Elsie M. Chelemes

June 20, 1923 - August 29, 2020

Elsie “So-So” Marganis Chelemes, loving wife, amazing mother, sweet yiayia, caring sister, and dear friend, passed away August 29, 2020 in Layton, Utah.

Elsie was born on June 20, 1923 in Salt Lake City to Angeliki and Theodore Marganis, the second of five daughters.  She was born in her parents’ bedroom and it snowed on the day she was born.

After graduating from West High School, Elsie was employed at Fort Douglas and the Department of Agriculture for 31 years. Elsie cherished her time with family and friends and was passionate about two hobbies - she was a phenomenal cook and she loved working in her beautiful flower garden. Her true calling, however, was volunteering in many capacities for the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Salt Lake City, Utah. For decades she served as a Sunday School teacher and a dedicated volunteer for the annual Greek Festival. Elsie’s love of music kept her singing in the Holy Trinity Choir for over 65 years. She served as a mentor to singers of all ages. 

Elsie met Sam J. Chelemes, the love of her life, when they both played in the Greek Bowling League at Paldamor Bowling Lanes. They were married in 1961 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. She was thrilled when their son, Basil, was born. Sam had four wonderful children from his first marriage: Darlene; Kathleen; James; and Julie.  When Elsie married Sam, she became a second mother to them. 

Elsie and Sam would have celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on October 1, 2020. They enjoyed a lifetime of loving, caring, and sharing with each other.  

Elsie is survived by her husband, Sam, Layton, UT; and children: Basil (Joni) Chelemes, Salt Lake City, UT; Darlene (Thomas) Godfrey, Centerville, GA; Kathleen (William) Bonshire, Snellville, GA; James (Linda) Chelemes, Clinton, UT; and Julie Christensen, Clearfield, UT.  Elsie is also survived by six amazing grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and her sister, Stella Zaharias, Salt Lake City, UT. 

Elsie was preceded in death by her parents, and her sisters: Helen Janos; Emily Vasilion; and Mary Melissas.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 11:00 am at Holy Trinity Cathedral, 279 South 300 West, Salt Lake City. The courtesy of wearing a face covering is requested. Interment will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 1342 East 500 South, Salt Lake City. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Elsie’s memory to Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir, 279 South 300 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101.

A special thank you to the staff at Apple Village and Bristol Hospice for the exceptional care and comfort they provided to Elsie.

May her memory be eternal.