Obituary of Matilda Theodore
Matilda "Tillie" (Yalanzon) Theodore passed peacefully in her sleep at home on June 16, 2023. She was the beloved wife of the late Thales Theodore of 66 years. She had a loving, gentle, warm personality and vivacious spirit that was felt by everyone who knew her.
Tillie was born on November 19, 1926 in Dayton, Ohio to parents Claudia Angelou Zaharas (1895-1950) and Athanasios Sotirios Gialantzopolous (Yalanzon) (1884-1957). She was the younger sister of Sotirios "Samuel" Yalanzon (1923-1946), who passed away at a young age from an airplane accident. She grew up on Shaw Avenue with many other Greek families that had emigrated from Kirklareli Turkey (formerly a Greek community called Saranda Ekklisies, which was later resettled in Thessaloniki in the 1920s after the Greek evacuation in Eastern Thrace). Tillie enjoyed spending time with her Aunt Mary Zaharas Papadopoulous, Aunt Zacharoula Zaharas Dostoglou, and Uncle Athanasios "Tom" Zaharas and their families.
She was an active member of the GOYA of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox church from a young age with lifelong friends Helen Vlahos Brown, Mary Gelep Hutchinson, and Nikki Gelep Zonars. As a teenager and into her 20’s, Tillie worked in billing services for Rikes Department Store and was a very active volunteer for Miami Valley Hospital and Meals on Wheels.
Tillie met her husband Thales "Ted" Theodorides (1924-2017) in 1950 at the christening of her niece Sophia Duston in Astoria, Queens NY. Ted transferred from Boston University to the University of Dayton to be with Tillie. The couple married on February 4, 1951 and the newlyweds traveled to St. Louis Missouri while Ted completed his D.D.S. at St.Louis University. They returned to Dayton, Ohio to start a family and had two daughters, Christine and Diana.
Ted and Tillie loved to travel the world together and with family and friends. They often made trips to Greece to see family and would go on many adventures with friends and family to the American West, North Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and Tahiti.
Tillie earned the nickname “Zoom-Zoom” from her family because she was always busy cooking, cleaning, and crafting. Tillie was a very creative person and was always making fun and interesting things. She enjoyed using broken pottery and tiles to make mosaics on tables, planters, and tissue boxes. She painted beautiful watercolor pictures starting in the 1980s and continued to paint until her final weeks. Tillie even taught art lessons in Duck Key, Florida where she moved with Ted in 1986. While in Duck Key, she loved playing tennis with her husband Thales and hosting parties for all occasions. Tillie and Ted would drive back up to Ohio every year to see their friends and visit family in New York and Connecticut. Tillie and Ted spent many wonderful years in Florida before moving to South Glastonbury Connecticut in 2010 to live closer to their daughters and grandchildren. Tillie loved singing to her grandchildren and great grandchildren and enjoyed finding new ways to make them laugh.
Tillie is survived by her daughters and their husbands, Drs. Christine and Jack Greene, Diana and Mark Zaremba, her grandchildren Lauren and Arthur Ziccardi, Katy and Eric Gilbert, Steven Zaremba and wife Holly Banaian, Michael and Lauren Greene, Brendan Greene and fiancé Amy Little. She is also survived by her four great-grandchildren Sofia Ziccardi, Layla Gilbert, Frederic Gilbert IV, and Maya Greene.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at 11:00 am at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 433 Fairfield Ave., Hartford. Entombment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Glastonbury. Friends may call at the Mulryan Funeral Home, 725 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm with a Trisagion service at 4:30 pm by Father George Zugravu. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. For online condolences, please visit www.mulryanfh.com