Norton Shores, Michigan
Phyllis Helen "Fotene" Afendulis, age 84, passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 15th 2020, in Muskegon, Michigan. She was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1936 to William and Theresa Gianopoulos, immigrants from Greece. She was the youngest of six children. After graduating from Austin High School in Chicago, Phyllis attended St. Basil Academy in Garrison, New York, where she began her professional training as an educator and Greek School teacher. After graduating from St. Basil's, she worked as the church secretary and the head of the Greek school at Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Detroit, Michigan. She returned to Chicago, finished her bachelor's degree in education at Pestalozzi Froebel Teachers College, and also completed a master's degree in education at Roosevelt University. She taught first grade in Broadview, Illinois, and also Greek school in Skokie,Illinois. In 1963, she met her future husband Deno Afendulis of Muskegon, MI, and they were married at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago in 1964. The big city girl made her way to Muskegon, and she and Deno started a family together. Daughter Nikki came first, then her two boys James and Chris, and last but not least her baby girl Teresa. She was also devoted to her in-laws, the late James and Sophia Afendulis, and to her brothers-in-law Alex and Ted. She balanced her child-rearing duties with an active religious life, at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Muskegon. Phyllis was a deeply spiritual person, devoted to Christ and His church. She was active in the Daughters of Penelope, the Ladies Philoptochos Society, and as the head for many years of the church Sunday School. She was also active with the Muskegon chapter of the American Association of University Women. When her children were a bit older, she returned to the work force as an educator: first as a tutor, and then as a teacher in the Adult Education program in Muskegon Public Schools. This work in the second phase of her career brought her immense professional and personal satisfaction. In her later years, she devoted herself to the care of her daughter Nikki during her illness. The two biggest sources of joy in her life were her two grandchildren. Her grandson Costa arrived first, and her granddaughter Eleni made her entrance soon after. She was happiest when she spent time with them, from feeding them baby food well after they were babies, to conversations together in the family room, and lots of hugs and kisses and special cooking. Costa and Eleni will always remember their Yiayia's amazing cooking, especially her koulourakia! Frequent trips to Chicago kept her closely connected to her siblings, and to her many nieces and nephews, whom she adored: they adored their "Auntie Nini" just as much in return. She also loved her seven godchildren.
Phyllis is survived by her sons James and Chris (Claudine Gay), daughter Teresa Micheil (Richard), her grandson Costa Gay-Afendulis, and her granddaughter Eleni Micheil. She was preceded in death by her husband Deno, daughter Nikki (Mike Gutowsky), sisters Constance (the late Chris), Antoinette (the late Pete), Stella, and Niki (the late Sam), and brother Peter. She is also survived by her dear childhood friend Katherine Demakis of Falls Church, Virginia. The family would like to express its gratitude to longtime family friend Kathy Wilks and the staff at Poppen House for the compassionate care that they provided to our mother.
Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 11:00 AM at Annunication Greek Orthodox Church with Fr. John Sakellariou officiating. Internment in Norton Cemetery. Social distancing and masks are required at both the visitation and service per the family's request.
One hour prior to the service at Church. MEMORIAL: In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Phyllis' memory to St Basil Academy, 70 St. Basil's Road, Garrison, NY 10524. Please visit www.clockfuneralhome.com to leave a memory or sign the online guestbook.
Clock Funeral Home - Muskegon
Norton Shores, MI 49444
Norton Shores, MI 49444
So sorry to hear of Phyllis's passing. I have not been in touch for many years but when Deno and my husband, Dan, worked together at Muskegon Piston Ring (Goetze) we did many things together. She was so proud of her family. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. Priscilla Hesske
Mrs. Afendulis I will always remember your kindness and those yummy Greek cookies . I will pray fro you and your family. REST IN PEACE
Dear Chris, Jim, and Teresa,
With each event in my life, your mother was not only present, but a loving force, always prepared to help and guide me. We all spent our childhoods together and i want the three of you to know, the deep gratitude i hold for all the love and support i came to learn from your mother. She has been very special to me and i will always remember her with love and gratitude. May her memory be eternal and may she forever rest in peace.
Phyllis had a special place in our hearts! So sweet, caring and a delight to talk with. We will miss the conversations after church with you so much!
Our love to the entire Afendulis family!
Sally and Pete Pallas
I am sad to say that I only recently moved home to Muskegon and did not get the chance to know Mrs. Afendulis personally. I do know that the time she spent, more than a decade ago, teaching my (now) departed mother to bake prosforo was both enjoyable and meaningful. My mother would tell me wonderful stories of working with Mrs. Afendulis. Now that my family has settled in Norton Shores we've gotten to know Teresa, Eleni and Rich, whom we hold dear as strong, compassionate, and intelligent people . . . this is no doubt a testament to the graceful influence of Mrs. Afendulis. I am sad that I did not have more opportunity to get to know her, and I wish to thank her, immensely, for the impact she has had on my family.
Anne (Law) Patterson, and family
Dear Chris, Jim and Teresa,
Our hearts go out to you at the loss of your beautiful mom. She was always so sweet and kind..even to out little dog Bently who used to come for a visit at her back door.
I'm sure she is finding peace in the heaven of our Savior.
Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers,
The Addicott Family
I am so very sorry to hear of Mrs. Afendulis' passing. Teresa, you and yours are in my thoughts. I am grateful that my family was able to share in some of your mom's light and love. My dad thought very highly of her. I wish so much that I was in town so I could honor her and her loved ones. With Condolences, Allyson Handley
My deepest condolences on the passing of your Mom. She was always so caring and always asked how my family was doing. She was a good friend to our Mom and was so kind when she passed. Keep her memories close as you grieve her loss.
Stephanie (Danigelis) Geoghan
So sorry to hear of Phyllis's passing. I worked for Deno at for 20+ years. Phyllis was a very sweet and kind lady.
Thee are lots of wonderful memories. She always greeted us with a wonderfully warm smile. May she rest in peace with the Lord
Mary Ellen Paulin
Very sorry to hear of Phyllis's passing. I loved working in Adult Ed. with her. She was such a positive, kind and quiet soul. May she rest in peace.