Helen Vardakis, 89, peacefully passed away on Monday, December 07, 2020 in the care of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.
Mrs. Vardakis was born November 18, 1931 in Highland Park, New Jersey to the late George and Katina (Bouhlakis) Alfieris. She was raised in New Brunswick where she married and started her family before relocating to East Windsor and building two iconic local businesses. Helen and her husband, George, were the owners and hardworking operators of Stewart’s Root Beer and Dairy Queen of East Windsor for 40 years. Upon their retirement, she moved to Hamilton township where she lived for the last 20 years.
While residing in New Brunswick, she was a lifelong member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway and later of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Hamilton. Born of immigrant parents, she was fluent in the Greek language, embracing her heritage with a strong passion for the culture, cooking and performed traditional dance in the church’s youth groups.
Her passion for traveling and her family abroad began with her 6-week honeymoon through Europe and ended in Greece where she met both her new and existing relatives for the first time. There she earned a lifetime of love and admiration, frequently visiting and hosting friends and family who will miss her dearly.
Helen had been active in many Greek/Cretan American organizations, church socials and cultural clubs throughout her life. Among them, she was a lifelong member of the Pancretan Association of America. She was the former 1st lady to her husband, the organization’s National President for 4 consecutive years, and routinely traveled throughout the country in her and her husband’s roles.
Mrs. Vardakis was preceded in death by her loving husband of 43 years, George Vardakis; her brother, Michael Alfieris and a sister-in-law Liberty “Libby” Avgerakis-Alfieris.
She is survived by her son, Steven Vardakis and his wife Rebecca Hotz-Vardakis; her daughter, Anna Vardakis, and her son, George Vardakis and his wife. She is also survived by her brother, Stephen Alfieris; her sister-in-law, Demetria "Bubby" Alfieris; her three grandchildren, Hunter, Julia, Joseph and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Family and friends may visit on Friday from 3:00 to 6:00 P.M. at the Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton Street, Somerset, NJ 08873.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 12:30 P.M. at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Hamilton, NJ. Committal services will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Hamilton.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations, in Mrs. Helen Vardakis’ Memory, to the Pancretan Association of America at 1152 Raritan Ave, Highland Park, NJ 08904 (www.pancretan.org)