OBIT - SUGAS-TELIONIS Vasso

The Roanoke Times (Roanoke, VA), January 13, 2013 | Go to article overview

OBIT - SUGAS-TELIONIS Vasso


SUGAS-TELIONIS

Vasso

Vasso Sugas-Telionis, 70, of Blacksburg, passed away on Thursday, January 3, 2013, at the University of Virginia Medical Center surrounded by her family after a heroic struggle with leukemia. A native of Athens, Greece, Vasso and her husband called Blacksburg, Va., home for the past 42 years.

Vasso leaves behind her husband, Demetri; her son, Alex; her sister, Ero; colleagues and many friends who grieve her loss, yet count it a blessing for having had Vasso as a part of their lives.

In the words of her husband? "The first time I saw Vasso, I was stunned. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. To my greatest amazement we dated and were soon married. This girl was not only incredibly beautiful, she had a wonderful personality, a great sense of humor, and a zest for life and adventure.

We could dance with Greek sailors in the harbor clubs of New Orleans or waltz at elegant Athens hotels. The two of us could giggle with stupidities as if we were kindergarten kids, or enjoy opera at the Metropolitan. We sang duets with our guitars copying Peter Paul and Mary, or play Greek bouzouki music at Greek parties.

She would surprise me with amazing presents, like an upright piano I was missing so much when we moved to the US. She was the center of attention wherever we went and the love of all of our friends and acquaintances and I glowed with pride and joy to be one of her admirers, but the one who had the greatest privilege to be with her for life, ? as long as there was life... but there is no more. And I am totally devastated."

In the words of her son? "I suspect it is not uncommon to see an obituary describe someone as "unique," but those who met my mother will never again meet someone with her unusual combination of vices and virtues.

She had many bad habits; she drank Dutch beer, smoked English cigarettes, ate Italian pastas and French carbohydrates, loved thick rare steaks, and considered sweaty exercise distasteful and bad for her hair. She swore often, had too much pride for her own good, was occasionally wrathful, and had not one ounce of restraint when dealing with those who annoyed her. But, she was also immeasurably kind, particularly to animals. I'm certain she never met a dog which didn't adore her; she had 12 of her own over the course of her life and placed sseveral others in good homes.

She had old-world elegance and class, the type considered obsolete by most of the world today. She was sharp-witted with a sharper tongue. She was a world class chef, and had an immensely varied education encompassing everything from Baroque music to modern sociology to the study of the Mahabharata.

She was the life of any party and most always hilarious. She had the wisdom (and disdain for modern technology) of a centenarian, the attitude of a young lady, and occasionally the sense of humor of a teenager; she was the type of person to play practical jokes on total strangers even in her sixties. She was as obstinate as a brick wall, as ornery as a rattlesnake, and as intractable as an old stump, with the intuition of a fox, the motherly instincts of a she- wolf and the empathy of an angel. …

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