Howland, Ohio – On Monday, July 18, 2022, Betty (better known as “Vasso”) G. Pontikos, loving wife, mother, sister, cousin, and grandmother, passed away at the age of 75 of cancer at Saint Elizabeth’s in Downtown Youngstown. She was born on November 4, 1946, in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Michael and Mable Steffan.
Mom was known for her infectious smile, huge and compassionate heart, and the uncanny ability to get anyone, and I mean anyone, to open up to her and give their life story to her (I think she may have been a therapist in another life). But her most important quality was the unconditional love she showed to her family and friends. Oh, and according to her “grand-dog” Gertie, the bestest treat giver…ever!
She graduated from Cleveland’s West Tech High School in 1964 and in 1965 she married the love of her life George Pontikos and spent 53 wonderful years together but according to Vasso, it was actually 57, if you count the years they were dating! 53 or 57, the love they shared for one another transcended to all of their family members.
I honestly believe the saying “big things come in small packages” was made about her. At only 5’1”, she was a whirlwind! Whether volunteering for the PTA when I was a kid, getting the house ready for the holidays and family events, or just being there for family and friends in their time of need, she was that shoulder to cry on.
She loved watching the Hallmark and Turner Classic Movies channels, going to Yankee Kitchen in Vienna with the family for “brunch” and really just having the family around her, but then again, EVERYONE to her was family. We would walk into places and someone would yell out “Ms.Betty, you’re here, I’ll be right over” and I’m like, “who was that?”. She would just smile and say, “they are just my friends”.
She is survived by her son Michael Pontikos (Carissa Benchwick) of Warren, grandchildren Taylor (Marco) DeOrnellas of Florida, Alec Pontikos (Vanessa Wehr), Bailey Pontikos (Jake Coates) of Youngstown, and Royal Morgan of Virginia, who were the apple of mom’s eyes and could never do anything wrong, brother-in-law John Pontikos (Debra Peluso) and sister-in-law Eugenia (Nicolas) Pontikos of Canfield. Vasso also leaves behind, nieces, nephews, and cousins too numerous to name.
She is preceded in death by the love of her life, best friend, and husband George Pontikos, her parents Michael and Mable Steffan, and her sister Patricia Steffan.
Mom was a member of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Warren, and her faith was the force that drove her through her illness.
Calling hours and funeral service will both be held on Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 429 High St. Warren, Ohio 4448. Calling hours will be held from 9:00 am-11:00 am, and the funeral service will promptly follow at 11:00 am. with Fr. Constantine Valantasis officiating. Her burial will be at Archangel Michael / St. John Orthodox Cemetery in Campbell.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in mom's name to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church 429 High St. Warren, Ohio 44481 or the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County, 812 Youngstown Kingsville Rd SE, Vienna, OH 44473.
Arrangements were entrusted to the professional care of the Peter Rossi & Son Memorial Chapel, 1884 North Rd. NE, Warren, Ohio.
Family and friends may visit www.peterrossiandsonfh.com to view this obituary, sign the guest book and send condolences to Vasso’s family.
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
429 High St., Warren OH 44481
Animal Welfare League
PO Box 66, Vienna OH 44473