[Congressional Record Volume 146, Number 102 (Wednesday, September 6, 2000)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1402]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                        HON. DENNIS J. KUCINICH

                                of ohio

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, September 6, 2000

  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the 
extraordinary life of Elli Stassinopoulos, mother and grandmother, 
whose singular, unselfish devotion to her family and friends places her 
in that pantheon which awaits all those who have made the every need of 
their loved ones a higher cause than themselves. ``Angles fly because 
they take themselves lightly,'' she would tell her children. Elli's 
voyage through life was that of a lighted persona which the darkness of 
history could not comprehend, nor could personal tragedy embitter.
  Elli Stassinopoulos knew peril and hardship early in life. Her family 
fled Russia during the 1917 Revolution. She was captured by the Germans 
when she joined the anti-Nazi Greek resistance. She surmounted a 
disappointing marriage. Despite here early travails, she lived each day 
in simplicity and humility, triumphant, with a grateful heart and a 
sense of wonder. She slipped past the would-be conquerors of spirit to 
establish her domain in the sanctity of the home. In it she created 
magic with food and philosophy. Her household sustained and uplifted 
body, mind and spirit for her beloved daughters, Arianna, and Agapi and 
granddaughters Christina and Isabella.
  ``From the heirloom carpet spirited out of the Caucasus to her last 
pair of gold earrings, she sold everything along the way to pay for our 
schooling, sending me to Cambridge, and my sister Agapi to the Royal 
Academy of Dramatic Arts. But far beyond an education, she gave us what 
I know is the greatest gift a mother can give her child: her attention, 
her energy, her unconditional loving,'' wrote Arianna in a recent 
Mother's Day tribute to ``Yaya'' (Greek for grandmother).
  Yaya's knowledge of the Greek classics, her stunning eloquence and 
her joy of living defined enchantment for all visitors to her home. Her 
life was an unceasing hymn of praise to her loved ones. And long after 
her beautiful voice has become a blessed memory, the music of that 
praise will be felt in the hearts of those who loved her so much, and 
all re-echo in the voices of her daughters and granddaughters through 
the years. Great love reverberates greatly.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask all Members of the House of Representatives to 
join with me in recognizing the life of Elli Stassinopoulos, a woman 
who exemplified the kind of caring and devoted love of a mother and 
grandmother which is cherished and which makes each home a holy place.