Bessie (Economou) Yotides, 80, of Worcester, passed away peacefully in her home on Wednesday, November 23rd after a courageous battle with cancer. Her husband of 34 years, James J. Yotides died in 1990. She is survived by her three children, Penny McLaren and her husband, Bob of Shrewsbury, Christopher Yotides and his wife, Angela of Plano, TX, and Elena Fechner and her husband, Frank of Worcester; her seven grandchildren, John, Demi, Brianna, Ryan, Katarina, Roman, and Theo; her brother Stewart Economou and his wife, Lauretta of Alexandria, VA; a sister, Helen Murray of Edina, MN, and her good friend and companion, Al Matulaitis, with whom she spent the last 15 years. She was predeceased by her sister, Effie Bell.
Bessie was born in Worcester, the daughter of Charles and Ourania (Pliatsikas) Economou, both immigrants from Epirus, Greece. Growing up, Bessie worked part time at her father’s Main Street luncheonette, Economy Sweets. She was a graduate of North High School and Salter Secretarial School. She lived in New Bedford and Amherst before returning home to Worcester where she enjoyed her work as a surgical coordinator in the otolaryngology department of UMass Memorial Medical Center, retiring after 31 years at the age of 78. Bessie was a member of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral as well as its Seniors Group, Daughters of Penelope, and Ladies Philoptochos Society.
Her favorite pastimes included relaxing on the beaches of Cape Cod with her family, gardening, cooking delicious Greek food, traveling, trying her hand at the casino and playing cards weekly with the same friends for over 50 years. She was most appreciated for always sharing her honest opinions. As the matriarch of the family, Bessie was admired and respected for her strong work ethic and led by example, encouraging her family to achieve their highest potential. Her children and grandchildren were the most important presence in her life. She was loved dearly, and will be remembered fondly.
Her funeral is Saturday, December 3rd with a service at 10:00 a.m. in St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 102 Russell Street. Burial will follow in Hope Cemetery. Calling hours are Friday, December 2nd from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at O'CONNOR BROTHERS FUNERAL HOME, 592 Park Avenue. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Spyridon Building Fund, 102 Russell Street, Worcester, MA 01609 or the American Cancer Society, 7 Oak Street, Worcester, MA 01609.