Dukessa (Duchess) Arfaras, 93, of Tarpon Springs, FL fell asleep in the Lord on November 30, 2022 at her home with her children beside her. She was born in Tarpon Springs, FL on June 25, 1929 to Damianos and Hariclea (Tsakiris) Giallourakis. In addition to her parents, Duchess is preceded in death by her loving husband Michel (2007), her beloved son Nicholas (2002), her mother-in-law Tarsia Arfaras, who lived with her for twenty-three years, and her three brothers Michael, Philip, and Tony. She survived by her daughter Irene (Steve N.) Steffas, her daughter-in-law, Anna (Nicholas) Arfaras, her son Damian Arfaras, along with four grandsons, Michael N. Arfaras, Steven N. Arfaras, Nicholas E. Steffas, Michael E. Steffas, her former sister-in-law Sofia Orr, and many cousins, nieces, nephews and godchildren.
Duchess and her husband, Michel owned and operated Duchess Curio Shop at the Sponge Docks of Tarpon Springs for 46 years. She successfully unified 65 merchants as president of the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Merchant Association from 1993-1998.
In 1999, Archbishop Spyridon awarded Duchess the prestigious Medal of St. Paul for her tireless efforts serving those in need. Duchess loved the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Tarpons Springs. For forty-eight years she was active in St. Nicholas Ladies Society and eventually bridged that organization with St. Nicholas Philoptochos. She served on many philanthropic boards, including the local chapter at St. Nicholas and the Atlanta Metropolis (diocese) Board. She received many awards including the Philoptochos Agape Award in 2016. She was a member of the Eastern Star and the Symian Society Taxiarchis.
She personally lived the spirit of Philoptochos by welcoming into her home and kitchen table dozens of people who needed comfort, care, and a safe place. She was blessed with a very positive outlook on life and she effectively shared that with her family, friends and those in need.
Funeral arrangements are through Vinson Funeral Home. Visitation from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Trisagion at 7:00 pm on Sunday, December 4th at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The funeral will be at 12 noon on Monday, December 5th at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Duchess’s memory to St. Nicholas Cathedral of Tarpon Springs or St. Nicholas Cathedral’s Philoptochos.
Philoptochos of St. Nicholas
18 Hibiscus Street, Tarpon Springs FL 34689
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral
17 East Tarpon Avenue, Tarpon Springs FL 34689
Administration Office only - Not the location of the Cathedral