Efstratia "Effie" Janis

March 25th, 1920 to March 10th, 2023

Efstratia Janis of Port Huron, Michigan, was born in Mavrikion Arkadia, Greece on March 25, 1920 and died at the age of 102, just two weeks short of her 103rd birthday. She passed away peacefully on March 10th at the home of her nephew and niece, Drs. Manny and Stacey Gallas of Houston Texas, where she had been residing for the last year and a half. Affectionately called Thea or Effie by most who knew her, she was a beloved wife, aunt and Godmother and leaves behind fond memories of her thoughtfulness and service to family, friends, the Greek Orthodox Church and the community in which she lived and worked.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Konstantina and Panayioti Kopita; husband, James; her siblings, Yiannis Kopita, Eugenia Politis, Demetrios Kopita, Vasiliki Karakitsos and Elmina Gallas; her beloved niece, Nadia Kopita; and nephews, Aristomenes Karakitsos, Dr. Peter Gallas, Dr. George Politis (Rita) and Dr. John Karakitsos (Coleen). She is survived by her nephews, James Gallas (Helen), Dr. Manny Gallas (Stacey); her niece, Dr. Eugenia Kopita; her great nephews and nieces, Dimitri Karakitsos (Anna), Manny Karakitsos, Dr. Eugenia Politis (Peter), Anne Politis Hadgis (Craig), Demetri Politis, Peter, Teddy and Christina Gallas; and sister-in-law, Panayota Kopita; as well as many other family members and godchildren.

Effie immigrated to Michigan in 1938, when she married her husband, James Janis. She worked alongside her husband in the Port Huron Coney Island for twenty years and then continued to run the business for another twenty years after his death. Her famous chili sauce became legendary and she selflessly passed the secret recipe on to the new owners upon her retirement, where her chili dogs continue to attract new, as well as, long-time customers.

Not only was Effie a savvy business woman, she was also an active member of the philanthropic Quota Club, and a dedicated steward of the Greek Orthodox Church where she gave of her time and resources to help others. When World War II broke out, Effie sent care packages to family and friends in Greece for many years and continued to do so during the Greek Civil War and long thereafter. She also sponsored numerous family members in need and brought them to the United States to help them get a fresh start when the Greek economy declined after years of war and hardship.

Thea Effie was a wonderful hostess and a great cook. She made fabulous Greek meals and pastries which she regularly shared with family and friends alike at her Port Huron home overlooking the St. Clair River. Although Effie never had children of her own, she was the matriarch of the family, fostering and nurturing her nieces, nephews and all their children, taking pleasure in watching them grow and develop while participating in all their accomplishments and joys. Thea Effie was truly a force of nature and she will be greatly missed.

Visitation will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, 1213 Sixth St., Port Huron, MI 48060 on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 11 a.m., preceded by a short Trisagion service, and then followed immediately by the Greek Orthodox funeral at 12 PM. Services will be conducted by Father Mark Sietsema of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Lansing. Interment will be held at Lakeside Cemetery. The family kindly requests that donations in Efstratia Janis’ name be made to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1701 East Saginaw Street, Lansing, MI 48912 or a Greek Orthodox Church of your community.

Arrangements are by Pollock-Randall Funeral Home. To send condolences, visit pollockrandall.com

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