Amalia Aivalioti-Gianopoulos was born in Pikoulianika, Sparti, Greece on April 7, 1932 to Efstratios and Hariklia Aivaliotis.
Amalia touched the lives of everyone who had the great fortune to know her. Full of love and devotion, grace and kindness, selflessness and humility, she was special beyond words.
With her twin sister, Eleni (now Sister Matthea), Amalia was the eldest of seven children. She was affectionately known as a baby-whisperer, helping to raise her younger siblings Elias, Loukas (deceased), Anastasios (Tasos) (deceased), Dimitris, and little sister Maria Aivalioti-Karkoula.
In July of 1955, she married Anthony Gianopoulos whom she said she loved at first sight. She left behind everything that she knew as she moved to join his family in Portland, Oregon. She exhibited the true immigrant and pioneer spirit that made America. It would be 10 years before she saw any of her relatives, and 17 years before she returned to Greece to see her whole family and introduce them to her children.
An accomplished seamstress who worked at White Stag for over 30 years, she then worked for Columbia (who purchased White Stag), until her retirement. Always one to stay active, she decided she needed to keep busy and went to work for Hanna Anderson until they moved production back to Europe. Amalia was admired for her work in making, repairing, and sewing authentic sets of costumes for Holy Trinity’s award-winning Greek dance program. An active participant in Philoptohos, she was also an integral part of the Greek festival from its inception, using her hands to make crafts and bake pastries throughout the years. Known for her piety and altruism, she was a lifetime member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Her family brought her the greatest joy. Amalia’s nurturing and caring disposition made her the most loving and supportive teacher. Sharing her knowledge of baking, sewing, and storytelling, Amalia raised generations and gave her whole heart to everyone.
Amalia will forever be an inspiring role model to those who remember her. Most, if not all who know her, call her a saint.
She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Anthony Gianopoulos; son, Nicholas and his wife Dimitra; daughter, Helen and her husband Denny; son, Michael and his wife Nannette. Grandchildren are Napoleon, Anthony (Randa), Spiro (Kevin), Katerina, JoeAnne, Jonathan and Thomas. Nieces and nephews include Kathy, Steve, Julie, Teresa, Anthony (Amy), Peter, Alexis, Philip, and many more in Greece. Sister-in-law and brothers-in-law living in Portland are Pauline Robinson, George Gianopoulos (Mona), and Andy Gianopoulos (Stacy).
Amalia will be missed beyond words by so many. May her memory be eternal.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Amalia's memory to Philoptochos and/or the Holy Trinity Greek Dance Program (Portland, OR).
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral
3131 NE Glisan Street, Portland OR 97232