Anastacea “Tessie” Lebaris Sarmousakis, age 93, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, went home to be with the Lord on October 8, 2020. She was surrounded by her loved ones who are grateful for the vibrant life she led and for the legacy she leaves behind.
Tessie was born in a suburb of Athens, Greece, to Stephen and Maria Lebaris. Prior to marrying Maria, Stephen moved to America and was making a living in the restaurant-tavern industry. He had returned to Greece to marry Maria. At thirteen months of age, Anastacea arrived at Ellis Island, New York, with her mother. Tessie had a lovely childhood, living with her close-knit family in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She grew up with her sisters Sophia Fooskas (Christopher), Beatrice Sarikianos (John), Irene Diamond (Anthony), and her brother Stephen Lebaris (Vanetia). She attended Phoenixville High School and was proud to be the editor of the school yearbook. She received a full academic scholarship to Temple University for an essay she had written. There she earned a business education degree. Before long, Tessie moved to Wilmington, Delaware. There she taught at Goldey–Beacom College. She also worked at the DuPont Company. It was also in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1952, that she met and married the Greek boy next door. George Sarmousakis was the love of her life. They celebrated 65 years together before he went to be with the Lord, in April of 2018. They were admired for their commitment to one another, for their unshakable faith in Christ, and for their loving service to others. Tessie and George had three daughters Connie (Nick) Gerassimakis, Matina (Paul) Starrett, and Maria (Keith)Harris, which they were both extremely devoted to. The Sarmousakis family grew up in Wilmington, where they were extremely involved in church functions at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, school events, family celebrations, and summer vacations of camping and traveling the east coast. Tessie taught homebound students before accepting a position at Brandywine High School. There she taught business, clerical practice, shorthand, and typing for over twenty-five years. She was a perfectionist and a no-nonsense teacher with a compassionate heart and big smile. Tessie retired to teach those with challenging life circumstances at Delaware Technical Community College. Many of her students over the years have thanked her for her part in their vocational success.
Tessie was a born teacher. Both in and out of her classroom, many have benefitted from her desire to impart her knowledge and skills. From Sunday school to G.O.Y.A. crafts, from English or Greek as a second language to crocheting and knitting, she found joy in teaching and helping others. Her grandchildren fondly remember Greek language lessons at Grandmom’s with star soup for lunch. Friends learned needlecrafts at her Creative Circle events. Greek dancing lessons and cooking lessons with her daughters landed them an article in the New Journal. Tessie loved her Lord, her husband, her family, her Immanuel Highlands church, and dear friends. She will be sorely missed by her nine admiring grandchildren, Rachel (Zach) Facaros, Niko Gerassimakis (Kalli), Candace (Ryan) McNaughton, Audrey (John) Mraz, Thomas (Kat) Starrett, Mike Hill Jr. (Cammy), Kristy (Sean) Devlin, Julie (Tom) Cotter, and Jacob Harris (Allie). Her legacy will also continue through her nineteen great-grandchildren. Although she made over one hundred prayer shawls, started a book on crocheting and a Greek book, danced at the Greek Festival with George well into their years, Anastacea L. Sarmousakis will be most remembered for her sweet and spunky spirit, her infectious smile, her loyalty, integrity, and encouragement to others. She is at her new address in Heaven having the time of her life, because of her faith in her Savior, Jesus. Tessie truly lived a life well-done!
Please join us for visitation and viewing on Friday, October 16, 2020 between 9:30 am and 10:30 am at McCrery & Harra Funeral Home, 3710 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE 19808. The funeral service will follow at 11:00 am at Immanuel Highlands Episcopal Church, 2400 W 17 Street, Wilmington, DE. This service will be Livestreamed. The Burial service will be held on Tuesday, October 20 at 10:00 am at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Bear, DE.
The Facebook link to the livestream on Friday is: