Maria V. Meares Nov 12, 1939 – Sep 6, 2016 Maria was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, on November 12, 1939, to Charles Vavouliotis of Xalkis, Greece and Anastasia Manika of Tauton, Massachusetts. She was given the name Maria by her Godfather, Ioannis Xenophon. After graduating from high school, Maria attended St. Basils Academy in Garrison, New York, receiving the Caryatids Scholarship. As part of her education, she studied at the Arsakeion Academy in Athens, Greece before graduating from St. Basils in 1964. The mission of the St. Basils program was to educate young women in the language and traditions of the church in order to provide support for Greek Orthodox Churches throughout the country. Given the choice between Jacksonville, Florida and Omaha, Nebraska, Maria accepted the position of Director of the Greek School at St. Johns in Omaha. Within a few months she met the love of her life, Frank Meares, with whom she enjoyed over fifty years of marriage. Her devotion to her church and her religious beliefs was relentless. She shared this love with her three children and their families. Maria had an appreciation for antiques and vintage jewelry which she transformed into a career, owning shops in Omaha and later in Newport, Rhode Island for more than twenty years. In 1990, Maria continued her passion for learning by returning to school to study visual art. She attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha, focusing on painting, and featured her work in Student Exhibitions in 1991 and 1993. Her love of flowers was highlighted in many of her works. Maria graduated from UNO in 1994 with her Bachelor of Fine Arts. The degree was a small part of her Zoe for design, color, dance, art, music and history. Maria was preceded in death by her husband, Frank. She is survived by her two sisters, Elaine and Angela, and three brothers: Andrew, Socrates and Constantine; children: Anastasia, Melissa and Demetrios; six grandchildren: Nebraskans Alexander and Zachary Goodman, Virginians Demetrios and Lukas , and New Yorkers Izadora and Spyridon T. Meares. The family will receive friends Sunday, September 11th, from 4pm to 6pm, with TRISAGION (Prayer Service) at 6pm, all at the Bel Air Chapel, 12100 W. Center Rd. SERVICES Monday, September 12th at 10:30am at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 602 Park Ave. Interment, Evergreen Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, Maria wished for generous donations to St. Johns Greek Orthodox Church.
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