Mary Anderson

Mary Anderson (Maria Protopappas) July 10, 1931 – February 28, 2020
In light of the current health situation, the services for Ms. Mary Anderson (Protopappa) will be held all in one day as a private service. She will be laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery, Evergreen Park, Illinois. The Anderson and Berg family would like to thank you for your understanding and greatly appreciate your prayers and gestures of sympathy during this difficult time. Most importantly they wish you and your loved ones to be safe. In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Constantine and Helen Church or to St. Jude’s Hospital.
Mary Anderson, 88, from Palos Heights, Darien, and Scottsdale passed away at her daughter Halena’s home in California, surrounded by family on February 28 th Mary is survived by her two children Paul and Halena, son-in-law Doug (who loved her like his own mother), two grandchildren: Zoe and Luca, and her partner of 29 years Joe Nunes. Mary was preceded in death by her parents Paul and Haido Paulson- Protopappas and her brother Tom Paulson. Mary was born in Chicago, Il on July 10, 1931. Her Greek immigrant parents instilled the importance of education and encouraged their daughter to become a teacher. Mary graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Chicago Teacher’s College and with a Master’s degree in administration from De Paul University. She worked in Chicago schools, Hedges & Nansen Elementary, for over 40 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and ultimately, as principal. She made such an impact on her students and even the parents throughout her career. She worked very long hours, ensuring that every one of her “children” got the best education and both students, parents and staff were treated with unwavering respect and fairness. After spending her professional and personal life in the Chicago area, Mary enjoyed Scottsdale as a retreat in the winters. She later moved to the San Francisco East Bay area to live out her last few years surrounded by her loving daughter, son in law, granddaughters and their close friends. She attended many of Zoe and Luca’s volleyball games, graduations, birthdays, and other celebrations. Even though she suffered from dementia, Mary regularly beat Paul and Halena at Tavli (backgammon). She was called Yaya by all and eventually the moniker “Totally Awesome Yaya” was given to her. Mary will be remembered by her friends and relatives as an incredibly warm, loving and principled woman that had grace and style like no other. Aside from her immediate family, she touched so many hearts…from the children she taught, nieces and nephews, to children of her friends and beyond. She frequently helped others with sage advice and lent an ear to anyone at any time. Her laugh was contagious, and her convictions revered. She will be deeply and truly missed by so many. We loved her and she loved us. Totally Awesome Yaya indeed.
 Orrico Kourelis Funeral Services Inc. handling all arrangements. For information please call 877/974-9201 or 815/462-0711 or