Aleko Ververeli, age 89, formerly of Applewood Estates, Ambler, died Friday, January 18, 2019 at the Artman Home in Ambler where he has been a resident for the past 3 years.
Mr. Ververeli was born in Istanbul, Turkey. He is the son of the late Yani and Galatia (nee Papadopoulos) Ververeli.
"Alex" was the owner of Pride Cleaners in Mt. Airy and Flourtown for 32 years prior to his retirement in 2001.
He is survived by his daughter Galatea "Toula" V. (Simeon) Mackrides of Horsham, PA and his son Prodromos "Prody" (Kathleen) Ververeli of Allentown, PA. He is the loving grandfather of Alexandra Mackrides and her husband Alex Homer, Evangelos Mackrides; Elizabeth Ververeli and Alexander Ververeli. He was predeceased by his wife, Penelope B. (nee Borboroglu) in 2014.
Relatives and friends are invited to call Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 9:30 to 11:00 AM at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 7921 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA. The Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 AM with Rev. John L. Johns officiating. Interment will be in Whitemarsh Memorial Park, Horsham.
Remembrances in his name to Artman Home Benevolent Fund 7002 Butler Pike, Ambler, PA 19002 Attn: Patty Cline would be appreciated by the family.
Tributes and photos may be shared at www.UrbanFuneralHome.com
This Eulogy has been written by the family of Aleko Ververeli
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13, NKJV)
This well-known bible verse has been used to extol the three greatest virtues given to us by God. This verse appears in wedding ceremonies, greeting cards, and even a movie title. However its true meaning is the very basis of our belief that only through these virtues can we truly lead a spiritual life and become closer with God.
When remembering Aleko Ververeli, we see how it is possible for a man to live his entire life according to these three virtues.
Aleko was born in Istanbul, Turkey on May 2nd, 1929 as the youngest of four children to Yani and Galatia Ververeli. He lived on one of the Princes' Islands off the coast of Turkey. He was raised with a deep understanding and belief in the Greek Orthodox Faith and was a respectful son and student, as well as a devoted military man in the Turkish cavalry. In 1953 after a proper courtship he married his childhood classmate and love of his life, Penelope Borboroglu, and they began their life together strong in their faith. Things were good at that point and they enjoyed happy and fruitful times. However soon after their daughter, Galatea was born in 1954, their faith was to be tested. There was religious persecution against the Greeks and dissension occurring in Turkey. The family's future was not certain. It was at this time that Aleko made the difficult choice to immigrate to the United States and was forced to leave everything behind. Only through his faith did he generate the hope that their lives would be better. They arrived on the shores of the United States in 1957 with a meager amount of money and only a few possessions which fit into a ship's valet trunk.
Times were not easy for the family and Aleko worked three jobs to support them. His son, Prodromos was born in 1963 and he had to work even harder. He struggled to pay the bills and at one point almost gave up the dream of living in America. However it was his faith and that of his beloved wife that kept him going. He continued to hope and pray for more stability and was rewarded by acquiring his own dry cleaning business in 1964. From these meager beginnings Aleko expanded his business to two sites with multiple accounts. He was able to now buy a house for his family in an upscale area, pay for the advanced education of both children and travel the world with his family and friends. His hope for the American dream had come true through his faith and hard work. Once he reached his first major goal he did not become boastful but instead gave back to the church whom had helped sustain him during the rough times. He and Penelope donated the funds for the platytera, the icon of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus you see above the altar, as a reminder that their faith in God had given them the hope to continue on through the hardship.
Aleko passed on his faith and hope to his children, Toula and Prody by being a constant reminder of how one should live their life. Both the children became susccessful as well and chose fields in medicine in order to help others. Aleko and Penelope were proud of their children's success but were a constant reminder that without faith, hope and love, success was meaningless. They're greatest wish was that their children, Toula, Sim, Prody, and Kathleen would teach their grandchildren the meaning of these three virtues. Being able to see this wish come true in the lives of his grandchildren, Alexandra and Evangelos Mackrides, and Elizabeth and Alexander Ververeli was his greatest reward.
For 61 years Aleko and Penelope lived their lives together. Their love for one another, their children and grandchildren, as well as their faith gave them the continued hope for a wonderful future. When Penelope became ill Aleko's faith did not waiver but when she was called home to our Father in August 2014, Aleko's hope for the future was shadowed by grief. It was then that his love and faith guided him on his next path. Love for his children and grandchildren as well as faith that there was still a part for him to play in their lives and the lives of others bolstered his hope.
When he sold their lifelong home of 50 years and moved into Artman Assisted Living he was unsure of his future, but within a very short time realized that he had found a new home. His faith in living had been restored and his hope was renewed. These two virtues as well as his love for life were contagious to everyone he met at Artman. Not only did he improve the lives of other residents, who became his friends, he also brightened the workplace for the staff. He avidly participated in all the activities and became someone that those at Artman looked up to for encouragement. His roles as a master craftsman, bingo champion, leprechaun, Batman, Angel Gabriel and of course, the Philadelphia Eagles #1 fan, showed others that zest for life did not just belong to the young, but rather the young at heart. He was truly beloved by those at Artman and left behind a sense of hope and love for both the residents and the caring staff.
All his life, Aleko showed us how the virtues of faith, hope and love should be our guide. We will all mourn the loss of this amazing man but we must not let our mourning overshadow the message that he has left behind. The purpose of faith is to help us believe in things that we cannot see or prove and to give us confidence to hope. Aleko's faith allowed him to continue to hope even in the most difficult times of his life. The purpose of hope is to give us reassurance that our expectations will be realized, that what we seek will be there. Aleko's hope enabled him to rebuild a life in America and share his prosperity with the church, his family and friends.
Both faith and hope lead us to our final goal, LOVE. Love is the key to our spiritual and mortal lives. "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthinians 13:7). Aleko's life is the embodiment of love. His love for the church and his religion never faltered even during difficult times. His love for his wife never diminished even with her passing. His love for his children and their spouses guided them through every moment of their lives. His love for his grandchildren showed them the meaning of family. His love for others gave them a hope for the future. His love for life is an example to us all!
Please let us remember that LOVE is the greatest of God's virtues and will never fade. Aleko filled his life with love and he will continue to live on through those that honor his lesson by keeping this love alive.
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