Irene Gevas

Athens - Irene Gevas, 90, formerly of 37 Graham Drive, Athens, OH, passed away peacefully on Jan. 9 in Columbus, OH after an extended illness.

She was born Irene Karageorge in 1931, the youngest of three children, in Vinianni, Greece.

Prior to the commencement of World War II, her father, George, emigrated to the United States and settled in Athens to establish a better living for his family. There he opened The Ideal Cafe located at the intersection of West Union Street and Court Street (now known as Whit's Custard).

After the war, Irene, her mother, Pipina, brother, Kosta (Gus), and sister, Maria, came to Athens to reunite with her father.

There she met and married Emmanuel Gevas in 1953. He owned The Athens Wine and Beer Store around the corner from her father's diner. Shortly afterwards, Emmanuel and her brother Gus opened the landmark Towne House Restaurant on West Union Street, which operated for more than 30 years (now known as Jackie O's Public House Restaurant).

They also owned several rental properties for Ohio University students. Irene worked alongside them in the restaurant and they provided a welcoming place for Athens residents and OU students and faculty. For several years after its closing, they still heard from former customers who cherished the time they spent in their restaurant.

Irene was known for her devotion to her family. She and Emmanuel had three children: Sophia, George, and Ernie. She took tremendous pride in hosting large holiday gatherings, where she was known for her exquisite Greek cooking- especially her pastries. She also enjoyed tending to her beautiful flower gardens.

Her children went on to have grandchildren who became the light of her life. She delighted in spending time with them especially during summers at her home. The entire Gevas family would take summer vacations that created long-lasting memories.

She was a devout member of The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbus, OH. She also attended Greek Orthodox services at the The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Athens, which graciously provided its chapel for the services.

Irene volunteered in the gift shop at OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital. She was a member of The Order of the Eastern Star (a Masonic organization). She was also a member of Beta Sigma Phi, a women's social sorority, which provided community service work. Through this sorority, she developed life-long friendships.

Upon her husband's passing in 2009, she divided her time with her sister, Maria, spending half the year in Athens and the other half in Knoxville, TN.

When her sister Maria passed away in 2011, she moved to Norwalk, CT to live with her daughter, Sophia and her husband, T. C. Burtt. She enjoyed trips into New York City including visiting art museums and galleries. She also enjoyed going to the ocean and attending a variety of concerts. She was a member of the Church of the Archangels Greek Orthodox Church in Stamford, CT and was a member of the Philoptochos, a philanthropic organization.

She returned to Columbus in the spring of 2021 where she was cared for by her sons and their families.

She is survived by her children, Sophia Gevas (T. C. Burtt), George (Lisa) Gevas, Ernie (Kelli) Gevas; grandchildren, Jonathan (Chelsy) Gevas, Anastasia (Ashton) Gevas-Farmer, Alexis (Mark) Evans, Christina (fiancé Max Meyer) and Andrea Gevas (fiancé Matt Roper); Alicia (Bill) Dempster, Ashley Burtt; great-grandchildren, Emmanuelle, Cecilia, Isabelle and Leonie Gevas; Zavier Evans, Ezekiel Gevas-Farmer; and Sabine, Delaney and Zack Dempster.

The family would like to thank the caregivers at Geriatric Care Management in Norwalk and ComForCare and Capital City Hospice in Columbus.

Visitation hours are from 10:00am to 11 a.m. on Jan. 15 at Hughes-Moquin Funeral Home in Athens (168 Morris Avenue) followed by a funeral service. Interment will be at the Athens Memory Gardens.

It is requested that family and friends take responsible precaution and wear a mask while at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 555 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215 or CurePSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy), 1216 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY. 10001. Messages of sympathy can be sent on the Hughes-Moquin Funeral Home website, Irene Gevas

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