Kay Jane Karasavas, 81, beloved wife, mother and Yiayia (grandmother), passed away peacefully in her home in Lomita, California on April 26th, 2020 with family by her side.
Kay was born on February 6, 1939 in Manhattan, New York, to parents Peter and Iphigenia Pappas, who were immigrants from Cyprus. Kay grew up in Cambria Heights, a neighborhood in Queens, New York, with her sister Mary (Papps). Kay enjoyed a diverse neighborhood and the family grew bonds and many friendships. Kay attended Andrew Jackson High school and then attended Queens College where she was an active member of the Ikaros Society, a social and cultural organization of Greek American students. She graduated in June of 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education.
Kay began teaching Elementary school on Long Island. Shortly after, Kay attended Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, for her Masters in Education, specializing in the teaching of reading to elementary school students.
Kay’s Greek and Cypriot culture inspired her to travel over-seas to spend time with her Greek cousins and explore Europe. Her love of travel and the importance of staying connected to her Greek/Cypriot heritage was a priority in her life and something she instilled in her family. Kay was active in the community of St. Demetrios church in Jamaica, New York, and sang in the choir for many years. She had a love of skiing and spent many weekends in the beautiful Vermont mountains.
Kay made many trips to visit her sister Mary who had moved to California with her husband George Papps and their family. Kay met her loving husband Albert on one of those visits to California. Albert and Kay were married in 1974 at St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church and the two settled in California. Kay’s parents, Peter and Iphigenia, moved to California to be with both of their daughters. The family was all together, a testament to the priority and love they all had for one another.
Kay and Albert resided in Torrance California. In 1978 they had their daughter Chrissy (Meisterheim). Kay devoted her time to caring for her family, raising Chrissy and involving her in numerous activities. Kay instilled the priority of education in her daughter and also continued to teach part-time at Chrissy’s middle school. The family was very active at St. Katherine’s and Kay was a devout parishioner, enjoying Bible Study meetings and was an active member of the philanthropic Philoptochos Society where she served on its board. Kay was a sports fanatic. An original Brooklyn Dodgers fan, Kay stayed devoted to the team when they became the LA Dodgers. The Laker or Dodger games were always on in her home.
Kay’s pride and love grew when Chrissy married Jeffrey Meisterheim in 2009 and again with the birth of her grandchildren Loukas in 2013 and Effie in 2015. Along with her children and grandchildren, Kay loved and enjoyed her nephews and nieces Peter, Genia (Bruce), Alexia (Fred) and grandnephews Tony, Matthew, Dean and grandniece Mia.
Kay battled many health obstacles in her life with strength and grace. Kay was cherished by others for her warmth, selflessness and devotion to her family and community. Ensuring the well-being of her family was her lifetime focus and giving herself to others is her life’s legacy.
Services for Kay will be held on Tuesday May 5, 2020, at St Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Redondo Beach. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, services will be private. A celebration of life will be planned at a later time. In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor can be made to St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church, Redondo Beach or a donation to the Diabetes Organization at https://www.diabetes.org/donate/donate-in-honor