Sophia Longovitou, 94, of Falls Church, VA, peacefully passed away Sunday February 9, 2020. Sophia was born in the small village of Kouzouli, Pyrgos Greece, the second youngest of 10 children of Nicholas Longovitis and Alexandra. She survived Nazi occupied Greece, hiding in the hills with her family. Following the end of the WWII, Sophia earned a degree in fashion design in Athens before emigrating to the United States with her mother in 1951. Her courage in leaving Greece to find opportunity in America with nothing but the suitcases she carried speaks to her tenacity and determination.
Beyond being a devoted mother, loving sister and aunt, and passionate grandmother, Sophia was an exceptionally talented dress designer, crafting glamourous custom gowns for prominent night club performers and renowned Washingtonians. Her career as a dress designer and owner of De Paris Dress Design spanned more than 50 hard-working years before she retired in her 70’s. Sophia’s intelligence and wisdom far exceeded her few years of grammar school, and she emphasized the value of higher education to her children, grandchildren and strangers alike.
Sophia was known for her deep faith in the Lord, loving spirit, compassionate heart and optimism even in the face of adversity. Generous to a fault, she willingly shared all that she had and embodied the essence of “Greek Hospitality” and “Philotimo.” Though divorced, she remained close to John Paraskevas until his passing in 2000 and was most proud of their two children. She leaves behind an enduring legacy of kindness and pearls of wisdom that shaped the lives of those who knew her. Sophia is survived by her son Nicholas Paraskevas (Susan); daughter, Stamatina Felix (Kevin); grandchildren John-Patrick Paraskevas (Emily), Alexandra and Nicole Shea, and William and Andrew Felix; great-grandson Alexander Paraskevas; nephew and nieces Philip Kalantgis (Jodi), Angela Padiotis (George) and Aleka Bakopoulos (Nick); great-nieces and-nephews, as well as many beloved relatives in Greece. She also leaves behind many loving friends, including Faye Yiannarakis (Tony) (whom she regarded as a daughter) and Maritza Benitez.
A viewing will take place on Friday, February 14 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at Everly Community Funeral Care, 6161 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA. Funeral Services will be held Saturday, February 15 at 12:30 pm at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church (3149 Glen Carlyn Rd, Falls Church), followed by Interment at National Memorial Park (7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church). A reception will follow. Family and friends are invited to attend all services, including the reception.
Charitable donations may be made in her memory to Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) or St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church.
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