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Bessie's Story

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BETHESDA, MARYLAND: Bessie “Kassie” (nee Kasida) Economos, 97, passed away Friday, June 19, 2015, at her residence in Bethesda, Md., joining her late husband, George, in heaven. The daughter of Greek immigrants, she was born on July 28, 1917, in Haverhill, Mass. An exceptional student in two languages, she was fluent in Greek, reading Greek language newspapers and magazines her entire life. She attended a local business college, working as a social worker then bookkeeper. She was always active at Holy Apostles in Haverhill, from teaching Sunday School to singing in the choir.

At a Greek dance in Haverhill in 1946, she met George Economos, a WWII veteran and former POW, who was a college student. It was love at first sight. They secretly eloped on June 1 of 1947 (she wanted to be a June bride), then held a big public church wedding on August 24. George gave her the nickname by which she was known, “Kass” or “Kassie,” for her maiden name of Kasida. They settled in Boston, then moved to a suburb of Milwaukee, Wis., where she was a hardworking health volunteer and library “story-lady” in the school system.

In 1977, they moved to Bethesda, when George was appointed Staff Scientist to the National Materials Advisory Board of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science in Washington, D.C. Both Kass and George became active members of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bethesda, where she was also a member of the Philoptochos Society and 50+ Club.

Because George was a “Kriegie” of the Stalag XVIIB Association and American Ex-Prisoners of War, they attended all of those conventions together. The couple was devoted to one another, referring to each other as “girlfriend” and “boyfriend” throughout their almost 65 years of marriage. Kassie was a warm, vivacious woman, full of love and life, who made friends wherever she went. Known as a fabulous hostess and cook, she was famous for her Greek specialties.

Kassie Economos is missed by her loving daughter, Gayle V. Economos of Baltimore, Md.; and son James W. Economos (Kim) of Huntington Beach, Calif.; grandchildren, Zoë Dolan of New York, N.Y., Gregory and Phillip Economos of California; nephew, Timothy Kasida (Shalini) of Brookline, Mass.; and other nieces, nephews and godchildren from Macao to New England to Virginia. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband, Dr. George Economos; her sister, Aspasia Kasida; and brother, William J. Kasida.

Her funeral was held on Thursday, June 25, at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Bethesda, Maryland. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery on August 14, where she will rest with her beloved husband George.
Published on  August 10, 2015
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