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Welcome to the memorial page for

Penelope A (Janakas) Metaxas

July 9, 1921 ~ April 5, 2017 (age 95)

Former Greenfield resident, Penelope (“Penny”) Metaxas, died at the Lafayette Rehabilitation Facility in Marblehead, Massachusetts on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. She was 95. Penny was born in Georgitsi, Greece, a small Laconian mountain town with a commanding view of the plains of Sparta. At the age of eighteen, shortly before the catastrophe of World War II, and with the help of her brother Costas and sister Athanasia, Penny took the first brave step in fulfilling her dream of emigrating to America. With both sadness and hope, she left her parents and other siblings and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Cambridge, Penny lived with her sister Athanasia, a strong and generous woman with whom Penny shared a deep, lifelong friendship. During World War II, Penny moved to Springfield, Massachusetts to help her brother Costas operate his restaurant, the Jennings Tea Room.

In 1948, Penny met and married the love of her life, Marios Metaxas. They shared 57 years together in Greenfield, Massachusetts where Penny became a beloved member of the Metaxas family and developed an abiding friendship with her cousin, sister-in-law, and neighbor, Effie Metaxas. Penny and Marios also enjoyed a large circle of close friends, within and outside the Greek-American community. In particular, the couple were blessed with a warm and close relationship with “younger” friends Emmanuel and Fotini Ninos and family, a friendship that continued for the rest of Penny’s and Marios’s lives.

A deeply religious woman, Penny also cherished the membership she and her husband had in Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Holyoke.

In May of 2005, health challenges caused Penny and Marios to move to the Oceanview assisted-living apartments in Beverly, Massachusetts. Sadly, Marios passed away shortly after their arrival there.

In 2009, health issues forced Penny to move again, this time to the Lafayette in Marblehead. Although she loved living in her Oceanview apartment with its beautiful view of Marblehead harbor, Penny accepted the change with the optimism and grace that characterized her entire life’s journey.

Anyone who met Penny was enriched by the warmth and affection she generously extended to those around her. Whether “teaching Greek” or giving advice to the loving and attentive staff at the Lafayette or joking with the folks at Oceanview or the Franklin County Medical Center where she was a volunteer, Penny treated everyone like a member of her family. Despite limited formal education, Penny had deep, “street-smart” insight which she shared freely with those needing a bit of help facing some of life’s thornier issues. She saw the best in circumstances and people and consistently expressed gratitude for the gifts God had given her. Even after losing her eyesight to macular degeneration a year and a half ago, an experience that would weigh darkly on most people, Penny continued to see her life as rich with blessings. Penny was also deeply grateful for the love and care provided in later years by Pat Waron who became like the daughter Penny had always wished for and Eleni Stephanides who enriched Penny’s life with her friendship and delicious Greek food.

Penny had six siblings who predeceased her: Angeliki, Athanasia (“Ethel”), Costas (“Charlie”), Eleni, Portia, and Antigonos (“Andy”). She is survived by three sons and their spouses, Luke and Pamela Metaxas of South Hadley, Massachusetts, Anthony Metaxas and Peter Battisto of Lynn, Massachusetts, and Stephen and Sharon Metaxas of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania; and two grandchildren, Mark and Luke Metaxas. In addition, Penny leaves many cherished nieces and nephews and valued friends.

A calling hour will be held on Monday, April 10, from 11:00 to 11:30 AM at the Episcopal Church of St. James and Andrew in Greenfield. The funeral service will follow at 11:30 AM. Burial will follow in Green River Cemetery.

 In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in the name of Penelope Metaxas to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 410 Main Street, Holyoke MA 01040.

Arrangements are under the direction of Kostanski Funeral Home, Greenfield,

Sympathy messages available at

 Service Information

April 10, 2017

11:00 AM to 10:30 AM
St. James Episcopal Church
Greenfield, MA

Funeral Service
April 10, 2017

11:30 AM
St. James Episcopal Church
Greenfield, MA

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