Katherine Halkedis

Date of Death: 
February 5, 2018

Katherine Halkedis (née Machikas) passed away on February 5, 2018 at the age of 79. She was the beloved wife of Haralambos (Harry), and mother of Semele Heller (David), John (Niki) and Anne (John Pettit). She is also survived by five grandchildren: Calista and Jack Pettit; and George, Stephen, and Katherine Heller.

Katherine was born in Philadelphia on June 15, 1938 to George and Anna Machikas. Her parents and siblings--Constantine (Gus) Machikas, Mary Lacas, and Stephen Machikas--preceded her in death.

Katherine was born and raised in the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral community. She was a proud graduate of Olney High School (1956) and Beaver College (1960). She married Harry on July 2, 1960 at St. George. They spent the first two years of their marriage living in Germany while Harry served in the U.S. Army. When they returned home Katherine worked for the Free Library of Philadelphia as a children’s librarian. Once her own children arrived, Katherine transitioned to life as a full-time mother and homemaker. She spent many years caring for her children and her community as a room mom, band mom, and caretaker and confidante not only to her own children, but to many of her children’s friends as well—many of whom still call her “Mom Halkedis.”

Katherine shared her love of travel with her kids, traveling with them through Europe on her own in their preteen/teen years. As Semele, John, and Anne approached adulthood, Katherine declared that she didn’t want to be “one of those women whose children have left home and has no life.” Having been out of the workforce for many years, she decided to start working for a temp agency. One of her first placements was with Jones Apparel Group. She impressed them so much they hired her on full time and she worked there until she retired.

Katherine was a breathtakingly talented soprano, and shared her gift with the world in the St. George and Saints Peter and Paul church choirs and as a long-time member of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia.

Katherine spent much of her retirement as a loving and dedicated member of Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church. In addition to being a devoted member of the church choir she also served on the parish council, including time as parish president. Her service to the church also included missionary work in Albania with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), and serving on the board of the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego, NY.

Relatives and friends are invited to call Friday from 9 to 10 am at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church at 9230 Old Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, with Katherine’s funeral service to follow at 10 am. Interment immediately after at Oakland Cemetery, followed by a luncheon at the Canstatter Club. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church.

Memories and Condolences

Semele, John, Anne, and your entire family,

Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your mom. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Praying for the entire family during this difficult time

Wishing your family our sincerest condolences. We are so sorry for your loss, she was such a beacon of life and always had a smile on her face.
All Our Love, Jean & Tom Volikas

The sense of loss we feel is great, but we know you are where you are the happiest. Your love for God and your church has always been an inspiration to all of us.
You were such an enormous part of our family's life and I feel so blessed to have that forever in our memories.
It's a comfort to know I can talk to you anytime I want to now and to know you are with Mom and Ba and your parents and siblings.
You were loved by all who knew you and we will all mourn your loss but my heart is full knowing you are in an amazing place free of pain and discomfort.
I love you Aunt Katherine. Thank you for your acceptance and support over the years.

Proud to call her "mom" too. Still remember her opening her home to me when I returned from military assignment. She was a wonderful lady.

It is with great sadness that we heard of your precious mom’s passing. Such a warm, sweet lady...she will be missed. I remember fondly the “cooking lessons” she generously gave Diana and myself. She showed us how to cook lemon chicken soup. She even graced us with her baklava recipe which I have made often. She gave us the recipe only if we promised not to share it with anyone. I treasure the times we shared many years ago.
We are so sorry for your loss and we hope you are comforted by the sweet, joyous memories of Katherine. Sending prayers and hugs.
The Hauben Family

Meeting Mrs. Halkedis was really pleasant , she had the heart of an Angel!.
She had so much love for her family and people around her. she will always be remembere!

My condolences to the Halkedis Family,
With deepest sympathy
May the lord grant you
Strength and peace
during this time.
You will be in my prayers.

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