Evelyn E. Spiratos, 80, of Newport, Rhode Island, passed away at John Clarke Nursing Center on December 6, 2019 surrounded by her loving family. She was the wife of George A. Spiratos.
Evelyn, known as “Evie” by her family and friends, was born on June 9, 1939 in Newport, RI to the late Gabriel Rego and Mary (Almeida) Rego. Her parents were Portuguese Catholic immigrants from San Miguel, Azores. Evie grew up on the family farm on Mitchell’s Lane in Middletown. As a young child her first language was Portuguese, and she became more fluent in English after she began elementary school at the old Paradise School, a one room schoolhouse still standing at the corner of Paradise and Prospect Avenues. She graduated from Rogers High School in 1957.
She overcame tremendous ethnic and religious biases against intermarriage between the Portuguese Catholic and Greek Orthodox in order to marry her high school sweetheart, George Spiratos. She married George on the day after her 21st birthday. Before her first child was born Evie converted to Greek Orthodoxy and became a devoted parishioner of St. Spyridon’s Greek Orthodox Church. For over 55 years she was an active member in the Philoptochos Society, a women’s charitable organization of the church. She was also a member of the Daughters of Penelope, an affiliate organization of the AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) which promotes the betterment of humanity through education and philanthropy. Through grace Evelyn took her last breath peacefully on an auspicious day, the Feast of St. Nicholas.
Inspired by her faith tradition and the example set by her father, Gabriel, she was devoted to a path of community service throughout her life. Before women were allowed full membership in many organizations Evie was a member of the Women’s Divisions of the both the Newport Rotary Club and the Newport Chamber of Commerce. She was active in organizing the Newport Art Festivals at Touro and Eisenhower park and sat on the Newport Housing Authority Board of Tenant Affairs. She supported fundraisers for the Heart Association, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the March of Dimes.
For over 40 years she was a member of the Women’s Auxiliary of Newport Hospital helping to raise funds for the hospital, including the purchase of art by local artists to adorn the hallways. In 2011, Evie was presented the “Auxilian of the Year Award” for her outstanding community spirit and volunteer commitment.
In addition to being an excellent homemaker and hostess, Evie worked as a property manager for several family owned apartment buildings. With her flair for style she took enormous pleasure in decorating and renovating apartments. As a landlady she enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and all walks of life. She could tell great stories about her work, life, and family.
She had many circles of friends including from Hazard’s Beach, her Women’s Book Club, and her Ladies Who Lunch Group. Evie enjoyed entertaining and being a hostess for groups large and small.
It brought her great joy to host holiday events for family and friends in her home full of festive decorations with an abundance of food cooked with love. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Greek Easter were important holidays for her.
Through her many roles in life as a wife, mother, grandmother and friend, Evelyn was kind, loving, and generous to many people. She will be greatly missed by her family and all who knew her.
Besides her husband of nearly 60 years, she leaves her four children, Katherine Carbone and husband Christopher of Newport, Stephanie Synnott of Middletown, Penelope Spiratos and her life partner Michael Kass of Reading, MA, and Anthony Spiratos of Middletown. She also leaves her two sisters, Dorothy Pettit and Mary Pedro of Middletown, and three grandchildren, Kristin Synnott, Caroline Synnott, and Christopher Synnott.
The family wishes to thank the staff of the Newport Hospital, John Clarke Nursing Center, and HopeHealth Hospice for their compassionate and professional care during her illness.
Her Funeral Service will be held, Saturday, December 14 at 10 am at St. Spyridon Church, 390 Thames Street, Newport. Burial will follow at Middletown Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to: The Philoptochos Society, St. Spyridon’s Church, 390 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840 or to The Women’s Auxiliary Committee, Newport Hospital, 20 Powell Avenue, Newport, RI 02840