Helene M. Giftos, 93: Active member of Greek community shared heritage with others

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SCARBOROUGH — Helene Marie (Comas) Giftos, 93, died peacefully on Feb. 1, with her loved ones by her side.

The daughter of Mary and Peter Comas, Giftos was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, on Feb. 2, 1921. The family soon moved to the Portland area and became an integral part of the local Greek community, as well as active members of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.

She graduated from South Portland High School in 1938, and married Sarando P. Giftos on May 9, 1941. The couple raised their family in Cape Elizabeth and in Sarasota, Florida.

Helene and her husband enjoyed 64 years of marriage, surrounded by many relatives and friends. The couple traveled extensively throughout the world, including many memorable visits to their ancestral homeland, Greece. She read and wrote Greek fluently, and she enthusiastically shared her Greek cooking with others. 

When her children were grown, Giftos returned to college at the University of Maine, earning a degree in English literature. In her free time, she enjoyed playing bridge, reading and, especially, helping care for her grandchildren.

Giftos enjoyed her later years at Piper Shores in Scarborough, where she lived across the street from her daughter, Mary, son-in-law Bob and grandsons Aaron and Curtis.

She was predeceased by her husband and by a daughter, Barbara Florence Giftos. She is survived by her sister, Emilie Cherry, of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania; her three children, Mary C. Dulac, of Scarborough, Michael Giftos, of Ponte Vedra, Florida, and Helene Grossman, of New York City; eight grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff of Piper Shores and its Holbrook community for their compassionate care over the past eight years.

A funeral was held Feb. 7 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, in Portland.

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