Demetra “Dee” (YiaYia) Contakos was born October 27, 1939 to George and Mary Kramedas in Wilmington, Delaware. She passed peacefully September 29, 2021 with her daughters Rene and Stacy by her side after battling several health challenges over the past three years.
Dee attended PS DuPont High School in Wilmington and completed a degree in teaching from the University of Delaware. She taught high school Spanish for several years, including teaching all three of her much younger brothers Greg, Ted, and Tony at PS DuPont.
Dee married Samuel Contakos in 1965 and subsequently moved to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where she and Sam opened and ran a restaurant. While in Johnstown, Dee birthed three children - Irene (Rene), Anastasia (Stacy), and Christos (Chris). The family moved back to Wilmington in the late seventies, where Dee remained until 2007, when she moved herself and her aging father to Portland to help care for Rene’s son Michael, then daughter Amalia. Dee was also an incredible YiaYia to Stacy’s daughters Alexandra (Alex) and Casandra. Dee could always light up a room, but she was always most lit up herself when her grandchildren were with her.
Dee was known to everyone as incredibly hospitable, so much so that several of her children’s friends considered her a “second mom.” Her love of life, her lively eyes, her frequent smile and her boisterous laugh were literally infectious and contagious!
Dee absolutely loved people and socializing and weaving elaborate and humorous stories. She loved her dog Oreo, the New York Times crossword (she did it in pen!), and was a voracious reader. She was also famous for her incredible Greek dishes pasticcio, tiropita, and galaktoboureko.
She is already, and will always be, deeply missed by so many friends and family, including Rene, her husband Mark, and her children Michael and Amalia; Stacy, her husband Stephan and their children Alex and Casandra; and Chris and his fiancé Tina.
Funeral service will 2 pm on Saturday, October 2nd at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 3131 NE Glisan Street in Portland.
Donations may be made, in lieu of flowers, to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Demetra Eleni Contakos, please visit our floral store.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral
3131 NE Glisan Street, Portland OR 97232