Sophia Effantis

August 17, 1920 ~ September 4, 2023 (age 103) 103 Years Old


A moral compass for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, Sophia was the epitome of physical, mental, and emotional strength until she died peacefully at age 103 at her home on September 4, 2023, in Canton, Ohio.

Sophia was born in Louisville, Ohio and lived most of her life in Canton, Ohio. Her education was one of true authenticity where she taught herself all that life offered. Although not formally educated, those who knew Sophia will testify she was extremely intelligent and never lost her drive to gain more knowledge. She was truly an inspiration to her family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Rosa (Petropoulos) Peterson; her husband of 43 years, William Effantis; brothers Diamont, Paul, and Ernie; sisters Thelma, Angeline, Pauline, and Freda; and son-in-law George Lambrou

A loving and cherished Mother and Grandmother, Sophia will be dearly missed by her daughters Joanne Nicholas (William) and Tasia Lambrou (George) both of
Canton, OH; her five granddaughters Victoria Graf (Paul), Cynthia Harter (Chet), Sophia Nixdorf (Craig), Maria Basham (Jim), and Krissa (Chris) Olson; and her seven great-grandchildren Alexa Graf and Avery Graf, Ethan Nixdorf and Arden Nixdorf, Peyton Harter, Lennon Brooks (J.R. Armstrong), and Malcolm Olson.

Sophia began working out of her home as a seamstress at a young age, and was known for her beautiful workmanship making custom women’s clothing. In 1972, she was employed by Canton City Schools as a sewing instructor where she worked for many years. After her retirement, she went back to work for the school system as a teacher’s aide for children with special needs. In 2006, Sophia was recognized with an award as a Person of Character in Stark County.

In 1944, Sophia became a member of the ladies Philoptohos Society and was treasurer for many years, as well as the Chairman of the Philoptohos funeral committee. She joined the Daughters of Penelope at age 24, where she held every office including president. As a member of the Degree Team, she traveled to initiate new members in other chapters. Sophia was a member of the Silver Sisters which was a group of ladies who gave over 25 years of service. Until her death she remained the longest living member, 79 years of the Daughters of Penelope.

Sophia has served the people of the community for all of her adult life through her tireless love and dedication to St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church. In the early 1950’s, Sophia along with other ladies of the church, started the first Sunday School program and she taught class every Sunday for many years. She was involved in many aspects of the church, even in making all the altar boy robes as well as the altar cloths and many of the priest’s vestments.

Sophia was an amazing cook and baker, especially of Greek cuisine. In 1968, she began cooking for church festivals, and eventually served as the Makaria Chairwoman, Summerfest Pastry Chairwoman, and was a member of the catering committee. She received the St. Haralambos service awards in 1987 and 2005. In 2013, Sophia was awarded the St. Paul’s Medal by the Archdiocese and was entered into the Women’s Hall of Distinction by the Philioptochos in 2014.

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” Sophia loved life and accomplished much in her 103 years. All those who knew Sophia absolutely loved being in her presence and gave her as much love as she gave them.

A sincere thank you and appreciation to Crossroads Hospice, who cared for her the last few months of Sophia’s life and certainly made things more comforting.

On Monday, September 11, 2023, visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church, Canton, Ohio. Funeral services to begin in the church at 11:00 am., with Rev. Dr. Nicholas V. Gamvas officiating. Interment to follow at Forest Hill Cemetery In lieu of flowers, donations may be given, in memory of Sophia Effantis, to St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church.


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September 11, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church
251 25th St. N.W.
Canton, OH 44709

Funeral Service
September 11, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church
251 25th St. N.W.
Canton, OH 44709


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