Despina Katsiyannis Gull, 81, of Alexandria, VA, passed away peacefully at her son’s home on December 26, 2019 with her family by her side. Despina is survived by her sons: Mark Alexander and Nikolas John; daughter-in-law, Kelly Ann; granddaughters, Sophia Penelope and Lillian Kalliope; and sister, Anastasia. Despina was predeceased in passing by her husband, John Richard Gull, and her parents.
Despina was born on April 3, 1938 in Athens, Greece, to Ioannis and Eleni Katsiyannis. She grew up in Amaroussion, a suburb north of Athens. In 1963, she married John, a service member in the U.S. Army, who was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Athens. Her sons were both born in Athens. During John’s twenty-year military career, including a tour in Vietnam, the family was stationed in various bases, including El Paso, TX and Stuttgart, Germany. In 1974, John’s final duty station brought them to Northern Virginia where the family settled.
Despina was a wife, homemaker, mother, grandmother, volunteer and friend. She raised her sons and supported her granddaughters by babysitting, faithfully attending all their school activities, teaching them the Kalenda and Greek dance, and serving them her finest Greek cuisine. Despina made friends wherever she went, particularly the parishioners of the St Katherine’s community, where she was a member and a regular volunteer at the semi-annual church festivals. Despina served as a substitute teacher and teacher’s assistant in the Fairfax County Public School system. She also volunteered on Fort Belvoir in various places including the hospital, thrift shop and the Army Community Service center. One of her favorite services was bringing Thanksgiving meals to the on-duty Fairfax County police officers of the Mount Vernon Precinct.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend the Funeral Services on Saturday, January 4 at 1 PM at Saint Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church, 3149 Glen Carlyn Road, Falls Church, VA 22041.
Final interment, alongside her husband at Arlington National Cemetery, will occur at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Insight Memory Care Center, 3953 Pender Drive, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030. This wonderful facility provided loving care to Despina during her four-year battle with Alzheimer’s. https://www.insightmcc.org/get-involved/donate/donation-form.html
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