Throughout her long life, Faye Spanos has been the light that shines on her family. Beloved wife, mother to four children, grandmother to fifteen grandkids, and great grandmother to ten she lavishly nurtured them with love, attention, and support.
Faye was born on January 26, 1926 in Tarpon Springs, Florida, a small town nestled on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, to Nikitas and Despina Papafaklis. During the 1900s, Faye’s parents emigrated from the island of Simi, in Greece, to be with fellow islanders who had arrived earlier, in search of a better life.
Her childhood was not an easy one. When she was nearly three years old, her mother died leaving a 6-month old son and Faye. Her father faced with the prospect of having to care for two young children, remarried soon after to Elizabeth Milioratou, also from the island of Simi. Twelve years later Faye’s beloved stepmother died as well leaving Faye to be the “caretaker” of her dad and younger brother, Michael. Her father never remarried.
Growing up in Tarpon Springs
Although her early life was fraught with sadness and hard times, she was also surrounded by an extended and loving family of aunts, uncles and cousins who became a big part of the fabric of her life. She was by nature a loving and sweet person who found joy in everything. When she was just 18 years old, on a beautiful spring day, while enjoying the Florida beach with her cousins, she met the love of her life, Alex Spanos. The young, handsome Air Force man was stationed at Drew Field in Tampa, at the time. He was immediately smitten with the raven-haired beauty and she instantly knew that he was “the one.”
After a long-distance courtship, Alex and Faye were married on August 21, 1948 in Faye’s hometown of Tarpon Springs, and in the presence of Faye’s extended family. Their nearly 70-year marriage was as loving throughout the years as it was on the day they joined their lives together.
Following their wedding, they drove to Stockton, California, Alex’s hometown and the place where they decided to settle and raise their family.
A New Beginning in Stockton, California
Married life found them working side by side in the kitchen at the Roma Lunch Bakery, an establishment owned by Alex’s father. The young couple began to build their family as they welcomed their children, Dean, Dea, Alexis and Michael. As their children grew, so did her husband’s success in business. Faye accepted his financial prosperity by opening her heart and home and sharing their good fortune first with their large extended families and then with their community. Her generosity and kindness matched her husband’s and together they made donations benefitting schools, children, the arts, hospitals, and people in need.
Faye Spanos personified kindness, grace, and compassion. Her home was always open to her large family and the hundreds of friends she made throughout the years. Dinner parties, special occasion events, Easter Sunday meals, and so much more became signature activities at Faye’s home. Celebrating Greek Orthodox Easter annually meant a houseful of family and friends from all walks of life, eating and dancing to the sounds of Greek music. Faye loved Greek dancing with friends or doing the jitterbug with her husband, Alex.
Faith & Love
Faye’s beacon in life was always her faith. She drew her inner peace and strength from the spiritual teachings of the Church. She lived her beliefs every day of her life and treated everyone with the dignity and respect they deserved as God’s creations.
When Villa Angelica was built, she included a chapel inside their new home, and it became the heart of the house. Every morning she walked in to the chapel, lit a candle, and prayed. Devoutly faithful to her church and its teachings, she attended church services religiously.
Her name in Greek derives from the Greek word light. She has been the light and rock for her husband Alex, to whom she was completely devoted, from the moment they met and through the ups and downs of success and adversity they faced together in life.
She taught everyone around her by example, never admonishing, never reprimanding, and never raising her voice. She was the essence that brought balance, encouragement, faith, support and love to her family. Faye’s legacy to her large family and to those who knew her and loved her was her multitude of kindnesses and her fathomless compassion. She was a blessing to her family, friends and community.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Rojas ([email protected] & 858-229-1958)