Betty Simmons Kurkulos

June 6, 2018


Betty Kurkulos née Persephonia Simmons of Fall River passed away peacefully at Charlton Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, June 6th. She was 94.

Born in Fall River of Greek heritage, she was the widow of the late Harry A. Kurkulos of Athens, Greece and is survived by her daughter Maryellen Kurkulos of Fall River. The sister of the late Vasil B. Simmons, she is also survived by his widow Katherine Simmons of Alexandria, VA, their children Nancy Burke of Mclean, VA, Mark Simmons of Fairfax, VA and Lauren Simmons of Vienna, VA. She is also survived by her nephew George Zoupanos of Athens, Greece.

After graduating from Durfee High School, Miss Simmons attended Lasell Junior College where she graduated first in her class of 1946. Her academic achievement drew the attention of Boston University, where she was recruited to continue her studies. She received her B.A. from the School of Liberal Arts and her M.S.S.S. from the School of Social Work. She began her career in the Fall River offices of the Department of Public Welfare.

While studying for her master's degree in 1954, it was the beginning of the Cold War. Ships from the Greek Royal Navy were in Newport as the U.S. and Greece conducted offshore exercises at the U.S. Naval Base. The local Greek community organized a formal event in Westport in honor of the Greek naval officers. The Protopresbyter of the Greek Church convinced the busy master's student to take a break from her studies and attend the function. It was there that she met Sub Lieutenant Kurkulos, and they began a long distance courtship that in 1956 culminated in a whirlwind trip to Athens, where they married.

Due to their divergent careers, they spent long periods apart as Mrs. Kurkulos returned to the US to complete her studies. Their daughter was born in 1960 in Athens, and the family maintained residences in Fall River and Athens. In 1965, Mrs. Kurkulos joined the Fall River Public School Department, working as a School Adjustment Counselor until her retirement in 1995.

Mrs. Kurkulos was an active member of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, where she sang in the choir and was secretary of the Ladies Philoptochos Society. She excelled at sewing and was an avid cook and baker: she especially enjoyed baking bread, and was known for her delicate Greek butter cookies.

Her funeral will be held Tuesday, June 12th, 2018, at 9 AM, from the Hathaway Home for Funerals, 1813 Robeson Street in Fall River, with Divine Liturgy at 10 AM, in St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 289 N. Main Street, Fall River. Burial to follow in the Pine Grove Cemetery, New Bedford.

Calling hours Monday, June 11th from 4 to 7 PM.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church or Catholic Memorial Home, 2446 Highland Avenue, Fall River, MA 02720.

Calling Hours

JUN 11. 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM (EDT)

Hathaway Home For Funerals
1813 Robeson Street
Fall River, MA, 02720


JUN 12. 9:00 AM (EDT)

Hathaway Home For Funerals
1813 Robeson Street
Fall River, MA, 02720

Divine Liturgy

JUN 12. 10:00 AM (EDT)

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
289 N. Main Street
Fall River, MA

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