Western Slope Obituaries 5-3-10
Marianna Mahleres Raftopoulos, 55, of Craig, Colo., passed away April 14, 2010 at her home after an 11 year battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Her loving family and a few of her closest friends surrounded her.
Marianna was born May 23, 1954, to Nick and Helen Mahleres in Grand Junction, Colo.
She was a Grand Junction native and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Marianna was known in the Craig community for serving in a variety of capacities, including an eight-year term on the Moffat County Commission Board. She was the first and only female elected to the county commission, according to county officials.
She also served on various boards including the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership, The Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of Craig and the Colorado Wildlife Commission, among others. She worked in business management and eventually became a consultant in the oil and gas industry.
“She was always the leadership person and very welcoming and never burned one bridge,” Mari Katherine said.
She said she saw her mother as a strong leader who took her illness in stride while continuing to serve the community. “Eleven years, that’s a long time,” Mari Katherine said. “But it was always something viewed as a livable cancer because it was. She would do her chemo, but she’d be fine. She’d be back at the office doing a speech or taking us to basketball.”
In 2008, Mari Katherine said her mother contracted pneumonia and her health began to deteriorate. Still, she always had a smile on her face.
She is survived by her husband, John Raftopoulos; sons George and Angelo Raftopoulos; daughter Mari Katherine Raftopoulos, all of Craig, Colo.; parents Nick and Helen Mahleres of Grand Junction, Colo.; brother Harry (Claudia) Mahleres and their children, Nick, Eleni and Noelle Mahleres of Denver, Colo.
Services were held April 19, 2010 at St. John’s Greek Orthodox church.
Interment was in the Craig Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church, P.O. Box 848, Craig, Colo., 81625.