Eternal Be Her Memory...

Penelope John Conomos

March 25, 1910 - March 11, 2018

Our cherished matriarch Penelope John Conomos, beloved mother, treasured wife, doting grandmother, adored great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, and the eighth wonder of the world, passed away with loved ones by her side on March 11, 2018 just two weeks shy of her 108th birthday. To her family, she was simply revered as "Yiayia."

Yiayia was born across the seas in the village of Agia Anastasia on the island of Kythera in Greece on March 25th, 1910. The youngest child of proud peasants Stamati and Damiani Vernardou, her education came to an abrupt end at the age of 9 when her family could no longer afford shoes. So Yiayia spent the remainder of her childhood tending to the livestock and olive orchards.

In 1931, she married John Alex Conomos, a former Greek soldier who fought against the Axis in WWI. After welcoming their first child, the young family sailed for America in what would be a life changing journey. 

After emigrating, Yiayia's life became one of sacrifice, faith, and endurance. She worked diligently to adapt to American culture while still honoring the traditions of her homeland. After welcoming three more children, she instilled in them a deep appreciation for the value of education. She beamed when they earned their own advanced degrees. And after her children married, she celebrated the reaffirmation of life when new grandchildren were born. 

But her life was also one of great loss. Separated from her family in Greece and widowed at the age of 47, she remained eternally faithful to the memory of her husband for 70 years. And ultimately, she outlived three of her four children. Yet she met each tribulation with her usual grit and beautiful grace. She was fond of saying "such is the life" and believed that life was always to be celebrated despite its imperfections. Living on her own until the end, she never stopped tending to her garden, never ceased to laugh, and never met a "Whopper" she didn't like. In her unfailing wisdom, she knew that the simplest things in life yielded the greatest joy.

She is survived by her devoted daughter, Chrysanthy, and loving grandchildren Diana Prendergast, Penelope Condas, Penelope Benis, John Conomos, and Alexa Anderson, thirteen great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.
Yiayia is now reunited in eternal peace with her beloved husband, John A. Conomos, and her cherished children Damiani Conomos, Anastasia Condas, and Tasso John Conomos.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Trisagion Service Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 7:00 P.M. at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 1260 Davis Street, San Jose. Funeral Service Friday, March 16, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. at the above Church. Interment to follow at Mission City Memorial Park.Remembrances may be made in Penelope's name St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church ( or to the Kytherian Society of California ( 

You can also read about the life journey of Penelope Conomos at www.alexaconomos108.blogspot. com.


Penelope is also listed under our Notable Kytherians on this site:

Giagia’s Journey

A Photo Journal of the life of  

Penelope Benardos Conomos

Su   © KSOCA 2012