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Sophia Hadjian age 85 passed away on Monday, March 13, 2023, after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Canton to the late Haralambos and Haricklia (Hadjipanayiotou) Hadjian, she was also preceded in death by her brothers John and Tom Hadjian, sisters Ann Economos and Mary Anastas, and brother-in-law Sam Anastas.
Sophia is survived by her nieces and nephews Emmanuel H. Economos, Nikkiann E. Arce (Kyle), Sam and Larry Anastas, H. Maria Hadjian, Kinthea Cooper (Steve), Harry Kennedy (Lorie), Brenda Ruckstuhl (Tony), Jennifer Connell (Mike), sister-in-law Mary Hadjian and sister-in-law and Sigma Kappa sorority sister Cindy Hadjian and nine great-nieces and nephews.
Sophia was a graduate of McGregor Elementary School and Timken Vocational High School in the secretarial program, following in the footsteps of her older sisters. She received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in Speech and Hearing Therapy, her master’s degree from Indiana University, and her doctorate degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from State University of New York at Buffalo.
Early in her career as a speech and language pathologist/audiologist, she initiated speech and hearing services in Canton Local Schools, Dover-New Philadelphia Schools, and at a Community Rehabilitation Clinic in Canton. Her 41-year career as a university professor took her to Oklahoma State University, Indiana University, State University of New York at Buffalo, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Northeast Louisiana State University, College of St. Rose, and Southeast Missouri State University. She also consulted for the State of Michigan.
After returning to Canton in 2004, Sophia was the supervisor for the Speech-Language Clinic at Goodwill Industries for eight years. Even then, she was not finished serving those in need of speech-language services and worked for SPARK helping children gain skills they needed to successfully start elementary school.
In her professional career, she remained active in the American Speech and Hearing Association until just last year. She maintained lifelong friends with many teaching colleagues and former students. She presented papers at the national convention many times and looked forward to meeting up with her friend Linda Petrosino each year. Aunt Soph also asked us to remember Stan Martinkosky, who she knew from her days at Indiana University and who became a colleague at UNC-Chapel Hill. He and his wife shared many laughs as they reminisced over the past few years. Her former student, Jennifer Baker called her the best mentor she ever had and visited last year to help us with medical appointments early in her diagnosis. Friends and colleagues not mentioned here were not forgotten by Sophia. She held those bonds close to her heart.
As you can imagine, Aunt “Soph'' was a staunch supporter of education. She prepared many university students for their careers in speech-language clinical services. She was a stickler for accuracy and demanded excellence from her students, friends, and family. She was independent, strong-minded, a meticulous housekeeper, generous to family and friends, loved cars and was glad to be the driver whenever needed. Aunt Soph gave fully of herself to her siblings as they aged. She enjoyed having family over for holiday dinners and liked it best when she prepared the meal on her own for her guests. She supported her nieces and nephews and their families without fail.
Aunt Soph read newspapers and news magazines cover to cover and couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t do the same. Her television was always on a news channel, and she couldn’t get enough. She was known to fill manilla envelopes with newspaper clippings and send them to friends and family around the country when she thought they would be of interest.
Our family could not have supported Sophia in her home as she wished without the help of Comfort Keepers caregivers Cathy, Jo Ann, Sally and Cindy; Nicole, Donna, and Patti; and Crossroads Hospice.
Family and friends will be received on Thursday from 10:00 to 11:00 am at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Funeral service will be at 11:00 am with Fr. Nicholas Halkias officiating. Interment will be in Forest Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Sophia’s name may be made to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.