Unconditional love best describes, Alice Chibis, a woman of many talents, interests and vocations. Alice was a wife, mother, yiayia, thea, cousin and just a good friend to many. Once you met her you were enchanted by her youthful voice, sparkle for life and realized that her spirit transcended her age in spite of her health issues. Her beauty was lifelong, both externally and internally in her early years she won a beauty contest and was often compared to Elizabeth Taylor.
She was the baby of six siblings born in Akron to a Greek Icarian family of little means during the depression. Growing up her prized possessions where dolls made from rags. Later in life she collected dolls and toys as she could afford them, making up for what was not attainable in her youth. She learned caretaking at an early age, helping her Greek speaking mother and autistic brother during their lifetimes. This continued, caring for her children and grandchildren Joe, Kevin, Alex, Alyssa, Kali and Kagan. She loved playing with the kids of all ages.
Her family restaurant gave her a skill set which served her most of her working years. She would meet Dad, Louis Chibis, at the New Deal, her father’s restaurant and this resulted in a lifelong adventure together. Their three daughters Venette, Denise and Lisa were created from their pure affection for each other. She loved, valued and cherished her girls until her last breath.
She retired from the Red Lobster after a long career as a server. Her effervescent nature made her a wonderful waitress and during her time there she forged lifelong friendships. Her modern relationship with Lou allowed her to work outside the home, have friends and have independence and be a loving wife and mother as well.
Her Icarian heritage carried her throughout life. She was the president of the Akron chapter of the Icarian club for many years. The special bond, appreciation of heritage has carried on to her girls and grandchildren. The Icarian convention has become an important part of all their lives.
She had a great love of music. In her teens she took voice lessons. She sang with the Mother Singers when the girls were younger. When Venette was a teen, Alice took guitar lessons with her. She also studied keyboard. She loved watching and attending musicals as her health allowed. Dancing was also a big part of her life from ethnic Greek dancing, swing, jitterbug, rock and growing up she was formally trained as a dancer. Her daughters all took dance lessons which continued the tradition and created a deep love of movement for the entire extended family including the grandchildren. Alice and Louie could really shake things up with their style and steps. Even late in life she still had moves that would amaze you.
Alice had a green thumb and could grow anything. Fresh veggies and herbs from the garden nourished the family yearly. Beautiful plants and flowers where always found in and out of the house creating a lovely living space. They won the Akron Beautification Award many times. Their property was named the “Kenmore Country Club” by the relatives because of its beauty and it made you feel like you were on vacation because of all of the amenities on their property. She cared for the environment too. She had a vested interest in the health and wellbeing of the Ohio Canal which was part of her living space. She and Lou helped organize the Ohio and Erie Canal Coalition which protects and keeps the waters healthy. Alice commissioned a permanent monument, a large carving, preserving a very old oak tree in the yard in a special way. Affectionately name “Chief Pin Oak”, it became a focal point for walkers along the towpath. A recent trend has been noticed that others have erected statues or other pieces of interest to observe as you stroll along the towpath.
She was so creative and could deliver the most captivating stories out of thin air. It was magical to watch and listen. All of us loved to hear her tales. Her impressions of John Wayne and Baby Snooks made us all double with laughter. She could sew and fabricate elaborate costumes out of nothing. The girls enjoyed beautiful dance outfits, Halloween costumes and themed party ensembles for years and the next generation has enjoyed them as well. Cooking was effortless for her mixing this and that and producing wondrous meals out of simple ingredients. Whoever stopped by was treated to a fun, delicious and entertaining adventure. The family enjoyed good food and it was a focal point for the many theme parties the family hosted throughout the years. Epic memories were created from the dance numbers and songs included at their events.
Her creativity flowed into poetry as well. Her poems were from the heart and flowed effortlessly from thought to pen. Her last poem:
The Table of Empty Chairs
I am sitting at a table of empty chairs and I am feeling sad and blue because all the people that I have loved have bid me sad ado.
As I touch each empty chair a sweet memory arises of the time we cared and the wonderful time we shared.
I look up in the sky and a table I see.
The chairs are filled, there is love and laughter, and everyone is free.
Then I smile from below at something else I see.
An empty chair is sitting there and is waiting just for me.
This poem is dedicated to family and friends I have lost.
The family will receive friends Friday, June 8th from 4 to 8 pm at the Anthony Funeral Home Kucko-Anthony-Kertesz Chapel, 1990 S. Main St. Akron OH 44301 where a Trisagion service will be held at 6:00 pm. Funeral services will be held Saturday, June 9th at 11:00 am at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 129 S Union St, Akron, OH 44304, where the body will lie in state from 10 to 11 am. Burial to follow at Glendale Cemetery. Luncheon at church after burial.