adult Education classes, 10 mile walks, and practicing yoga, maintaining her amazing flexibility into her 80's. And if you wanted to know the latest happenings around town, you only had to call Maria who never missed her daily News-Press. She was loved and respected for her inner strength and independent, irreverent spirit and zest for learning. In her children and grandchildren's eyes,"Yiayia" possessed the loyalty, courage and fearless heart of a warrior. Never to be forgotten, we will carry her legacy and treasure her memory forever.
Maria is survived by her son James (Martine), daughter, Andriana Kolendrianos (Ernest), grandchildren John (Elizabeth) and Cecile Stamos, Chrisopher Kolendrianos (Megan), Alexanda Ramirez (Michael), and her precious great grandchildren Sorel, Xander and Melina.