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  • Catherine Tegu

    Posted by elissa mondschein on Nov 12, 2023 at 2:20 pm

    Catherine Tegu (nee Katerina Brajitouli) born in Vovousa (Baiasa), Greece, passed away on November 8, 2023 at the age of 97. (Before her passing – she had been the oldest living person from her village).

    She was the wife of the late T. Steven John Tegu (who also passed away in the month of November (1997).

    She is survived by her children Janine Tegu (Ben Marcoccio), Andriana Tegu Contreras (Julio Contreras), Steven Tegu, Peter Tegu (Nina Kooloian Tegu), and Alexander Tegu. And her grandson Eli Tegu. She is also survived by many family members in the States, Greece and Germany. She is preceded in death by her parents Nicholas Brajitouli and Kiratsa Zizi Miha, and by her siblings Eleni Shafarikas (Nicholas), and her brothers George, Michael (Sultana), Ferdenando (Maria).

    Although Catherine’s actual coming to the United States didn’t happen until 1947, the idea was planted in 1945 when Tegu -her then future husband and a captain in the U.S. Air Force – returned to Vovousa to see family he had not seen in 25 years. (Tegu had immigrated with his family to the States at the age of 9). He stayed with Catherine’s family as her father was a very close relative to Tegu’s family. (And in 1945, Greece was recovering from the war and a large part of Vovousa had been burned). During his stay in Vovousa, Tegu had taken a photo of Catherine getting water from the river in a copper pot. Upon returning to the Azores where he was stationed, he fell in love with Catherine from the photo and with his father’s help asked for her hand in marriage. The trip to Vovousa which had proven to be a momentous and emotional trip for Tegu – resulted in Catherine’s arrival in 1947 to New York from Athens – by herself – on a plane – at the age of 21 – as a war bride. A couple of weeks later she and Tegu were married in St. Johnsbury, Vermont and she was welcomed with open arms by the Tegu family.

    Tegu wanted Catherine to finish high school, learn English and have the opportunity to travel before they had children. Which she did and she was tops in her class for learning the history of the US in order to pass the civic exam to obtain her US citizenship.

    She and Tegu lived in Germany where Tegu flew during the Berlin Airlift, and then in France, and Spain. By the time they arrived in Spain, they had three children, with one more on the way and several years later when they arrived in Rhode Island to live, the youngest of their five children was born. She doted on her children. Her children were everything to her. And she would always say “How did I do it with five kids?”. She did not judge people and would always say that everyone had a story to tell.

    She was known for her kindness and warmth and for being an incredible listener. Catherine spoke several foreign languages and got to travel extensively through Europe with Tegu and their children. She loved reading and learning and her favorite topics were Greek mythology and plays, history and geography. She could not only prepare Greek dishes, but was open to learning different types of food be they Cuban, Spanish, or Italian. But more important than cooking, she enjoyed feeding her family and guests to show her love.

    Even though she has passed, in 2024 she will continue her love of travel, as her name and that of Tegu are inscribed on a microchip on the NASA Europa spacecraft that will travel 1.8 billion miles to explore Europa (Jupiter’s icy moon) to determine if it harbors conditions suitable for life when it arrives there in April of 2030. “May she rest in peace. May she now join her departed family. May she continue to travel with Tegu.”

    In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the St. Jude’s Children Hospital (stjude.org/800-805-5856).

    Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 from 5-7 p.m. Her funeral will be held on Wednesday, November 15, at 10 a.m. at the Maceroni Funeral Home, 1381 Smith Street, North Providence, RI, followed by a Prayer Service at 11 a.m. Burial will take place after the Prayer Service at Highland Memorial Park Cemetery, 1 Rhode Island Avenue, Johnston, RI (and a short distance away from the Maceroni Funeral Home).

    To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.

    Obituary published on Legacy.com by Maceroni Funeral Home – North Providence on Nov. 9, 2023.

    Memorial Events
    for Catherine Tegu

    NOV 14

    Visitation 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

    Maceroni Funeral Home & Cremation Services

    1381 Smith St, North Providence, RI 02911

    NOV 15

    Prayer Service 11:00 a.m.

    Maceroni Funeral Home & Cremation Services

    1381 Smith St, North Providence, RI 02911

    NOV 15

    Interment 11:45 a.m.

    Highland Memorial Park

    Rhode Island Ave, Johnston, RI 02919

    Funeral services provided by:

    Maceroni Funeral Home – North Providence

    1381 Smith St, North Providence, RI 02911

    elissa mondschein replied 6 months, 1 week ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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