The Flower Lady has Gone Fishin'
Vasi Mastakas Sergakis, age 67, died after a struggle with what we have found to be the cruelest of diseases-breast cancer. Our beloved mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, aunt and friend said goodbye to this life on Tuesday, October 5, 2004. She struggled to the end at home with all her family by her side.
A member of the Greek Orthodox faith, Vasi was born in Thessaloniki, Greece "the northern part" on May 29, 1937, to George and Maritsa Mastakas. She started working at age 14 to help her parents who were amidst poverty due to the hardships of a world war. Fortunate to find work as an usher in the prestigious Olympic Theater, she was able to lend support to her parents and younger siblings, Mike and Voula. In 1955, unable to speak English, she traveled from Greece on the Queen Elizabeth eventually ending up in Utah attending Utah State University as an exchange student. In 1956 she met and married Mike Bill Sergakis of Salt Lake City. Together they had three children, Bill, George and Stefanie. As a couple, Mike and Vasi owned and operated The Art Floral for 27 years until his death in 1984. Vasi continued operating the flower shop and has kept it flourishing until now. The Art Floral will remain in the family and the spirit of the "flower lady" (Ee Looloothoo) will live on.
She was always the last one dancing, the first one fishing, and never became mired in life's little potholes. In an elegant and graceful manner, she always dressed "to the nines" with a subtle flair. A born entertainer, she loved to throw a party. Never would a year pass without her organizing a "nameday" party for Mike hosting over 200 people. She loved to do the cooking and planning herself. She would prepare a Greek Feast of her favorite dishes including lamb, pastitsio, salata, moussaka, pilafi, beef, chicken, feta, olives, sardines and of course dessert with coffee cake, rum balls, diples, kourambethes, baklava, galaktobouriko, melamacarona, and the list goes on. Feeding, and entertaining her family and friends was a number one priority.
Not just an entertainer, Vasi was a wise and tough businesswoman. She ran the flower shop, managed properties, raised three kids, put them through college and still found time to enjoy life. As the matriarch of our family, she was the glue that held us together and her everlasting memory will keep us together.
As members of the Cretan Juniors within the Pan Cretan Association of Utah, she and Mike were a large part of the backbone behind that organization. Always offering their home or cabin and unyielding energy, bringing life and "kefi" to all their gatherings.
Vasi loved to visit her family in Greece, cruise to the Caribbean or Mexico, visit friends and family in Ohio, Canada, Arizona, Seattle, California, Wendover and Las Vegas. Spontaneity was in her blood, and taking off in the middle of the night to go fishing wouldn't be unusual for her. Fish Lake, Strawberry, Scofield, and Utah Lake, were some of her favorite spots to fish. She always made us laugh, especially when she would say things like her favorite word, "Thisisgettigtoberidikulos". We will forever miss her energy and the cute way she would say things. May her memory be eternal. (Aonia Ee Mnimi)
Vasi is survived by her four children: Bill (Joanne) Sergakis, George (Tina) Sergakis, Stefanie (Ryan) Wedemeyer, Thomas (Charlotte) Monroe; her 10 grandchildren: Vasileia, Gregory, and Mihali Sergakis; Michael, Annamarie and Kostandino Sergakis; Micah Wedemeyer; and Sara, William, and Jeffrey Monroe; her siblings, Mike (Despina) Mastakas and Voula (Sakis) Patsanis; her nephews, nieces, aunts and cousins of Greece and America.
She is preceded in death by her mother, father, husband and many relatives and friends who she is now reunited with.
Her family wishes to extend a special "thank you" to Vasi's dear friend, Pete Buffo for his loving nature, compassion, understanding and overall friendship during the past two years.
The family would also like to thank Harmony Home Health Care and Hospice for the wonderful care she received during this trying time, her wonderful Nurses Rose and Adria, her aides Esperanza, Maria, and Melissa, and all those who leant their time and support.
The viewing will be held on Sunday, October 10, 2004 at Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church, 5335 S. Highland Dr., from 5-7 p.m. with the Trisagion prayer service at 6:30 p.m. The funeral service will be held Monday, October 11, 2004 at 12 noon also at Prophet Elias Church with the burial services following at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 1342 East 500 South. Funeral Directors, Neil O' Donnell & Sons.
Vasi wanted us to say, "In lieu of donations, send flowers. Lots and lots of flowers!"