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Despina Thelma Vasmanolis

Despina Thelma Vasmanolis

Tuesday, April 23rd, 1929 - Sunday, August 2nd, 2020
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Obituary

VASMANONLIS, Despina Thelma

Thelma was born in Samos in April 23, 1929. Her parents were Emmanuel & Eleftheria. She was the youngest of 4 children Mihalis, John, and Mary who are now all deceased. She wanted a better life from the hardships of what post war Greece had to offer and immigrated to Toronto in search of better opportunities. She worked for a Greek Macedonian family in Toronto who owned a number of downtown restaurants. She took care of their three children and lived in as a nanny. She was very much loved and a part of the family for years to come. Her kind, friendly and loving demeanor made her a natural care giver.

Once settled she sponsored her older sister Mary her husband Gus and their son George who also immigrated to Canada. In years to come she also helped her mother Elefteria immigrate and care for young George whose parents were trying to get a foothold economically in Toronto. Mihalis her older brother followed years later and that set the family on a new life path in Canada.

Thelma had been corresponding with Vasili Vasmanolis a good friend and soccer teammate of her older brother Mihalis in Samos. The two decided to wed and arrangements were made for Vasili to immigrate to Canada. The couple married at the Geek church St. George in Toronto. Vasili also went to work for the Macedonian family in one of their restaurants. Thelma and her sister Mary were very close and like many European families moved into residences in Kensington market. They also joined with other Samian families who had immigrated to Canada in search of a new life.

Although the mid-fifties were a difficult time in Canada the families pulled together and supported each other. They were comforted to have the cultural familiarity of their backgrounds while they struggled to make a new life. Although Thelma had been through some difficult times in Samos with the Italian and German occupation, this was an opportunity for a new life. She learned to speak the language and accepted her new surroundings. She gave birth to her one and only child Mary in 1959.

Thelma took to motherhood naturally and was always loved by the children around her. Her warmth and acceptance made it easy for children to love her. So to she was very much loved by her peers who found her to be a very non judgmental and caring individual. She had a pleasant and warm smile that made her very approachable. She seldom had a bad thing to say. Later when the children who she cared for grew up, she went to work in the Macedonian families restaurants. Her pleasant demeanor made her a natural with customer service and her patrons spoke highly of her. She and her husband had a successful and happy marriage until Vasili, “Bill” passed away on March 21, 2008.

Up until that point She and her sister Mary either lived close by, shared a house or lived in the same Condo Building together. Their lives were lived closely together, and their children felt they had two sets of parents. The families would worship together, celebrate together and travel back to Samos to their patriarchal home for long summers.

Although never rich they found what they had longed for, a safe and content life in a healthy country where they could be Greek Canadians. Thelma was the one who opened the door for her family and made that possible. She has been a survivor all these years and deeply loved by her family. She leaves behind her daughter Mary who has attended to her needs to the end, along with her husband John. Also her nephew George and his wife Emely, her niece Anna and great-niece Alexa, nephew Mike and wife Krista. She will be forever in their hearts. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Hellenic Home for the Aged.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, August 5th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    When
    Wednesday, August 5th, 2020 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Location
    Bernardo Funeral Homes (Dufferin)
    Address
    2960 Dufferin Street
    Toronto, Ontario M6B 3S9
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Location
    Private Funeral Liturgy
    Address
    Address Not Available

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