Winthrop — Harriet (Pappathanasi) Maistrellis, 78, of Winthrop, formerly of Peabody, wife of William “Bill” Maistrellis, died surrounded by her loving family on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at the Florence E. Chavetz Home in Chelsea following a long illness.
Harriet was born in Peabody, on July 6, 1935, daughter of James and Georgia (Scangas) Pappathanasi. She was raised in Peabody, attended and graduated from Peabody High School, Class of 1953, and pursued her education at Fisher Junior College, receiving her Degree in 1955.
Harriet was first employed at GTE Sylvania in Salem, and spent the majority of her career at the West Lynn Creamery as Director of Purchasing.
After living in Peabody for most of their lives, Harriet and Bill were the first of their friends to “downsize,” and moved to Winthrop to be closer to the sea and their boat, the “Ralise” and later the “Hera.” Harriet caught more fish with her string, hook and worms than others with their rods, reels and lures. She loved Greek dancing and a good party. Though not overly fond of cooking, she loved to entertain, and guests always enjoyed her shish-ka-bob, or if lucky, a freshly caught fish with lemon, butter and toasted almonds. She made a mean cheesecake. In the winter she grilled steaks in the garage. Harriet had a big heart, and there was always “room for one more,” as evidenced when she and Bill made a split-second decision to have Bill’s visiting 17-year-old cousin from Australia, John Maroulis, live with them so he could study art in Boston for four years. Harriet quickly became John’s second mother, a relationship they both cherished. She loved to garden, and often stopped and stooped to weed in her high heels, while carrying her pocketbook and a stack of papers in one arm, on her way in the door from work. Weekends were sacred, and Harriet spent them with the people she loved. She had countless fun times and good laughs with her sisters-in-law, who were also her best friends, Rust Pappathanasi, Anita and husband, Tom Buchanan, and the late Gail Maistrellis Murray, and her cousin-in-law, Trudy Scangas. She cherished her yearly winter vacations in St. Maarten with friends and family. Later in life she found she had a talent for painting and shared that passion with her grandchildren. Harriet was incredibly loving, generous, supportive and will be dearly missed.