“She set a very high bar,” Algers said of her aunt.
“I don’t know if we can fill those shoes,” said Farmakis’ granddaughter Krista Brown.
“But that is why we have each other,” said Brown’s sister, Kelly Nettles. “We will rely on each other.”
Mary Algers Farmakis of Atlanta died Sunday at Halcyon Hospice after a period of declining health. She was 101.
A funeral is planned for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery. A.S. Turner Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
The former Mary Algers was born in Atlanta, but her family moved to New York when she was a pre-teen. She came back in 1948 with her husband, Melton Farmakis, and their 12-year-old son, Jerry. In 1960, the Farmakises ran a drugstore on Peachtree Street. When they retired 10 years later, Mary Farmakis went to work as the office manager for her brother at his diner, Doby’s Good Food, on Ponce de Leon. Mary and Melton Farmakis were married for 47 years at the time of his death in 1980. Their son, Jerry Farmakis, died in 1991.
The Farmakis home, on Highland Avenue, was “like Grand Central Station” for the Greek community, Janet Algers said.
“When the cathedral had its 50th anniversary, the (commemorative book) was put together at Aunt Mary’s dining room table,” she said. “Not only was her home open, but it was in a good location, and people would stop by when church activities were taking place.”
The atmosphere and the food at Farmakis’ home were both in the classic Greek tradition.
“She knew the recipes,” Brown said. “She taught us how to make the Greek pastries at a very early age. Kelly and I have memories of cooking in her kitchen, making a complete mess, but it didn’t matter because we were at YiaYia’s house.”
“She not only wanted to pass it on to us, but she wanted to model the traditions,” Nettles said of her grandmother’s heritage. “The preparation of things going on in the community and in the church, like fasting for Communion, there was a way to do that, and she wanted to make sure we knew how to do it properly.”
In addition to her granddaughters, Farmakis is survived by two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.