March 28, 1935 - August 1, 2007
Service Date: August 6, 2007
Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, August 5, at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home. The Trisagion Prayers of Mercy for the Departed will be prayed at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Monday, August 6, at 9 a.m. at St. John the Theologian Orthodox Church, 601 Flormann, Rapid City, with Father Thomas Williams, pastor, officiating. Burial will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery.
Helen Mantzeoros died August 1, 2007 at Rapid City Regional Hospital. At the time of her death, she was embraced by the love of God and her family especially that of her husband of 54 years, Stath. Helen was born on March 28, 1935, to Ioannis and Evyenia Georgas in the village of Kopanaki in Greece. The family lived in harsh and challenging conditions, especially during World War II. Helen married Stath Mantzeoros on August 25, 1952 at the age of 17 and came to America not knowing English or anyone in the country. Although she worked for a nursing home and a dry cleaner, she is most well-known for her excellent tailoring work for customers at Seeleys, George Moses Tailoring, Gilquists, and J. C. Penney’s. Helen and her husband Stath sponsored and brought over to America her family along with four other extended families. She was always willing to help anyone in need. “Feed the hungry and clothe the naked,” formed the foundation of how she lived and how she treated other people. Her hospitality to all, even strangers, was well-known: when you came to her home you were instantly served with coffee, cake, and baklava. At family gatherings she served feasts like no other, and guests left with warm memories of food and dancing. Helen is survived by her husband Stath of 54 years; her daughter Nitsa (Roland) Waterson and their two children Elaine and Christopher, Rapid City; her daughter Tia (Chad) Cooper and their daughter Evyenia, Rapid City; also surviving her are her sister Nikki Kakissis, Rapid City; and brothers Andrea (Toula) Georgas, Tennessee; Paul Georgas, Rapid City and numerous nieces, nephews and all relatives. Helen was preceded in death by a sister when she was very young and by her parents. Helen had a deep love of her Orthodox faith and her life demonstrated her strong faith and belief in God’s word. She and her husband were instrumental in helping to establish St. John the Theologian Orthodox Church in Rapid City. Even with physical limitations after her diagnosis with multiple myeloma in 2006, she continued to actively participate in church services and functions and was proud of her family’s participation also. Those who enjoyed St. John’s “Eat Like A Greek” fund-raiser in June this year read about Helen’s famous cooking in the food section of The Rapid City Journal and saw her making gyro’s at the event. A loving wife, mother, and grandmother (“Yiayia”), Helen treated her sons-in-law as her own. She was always close to her children and grandchildren, generously giving them her love daily. They shared a bond to the very end that many people never experience. Even as her health declined, she was kind and cheerful, always saying, “I’m okay!”