Della Mae Paphites, 97, of Virginia Beach, was given over to her heavenly Father Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. She was born Sept. 20, 1921, in Windsor, North Carolina, to the late Abbie and Rose Davis, where she lived until she relocated to Tidewater.
In Tidewater, she met the love of her life, the late John C. Paphites; they married in 1941.
Della and John Paphites operated several notable restaurants in both Norfolk and Virginia Beach after John’s discharge from the U.S. Army at the end of World War II. The most recent was Marty’s Lobster House at the Oceanfront, where they became a favorite among locals and visiting tourists. Della was an ever-present fixture in greeting the guests and making them feel welcomed. Her smile was a constant reminder that she truly enjoyed her job and the people with whom she interacted.
If there was anything that was paramount in her life, it was her role as a mother. She was blessed with two loving sons, Tassos, and his wife, Dolores, and Chris, and his wife, Debi, who she adored and whose activities at school and church became the focus of her life. She never missed a game, no matter how far. Both boys never had a better cheerleader.
She was preceded in death by two brothers, George and Cullen Davis; and three sisters, Annie Brickhouse, Rosa Lee Gentry and Foy Pierce.
Della was further blessed with seven loving grandchildren, Kaitrin (Grey), Ryan, Andrea, Jason, Courtney, Casey and Catherine, who knew her simply as YiaYia. She had two great-grandchildren, Greyson and Emersyn Young. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews who called her Aunt Dell and in whose lives she was ever present. She will be sorely missed by the many other family and friends who were blessed to have her as part of their lives. She was a godmother to a multitude of grateful young people. There was no end to her mothering nature.
Della was an active member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Norfolk, where she was an active member of the Philoptochos Society, the Hellenic Women’s Club, the Cypriot Club and the Golden Years Group, with whom she shared her every Tuesday afternoon at the church hall.
A Trisagion service will be conducted at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 18, at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., 2002 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, where family will receive condolences. Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 7220 Granby St., Norfolk, with Father George Bessinas officiating. Interment will follow in Forest Lawn Cemetery alongside her beloved “Johnny.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Norfolk. May her memory be eternal.
Share online condolences with the family at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts.