Evelyn “Effie” (Chalapatas) DeBenedetto, a longtime Melrose resident, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on March 20 at age 90.
Evelyn was born in Boston on Aug. 30, 1930, the only daughter of four children to Greek immigrants, George and Diana (Primpas) Chalapatas. She was raised in Allston and graduated from Brighton High School and Katherine Dell Secretarial School. Evelyn worked in a variety of secretarial roles before becoming a homemaker, then returned to the work force as a medical transcriptionist. Her career at the Malden Hospital spanned over 30 years, until her retirement. A hard-working woman and dedicated mother, Effie balanced raising her family of four children while maintaining her professional career.
With family roots in Greece, Effie was raised with an appreciation for hard work, family and her heritage. Growing up in Boston, the Chalapatas family was committed to the success of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, and the life lessons learned as a young woman contributed to Effie becoming the kind, modest and caring person she was.
After settling in Malden to raise her own family, Effie moved in 1983 to Melrose, where she became active in the community while endearing herself to neighbors. With a well-known green thumb, she was a longtime member of the Melrose Garden Club and enjoyed tending to her backyard flower and vegetable garden. In her free time, she loved sitting on the beach watching the ocean or reading. She enjoyed many visits with family to Nantucket or Narragansett, Rhode Island. With pride and love for New England, Effie was a lifelong Red Sox fan, and always loved a lobster dinner.
Throughout her life, Effie kept her roots close to her heart by speaking fluent Greek, perfecting the art of Greek pastries, and honoring her parents with a life devoted to family. She centered her life around her children, and developed a special connection with each of her seven grandchildren. Known for her warm and friendly smile, she made connections easily and will be reunited with lifelong friends, the late Marianne Almeida and the late Antonetta DeBenedetto. She will be deeply missed, but her inquisitive mind, sense of humor and humble, steady nature will continue to inspire through the lives of her family. May her memory be eternal.
Effie was the devoted wife of the late Joseph J. DeBenedetto. She was the beloved mother of Diana Weinburg and husband Mark of Melrose, Michael DeBenedetto and wife Colleen of Hopkinton, Joseph DeBenedetto and wife Michelle of North Reading, and the late Lisa Friesner and her surviving husband, Greg, of San Jose, California. She was predeceased by siblings Costa Chalas and wife Cathie, John Chalas and wife Ann, and James Chalas and wife Dimitra. She was the cherished grandmother of Michael Weinburg and wife Genevieve, Mary Weinburg, Matthew Weinburg, Kairat DeBenedetto, Anthony DeBenedetto, Matthew DeBenedetto and Andrew DeBenedetto. She was the proud great-grandmother of Matilda, Augustus and Greta. She also was cherished by many loving nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to visiting hours in honor of Effie and Lisa at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose, on Thursday, March 25, from 4-7 p.m. All locations will be observing social distancing requirements due to COVID. We ask that all attendees respect public health precautions and restrictions throughout services. A limited number of guests will be allowed in the funeral home at one time. Effie’s funeral service will be held at the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, 70 Montvale Ave., Woburn on Friday, March 26, at 10 a.m. Interment in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose.
Effie’s Funeral Service will be livestreamed at: my.gather.app/remember/evelyn-debenedetto.
Gifts in her name may be made to Boston Children’s Hospital, 401 Park Drive, No. 602, Boston, MA 02215, bostonchildrens.org, or Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284, dana-farber.org.