Coula Papadatos (1916-2021)
Papadatos, Vasilike “Coula” passed away peacefully on February 22, 2021 at the majestic age of 104, surrounded by her beloved Mather Family in Evanston, Illinois. Coula was born on November 20, 1916 in Minneapolis, Minnesota as the only child of Greek immigrant parents from the island of Zakynthos. She was preceded in death by her father Haralambos Papadatos and her mother Dionysia Papadatos. Never married, she is survived by her godson Steven (Christine) Pappas, godson Michael (Vivian) Davros, cousin Spyros (Tasi) Pappas, and nephews Nicholas Canelake and James Canelake.
In the over 104 years Coula graced this earth, she lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, two Pandemics, and many other events that defined generations. She was sharp, resilient, charming, and talented. Coula loved music and had a strong alto voice that she brought to many choirs and performing groups, starting at age 15 with Saint Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church choir in Minneapolis.
After graduating from Central High School in Minneapolis, Coula moved to Chicago in 1937 with her parents and made Chicago her permanent home. She worked at various local companies as a cashier, bookkeeper, and secretary. Having lost her beloved mother Dionysia in 1952, she then spent the next 28 years caring for her father Haralambos (dec. 1980), uncle Steve (dec. 1979), and aunt Lorraine (dec. 1980).
Coula loved her ancestral homeland of Zakynthos and visited the Ionian island four times between 1951 and 1994. She also displayed a great love for cats, which emanated from her one adored cat Pipina of 18 years (dec. 1980). Coula was very proud of her Greek heritage and donated many historical artifacts to the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago. She was also very active in the Greek women’s organization Daughters of Penelope.
Coula’s greatest blessing in life came when she moved to the Mather Home in Evanston, Illinois in 1993. The void left by family lost was filled by the incredible Mather family that took care of Coula for nearly 30 years. In fact, Coula may have been the longest Mather resident ever. At age 95, Coula completed one of her life’s greatest accomplishments by authoring the history of Alonzo Mather, which was published and titled Alonzo Mather’s Legacy: The Mather Home & Beyond.
Coula was an avid reader of books and newspapers, which she read daily until her very last days. She chronicled her long life via journals and wrote her autobiography. She could often be found playing computer solitaire at The Mather. Her beautiful blue eyes and smile will be missed by all that knew her. May her Memory be Eternal.
A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021 at 10:00 AM at Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago, and the interment will immediately follow at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, Illinois. You may watch remotely online starting at 10:00 AM, as Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church livestream the Funeral Service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:
Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church
5649 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60660
1603 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201 https://www.mather.com/donate/donate-online
May her memory be eternal.