Mary Manesis was taken by Our Lord on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.
Mary was born in Rockford, Illinois on March 27, 1918, the daughter of Greek immigrants, Nicholas and Anna Pikios. In 1936, she married Nick Manesis, who was the owner of the Don Smith Café in Eau Claire, Wisconsin from 1927 to 1947. The family lived in the city until 1950, and then moved to Denver, Colorado. From 1952 to 1966 Nik owned City Park Sundries on 2101 York Street. In 1966 Nick and Mary and their three younger children returned to Wisconsin and made their home in Madison. Nick died there in 1981. Mary married Russ Hempel in 1986 and they resided in Lompoc, California. After Russ’ death in 1992, she lived in Santa Maria, California. In 1996 she moved to Austin, Texas.
Mary and Nick raised six children; Dale, who died in 2016; Dina of Cedarburg, Wisconsin; twins, John (Bess) of Fargo, North Dakota and George (Georgia) of Kenosha, Wisconsin; Danny (Stacey) of Waukesha, Wisconsin; Joann (Bill) Galazios of Austin, Texas; Peter, who died in 1999; and Chris of Madison, Wisconsin; other survivors include her brother, Chris; fourteen grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents and sisters, Katie and Lola.
Mary was in every sense the quintessential Greek mother, a page out of Nicholas Gage’s “Eleni.” Fiercely loyal to her children, she taught them the importance of loving each other, believing in God, respecting their elders, pursuing their dreams, and fighting for those things dear to their hearts. Forever she will be missed. “Eonias Imnimi” (May Her Memory Be Eternal)
In lieu of flowers please make donations in Mary’s name to the Greek Orthodox Church, 414 St. Stephens School Rd., Austin, Texas 78746.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, April 10, 2017 at 10:00 am at Smith Funeral Chapel with Father Herman officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the services at the funeral home on Monday. Burial will follow the service at Forest Hill Cemetery next to her husband, Nick Manesis.