Marietta Caravanos

Marietta Caravanos, age 91, died Oct. 2, 2021, of heart failure. Marietta was wife to John Caravanos and a resident of East Marion, Long Island. 

Marietta, born in Chania, Crete, Greece, was the eldest of four daughters born to Agape and Iakovos Kalamarides, the others being Loula, Klianthi and Irini. As a young girl coming of age during the war, she was influenced by many events. She remembers the family hiding fresh bread from paratroopers in the fields at their summer home in Akrotiri. The paratroopers had landed on top of the hidden bread and, thinking it was a welcome gift, gave the family their silk parachutes. The girls later made dresses out of this “exotic” fabric. 

In 1951, she was introduced and later married Yanni “John” Caravanos, also of Chania. After their wedding in Kounoupidiana, Yanni went to the U.S. to secure housing and Marietta followed shortly afterward. She boasted of coming to New York on the maiden voyage of SS Constitution in June 1951.

At the time of that voyage, she was a young and overwhelmed 21-year-old who had never left Crete. She could not speak a word of English, traveling with her sister-in-law to America and unaware she was pregnant. She always spoke of that journey in both positive and negative terms.

Upon arriving in America, they settled in Washington Heights in New York City and had two children. They later moved to Astoria, Queens, and raised a family. As a strong willed and independent woman, she pursued employment and was especially proud of her many years working for the Irving Trust Company, a bank located at One Wall Street. They eventually retired to their home in East Marion, Long Island. Marietta was well known and liked for her hospitality (philoxenia) and culinary skills. You never left her house hungry.

Marietta is survived by her two sons, Emmanuel and Jack; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren, all living in the New York area. In addition, she is survived by her siblings Loula Chrisomalides and Irini Kalamarides, also of New York.

The funeral will be at Frederick Funeral Home in Queens on Wednesday, Oct. 6, from 2 to 8 p.m. Morning church services will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Queens, with burial immediately following at East Marion Cemetery. A full lunch (makaria) will follow immediately afterward (details will be provided).

This is a paid notice.

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