Ipswich — Bessie (Chionopulos) Viator passed away peacefully at her home, surrounded by her loving family, in Ipswich, on Wednesday, October 17, following an extended illness. Bessie was the widow of her loving husband, Arnold F. Viator of Gloucester, who passed away in 1993.
Bessie was born in Ipswich on November 1, 1926, to the late Theodore and Antonia (Sotiropoulos) Chionopulos, both natives of Greece. She attended Ipswich Public Schools and graduated Ipswich High School in 1944. While employed at Ipswich Sylvania during World War II, Bessie met the love of her life “Arnie.” The two were married on August 4, 1946 at the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Ipswich, where she was a lifetime parishioner as well as a member of the Melissa Society. Bessie was also a longtime employee for the Town of Ipswich having worked in various departments over her near 30-year career.
Bessie is predeceased by her three older siblings Helen, Sophie, and Peter; her son-in-law Frank, who passed away in 1979; and her loving daughter and best friend, Antonia (Toni) Poltack, who succumbed to a 14-year battle with breast cancer in 2009. She is survived by her devoted son, Theodore (Ted) and his wife Wendy; four grandchildren, Francis A. Poltack, of Boston, Stefanie A. Poltack, of Ipswich, Ashley E. Viator of Ipswich and Dexter T. Viator of Springfield. Bessie was also “Big Yiayia” to Taylor A. Burrill of Beverly and Brittany E. Guy, of Haverhill, as well as great-great grandmother to Rylee M. Marshall, of Beverly. Bessie also had a close relationship with her sisters-in-law, Ruth (Viator) Nelson, of Ipswich, Lillian (Viator) Campbell, of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., and Betty (Bingle) Chase of Palatka, Fla. She had several nieces and nephews and one surviving sibling, Christine (Chionopulos) Mandell of Norfolk, VA. Bessie and Arnie always thought of Father John and Presbytera Kathy Govostes and their children as extended family from the day they began serving the Greek Orthodox Church on Lafayette Road.