ALIKI XEPAPAS EULOGY
While driving on A1A for the first time in Daytona on a beautiful day in July of 2008 enjoying the ocean scene and the blue waters that separate these shores from the Mediterranean basin, my eyes caught the name of ALIKI adorning some of the high rise condos that oversee the ocean.
The combination of the beautiful name, the style of the condos, and the blue ocean gave me a wave of joyful feeling, and brought to mind many fond and personal memories from years past.
Later, I came to find out that Aliki’s name did indeed belong to a Greek lady; she and her husband Andy (Anargyros) were even part of Saint Demetrios parish. Andy had passed away.
Sometime later an opportunity arose to meet Aliki in person. We gathered by the grave of her late husband, Andy, to pray the Trisagion prayer for his soul. I saw in her a woman of grace and gentleness.
Since then and even though I had rarely seen her after our initial gathering; Aliki continued to be present through her thoughts of Saint Demetrios community, brief messages, donations to Philoptochos and other philanthropic causes, and staying in touch with many ladies who loved her and were touched by her when she had lived in Daytona Beach.
Aliki came to America from Greece at a young age, she developed a flourishing career at the Greek Embassy in Washington DC before she and husband Andy made Daytona their permanent home.
I am not quite sure how Aliki, a world traveler, came to bond with Daytona Beach making it her adopted home. Indeed Daytona Beach became so much a part of Aliki’s life that she is being laid to rest in Daytona Beach beside her husband Andy.
As Saint Demetrios parish is bidding farewell to one of its dedicated and instrumental family members, it is an opportunity to reflect upon Aliki and Andy’s inspiring example; a Greek Orthodox couple who committed themselves to God first and foremost even before they committed their, time, energy, and the things they owned to his service.
When Aliki and Anargyros Xepapas moved to the Saint Demetrios community in the early to mid-seventies, they joined a vibrant and family oriented community. They did not just want to belong to a parish. They did not just want to become ordinary community members.
It was not enough for them to be somehow affiliated with St Demetrios parish. They were not fearful of the commitment, and they did not hesitate to pay the price that comes with taking a stand in life in support of noble biblical ideals and truth.
Aliki and Andy embraced the ideal of love, unity, and deep devotion to building a young and newly growing church. They embraced the dream and the vision of turning it into a place of worship, divine presence, and safe haven for many wearied and tired souls.
They wanted to use their divinely given resources, time, skills, knowledge, and talents to deepen their bond with God through enhancing their home parish. Always enhancing our inner sanctuary leads to enhancing our exterior sanctuary building and moving even beyond to enhance the growing town of Daytona Beach as it was with Aliki and Andy.
For those parishioners who lived during those years; who knew them as Andy and Aliki; related how Aliki was loved by many, how she was a true friend and a woman who humbly and gracefully accepted all the twists and turns of life.
Aliki is remembered with the legacy that she lived to inspire many young women growing up in our community.
The Aliki condos are still standing today as a witness to many beautiful memories of community gatherings that happened through Aliki’s help in support of the Philoptochos and its philanthropic projects and contributions.
Aliki represents a generation of Greek Orthodox and Christian women who marched forward despite many challenges to carry out noble tasks and outreach campaigns for the sake of others who suffer – always inspired by philanthropy and Christian love.
Aliki, her caliber, and people like her are a precious treasure to newly rising generations. She will be missed by many who were inspired and transformed by her example and her legacy along with her husband Andy.
They both left their finger prints embedded in the foundation of the Saint Demetrios community and in Daytona Beach city.
But more importantly and even if all those who knew and remember Aliki and Andy are gone from this life, and if the condos name is changed or the buildings cease to exist, and if nobody else is left to remember the gatherings of Philoptochos ladies and its accomplishments, even then our hope, and comfort are not lost, and we continue to be comforted that the names of all good servants will be kept securely in the book of life.
The actions of philanthropy, the offerings of love, the inspirational touch to those whose lives were transformed and conformed with God’s will by his church through Aliki’s inspirational example and people like her; will continue to live on forever in the memory of God just like any other loving deed that is never lost to the ever watching eye of God where even the softest whisper of love does not go unnoticed by God but rather he rewards everyone and everything mercifully, justly, and accordingly.
The apostle Paul states that beautifully by talking about the importance of giving our utmost attention to the quality of our deeds, as they will be very meticulously tested and examined by God on the last day to receive their just reward.
“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. (1st Corinthians 3:10-13)