Despina Vasilarakos, 86, of La Porte, Indiana, passed away Friday, December 2, 2022, at Northwest Health - LaPorte.
She was born October 28, 1936, in Distomo, Greece, the daughter of Nikolaou and Aspasia (Pergantas) Balagouras.
In 1956, after surviving the WWII tragedy of what was once her hometown, Distomo, Greece, she left for America where she moved to the quaint town of Hammond, Indiana. Not long after, on May 20, 1962, she married the love of her life, GimVasilarakos, who survives. They lived in Gary, Merrillville, and finally settled in La Porte, IN in 1981. Together, they enjoyed traveling to their native home in Greece and hosting large family gatherings.
She is also survived by her daughter, Myra Vasilarakos of Chicago, IL; son, Tom Vasilarakos of Chicago, IL; brother, John Balagouras of Greece; sister-in-law, Irene Sfoundouris of Greece; loving godson, Nick Pergantinas of Lakemoor, IL, and several nieces and nephews.
Despina was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Sophia Nikolaou and Eleni Tsitsopoulou; brother-in-law, Louie and Thespina Vasilarakos and sister-in-law Maria and Mattheos Demakas.
Since 1962, she was an active member of the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, as well as a member of the Patriotic Society Distomiton, and Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Michigan City.
Aside from being a very religious and family-oriented woman and homemaker, Despina enjoyed flower and vegetable gardening, canning, baking, and cooking. For a while she worked at the family business, Louie's Cafe in La Porte, IN, creating the daily specials and the infamous Rosa Marina soup. She also enjoyed participating in bake sales at the local church. Despina was a very sweet and kind woman who was loved by all who met her.
Arrangements are being entrusted to Haverstock Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 602 Maple Ave., LaPorte, IN. Services will be held at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Friday, December 9, 2022, with visitation at 10 a.m. and service at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow at the Calumet Park Cemetery, Merrillville, Indiana. A luncheon will immediately follow the interment at the Avalon Manor Banquet Center, 3550 East Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, Indiana.
Memorial contributions, in Despina's honor, may be made to the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 8000 Madison Street, Merrillville, Indiana 46410.
Online condolences may be made at www.haverstockfuneralhome.com.