Eugenia Diacoyanis Kariotis, who taught English to young Greek immigrants in Highlandtown and whose community work led to her being named a parade marshal in Kingsville, died Wednesday of a stroke and complications from surgery at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She was 71.
She was a substitute teacher at Kingsville Elementary School, Perry Hall Middle School and Perry Hall High School from 1973 until she retired in 1995 to help raise her grandson and care for her husband, a kidney transplant recipient.
She spent more than a decade volunteering in her children's schools, serving as a room parent and band and choir mother, often taking on the roles of chaperone, fund-raiser and chauffeur for group activities.
She also was active in her Kingsville community, and the Boy Scouts honored her for her community work. She served as a grand marshal of the Kingsville Fourth of July parade in the 1980s.
She was a member of St. Nicholas Church-Greek Orthodox Community, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation. She was active in the Philoptochos Society and served as a president of the Daughters of Penelope, a women's charitable group.
She frequently volunteered at the St. Demetrios Festival.
A supporter of church youth groups, she regularly housed basketball team members from other parishes at her home.
"When we had basketball tournaments and sometimes music festivals, she would always open up our home. She never said no - whether it was to two or 22. She always found a space for everybody," daughter Angelique Hooper of Jarrettsville recalled.
Mrs. Kariotis met her husband, Peter N. Kariotis, in 1957 through her membership in the Greek Orthodox Youth of America. In June, the couple celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary.
She was highly praised for her baklava, and her layered pastry won her many admirers in the community.
Born in Pittsburgh, Mrs. Kariotis moved to Southeast Baltimore in 1942 and graduated from Eastern High School.
After graduating, she worked at her parents' business, the Eastern Bakery on Eastern Avenue near Gusryan Street. Known as "Jeannie" to customers, she worked there and did the accounting until the business closed in 1967.
Services for Mrs. Kariotis will be held at 11 a.m. today at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2504 Cub Hill Road.
In addition to her husband and daughter, she is survived by another daughter, Erene Kariotis of Owings Mills; a son, Nicholas Kariotis of Kingsville; two brothers, Dr. John N. Diaconis of Timonium and George N. Diacoyanis of Baltimore; and a grandson.