Remembering Mary Terzis Kuliopulos:
A Life Well Lived
September 20, 1931 to August 13, 2021
Mary (Terzis) Kuliopulos, 89, died peacefully at home on August 13, 2021, with her husband and daughter at her side, after a long decline following a stroke in December 2019.
Born on September 20, 1931 in Lynn, MA to parents Harikleia and Christos Terzis of Lesvos, Greece, Mary grew up in Lynn with her siblings Penelope and Charles, amidst a close-knit Greek community. Post-war times were difficult, but there were many parties and church festivities, where she was often seen on the dance floor. Mary had an artistic eye and expressed this in an elegant and striking personal style that won her awards and life-long admiration. She was both an excellent student and athlete, playing center on the basketball team.
With Mary’s beauty, wit, and intelligence, she had many suitors, but she accepted nothing short of the romantic love she found with Theo, her husband of 63 years. At the time they met, she was working in the investment department of the Shawmut Bank and he was an engineering student at MIT. They married a year later.
After their children Harriet and Athan were born, they moved from Lynn to North Reading. Theirs was a lively home, especially after the births of two more children, Paula and Christos, except for the tragedy of Paula’s infant death. Mary formed new community ties and friends through North Reading’s Newcomer Club and the Friends of the Library, while remaining close to her family and church in Lynn. She loved our political process and was a member of the League of Women Voters and worked the polls for decades. A lifelong reader, Mary read to children at the Batchelder Elementary School and joined the Flint Memorial Library book club as soon as it formed.
Mary had an adventurous spirit. She loved the outdoors, cultural events, and travel. Even with young children, she and Theo would visit museums, hike the White Mountains, attend concerts at Symphony Hall, Tanglewood and elsewhere, and visit nature preserves. As the kids got older, they’d go skiing as a family. The sea was also in her blood. In summers she’d bring the family to the beach and she and Theo would take the family sailing in their sailboat moored in Marblehead. Some summer vacations, with Mary as the navigator, they’d sail for one or two weeks around the Cape and Elizabeth Islands in their sailboat. No one seemed to mind the tight quarters as there was always something interesting to do—learning the nuances of sailing, clamming and fishing at anchor, eating the catch of the day that Mary would cook up, and star-gazing. In later years, she and Theo extended their travel adventures to Europe.
Work also played a big part in Mary’s life. With her youngest in high school, Mary returned to her cherished role as an executive assistant. She loved being part of a team, and with her intelligence and personal insights into others, she’d take on additional roles in personnel and testing software. After retiring from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), she volunteered extensively and co-managed the church office at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Andover and co-founded their Forever 49ers Club.
The golden thread throughout Mary’s life was a deep love for her extended family and friends. She loved to spend quality time with them over one of her delicious meals and attended a myriad of their events. Mary proudly followed everyone’s accomplishments and had sage advice for maneuvering through life’s challenges. As a loyal and loving wife, she and Theo lived a true love story. While her last couple of years were difficult, Mary lived with incredible grace and uncomplaining strength, remaining interested in goings on in the world and especially in the lives of her loved ones. Mary will always hold a special place in our hearts and we will miss her terribly, but we’re happy she is at peace in God’s hands.
Her funeral is on Saturday, August 28th at 11:30 am at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Andover. Her viewing is on Friday, August 27th from 4 to 7 pm at Cota Funeral Home in North Reading: www.cotafuneralhomes.com. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers can be made in Mary Kuliopulos’ name to North Reading Parks and Recreation, 235 North Street, North Reading, MA, 01864. The funds will be used to dedicate a Dawn Redwood tree to Mary at the Ipswich River Park in North Reading.
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