Constance ( Kessaris ) Christo, wife of Louis Christo of Beverly and mother of George Christo of North Andover and Stephen Christo of Beverly, died on April 21, 2017 at Ledgewood Nursing Home in Beverly.
Constance was born in Beverly on September 10, 1922 of Greek immigrant parents, Mary and James Kessaris. She was the fifth of ten children-a large, lively, and well-known family. Connie lived in Beverly her whole life, and never wanted to live anywhere else
At the age of seven, the Kessaris family moved back to Greece. That move lasted two years. The American Dream could not be denied! Despite returning to the USA after the short time in Greece, Connie did have the opportunity to meet all of her family in Greece and maintained great family ties for most of her life. Her love for the USA, Beverly, and the American way of life was the motivator for her whole life. She went through school with honors including the National Honor Society. She was active in the 4H Club, helped care for her younger siblings, and learned how to cook and sew with great skill. Her favorite pastime was traveling. Whether on a bicycle, on a train, plane, or in a car, Connie would relish new locations, adventures, and friends.
When WWII began, Connie got a job at the General Electric in Lynn where she rose to Personnel secretary. On one of her tours to a USO dance on Cape Cod she met her future husband, Louis. They were married on September 29.1946, were blessed with two devoted sons and a large extended family in the USA and Greece. The stories of Connie helping find employment opportunities for family and friends were many. Her manager thought she was a very accomplished employee, and marveled at the fact that she had hand made all of her work outfits. Connie became one of the first Super Moms - with a full time job, an employed husband, and eventually two sons. With responsibility mounting at home, Connie became a stay at home Mom for a few years -caring for her husband, sons and mother during the mid-1950’s. Her boundless energy and desire to be fully engaged resulted in new local employment adventures in the late 1950’s-first as Secretary to Gamble and Hayes in Beverly, and next as secretary to the President of the newly organized North Shore Community College in the early 1960s, which she performed diligently for 25 years.
As the years passed by, Connie continued to care for her family and indulge in her favorite pastimes. Her mother, Mary, lived with Connie’s family, which ensured that her house became the center for all Christo and Kessaris family activity. Large Greek dinners, many savored pastries, and much laughter and story-telling were common. Also, annual international tours to exotic places were always on her schedule . She was also the go-to person for advice and help. Her common sense and desire to make a positive difference was always appreciated by those around her. Upon retirement in 1986, Connie didn’t slow down. Being idle was not acceptable. More travel, family weddings, new great grandchildren, and new adventures kept her active and engaged in life for many years. To quote Connie, “ I’ve had a great life. When I was growing up, we were poor and didn’t know it. Perhaps that’s why I appreciated everything!” To her family, life without Connie will be unimaginable. Her kindness, love, and generosity are legendary.
Connie will be dearly missed by her family and friends who hold many fond, humorous, and loving memories of her. To her husband, Louis, Connie was the beautiful Greek girl in the red shoes that he met at the USO dance.
Surviving Connie are her sons George Christo and his wife, Pamela, of North Andover; Stephen Christo and his wife, Beverly of Beverly; grandsons George Christo Jr and his wife Kimberley of Washington DC; Gregory Christo and his wife, Tracy of North Andover; and James Christo of Beverly; great grandchildren George III and Carly of Washington, DC; Benjamin and Sophia of North Andover; her sister Catherine Sigurdson of Danvers; her brother Charles Kessaris of Danvers ;and many beloved nieces, and nephews and in-laws. Connie was pre-deceased by her husband Louis; her parents Mary and James Kessaris; her sisters Jane Callichy, Mary Barry, Ethel Rowe, Effie Wallace; her brothers George Kessaris, Paul Kessaris, Kenneth Kessaris.
Funeral service will be held at the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly on Thursday, April 27. 2017 at 10am. Visiting hours will be prior from 9 am - 10 am. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Burial will be at Central Cemetery, Beverly. Contributions in Constance memory may be made to St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 54 South Common Street, Lynn, MA 01902 or St Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church, 5 Paleologos St, Peabody, MA 01960. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.
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