Helen Kouris Dikeou departed this world to be with the Lord on Feb 1, 2022, as one of God’s most faithful witnesses of light on this earth was tragically snuffed out,... a few years sooner than what she had hoped.
Born February 2, 1937 to Gust A. and Melva Georgelas Kouris in Carbon County, Utah, Helen was the 2nd of 4 girls raised in Salt Lake City, along with her three spirited sisters, Charlene, Mary, and Theano.
A gigantic extended family & many in the close Greek community lived within walking distance of her family home and Helen’s life was filled with people, parea, and social gatherings from a very young age. This was the foundation for the outgoing, friendly and very social person Helen became, which continued throughout her life.
Helen loved people! On her 60th birthday she found it nearly impossible to limit her celebration to just 200 close friends and family. Such was the nature of Helen Dikeou. Her engaging personality, love of God and love for her fellow-man made her a loyal, honest, compassionate & very dear friend to many. She made friends easily and everywhere, young or old, rich or poor, and people from all walks of life. She never missed an opportunity to visit, chat or break bread with others.
Helen brought many people to know God, it was her calling and she never lost faith in any situation. With circumstances large and small, Helen took everything to God in prayer and taught her children to do the same.
She was a loving mother and sister, a dedicated Sunday school teacher, a trusted and loyal employee, an avid sports fan, passionate about her Denver Bronco’s and Utah Utes and a life-long member of the Greek Orthodox Church, both in Salt Lake City and Denver.
Helen graduated from South High School in 1955 and was the first member of her family to attend college. While there, she joined the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and graduated from the University of Utah in 1960.
As a young adult she was very active, singing in the church choir, playing women’s basketball and regularly traveling with large groups of friends to other western cities for choir conventions and basketball tournaments. She served on Organizing Committees and helped with the newsletter for Western Choir Federation Conferences & a 1957 Rocky Mtn region basketball tournament.
It was during these years where she met her future husband, Jim Dikeou. They married in 1960 and Helen moved to Denver where Jim was raised. In Denver, she worked for United Airlines and taught elementary school before having two children, Elayna and Ted. Their young family was extremely active with other couples in the church. They raised their children together and had an incredible amount of group-fun! A surprise early morning ‘Come as you are’ party is just one example of many that come to mind. Helen developed many close and enduring friendships during her time in Denver. Many referred to those years as the best in her life.
In the 1960’s Helen served as chairman for a National Greek Orthodox Clergy-Laity Congress. This was a big role for her and she turned her house into a headquarters of sorts to plan the event.
In 1975, she returned to Salt Lake with her children after divorce. She went to work for the University of Utah and remained there until she retired. Through her job at the U, Helen became close with many students who she mentored during their college years. She was promoted several times, and eventually ran the University’s Office of Veteran Affairs.
Helen was always up for a game of cards & loved to play board games. With quick wit and an encyclopedic mind, she delighted in doing crosswords and excelled at every word game known to man. She was an avid reader and sometimes read 6 books in a week’s time. She also loved animals and they loved her, she gave every pet snitches of food from her plate.
For over 50 years, her women’s groups in Salt Lake and Denver gathered monthly for Friday dinners, where conversation and laughter carried well into the night. Many don’t know of Helen’s match-making skills. She successfully paired many couples in her very large circle. Dozens of families owe their beginnings to Helen’s idea’s and lining people up. Although she didn’t complain, she surely had to be sad that she didn’t get to experience the joy of having her own grandchildren.
While not known for being physically active in her latter years, Helen’s mind never sat still. She was either reading or writing, calling this person or that, or planning her next social encounter. She kept up on what was happening with everyone she knew, along with the news, politics & world events until she was harmed in her final months. Even last spring she still remembered every person who’d played part in her life, who was related to who, who lived where, who was doing what, who got married, who was sick, and who had recently died… And, as always, her concern for others still outweighed what she was going thru herself.
The many she taught and brought to know God will continue in her footsteps. We know we will see her again when we are all reunited in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Elayna Dikeou; sisters Mary (Gary) Barker, Theano (Val) Pantone; nieces & nephews, Joey Pantone, Tiffany Papageorge, Karen and Kelly Polychronis, David and Michael Robbins, Sam and Elleney Soter; along with hundreds of cousins, godchildren and friends in both Salt Lake City and Denver.
She was preceded in death by her son, Ted (Theodore) J. Dikeou whose life was tragically cut short in 1990…This was devastating for Helen & broke her heart; Also, by her parents; her sister Charlene (Tom) Polychronis; Gaylen Robbins; nephews, Kyle Polychronis & Sammy Soter; and numerous very close aunts, uncles, cousins and koumbari.
Funeral services and a viewing will take place at St. Anna’s and Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox churches.
The viewing is Thurs Feb 24, 6:45pm-8pm at Prophet Elias, 5335 So Highland Drive, SLC, UT 84117, with Trisagion at 7:30pm.
Funeral will be Fri February 25, 2022, 12 noon at St. Anna’s Orthodox Church, 9201 S.1300 E, Sandy, Utah 84094
Interment at Mt Olivet Cemetery followed by a late lunch and makaria at Prophet Elias. All who knew Helen are invited.
Masks are requested along with social distancing to protect vulnerable family. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Helen’s memory to either St. Anna’s or Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Churches in Salt Lake City or the Assumption Cathedral in Denver, CO.
Funeral service Services will be live-streamed on the St. Anna YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8PbdstnLVq-relVOb3GiwA.
The lessons of Helen’s death are many. Some may learn from them, others may not.
MAY HER MEMORY BE ETERNAL!
I love you mom!