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Esther P. (Papoutsis) Anderson
November 27, 1931 ~ May 26, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
Esther “Anastasia” Papoutsis Anderson departed this life from natural causes in her 92nd year on May 26, 2023, supported by her loving family at home. A lifelong resident of Berks County, Pennsylvania, she was born at Reading Hospital in 1931 to Pantelis and Afrodite Papoutsis, Greek immigrants who had fled persecution in Pergamou, Turkey.
A voracious reader and impeccable grammarian who entered kindergarten not knowing a single word of English, Esther attended Reading Public Schools and graduated in 1949 with numerous academic honors. She was the first member of her family to pursue higher education, commuting to Kutztown State Teachers College and graduating with a B.S. in Education. She taught first grade in the Reading School District for six years before pausing to start a family in the new house that she and husband Harold “Bud” Anderson built in Muhlenberg Township after marrying in 1956.
An accomplished seamstress, Esther made many of her children’s and her own clothes, as well as inventive Halloween costumes and decorative items. With finances tight while she was not teaching, her experience as a “Depression baby” sparked ingenuity with lightly-used household items that made her a thrifty recycler long before that term gained popularity.
Esther returned to teaching in 1977 and retired from the Muhlenberg School District in 1995. Her crowning educational achievements were serving on a Pennsylvania Department of Education committee that rewrote the K-3 mathematics curriculum in 1988, and helping prepare Muhlenberg Elementary’s winning submission as a Blue Ribbon school.
Esther was renowned among her family and friends as a hostess and master of all things culinary. She learned to make all of Bud’s favorite Pennsylvania Dutch meals and often improved on the original recipes. Her Greek pastries were so legendary that she was named Reading Eagle “Cook of the Week” in 1965. She could frequently be found with her friends in the kitchen of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, preparing pastries and holiday bread for parishioners and the annual bazaar. Every birthday cake was a work of art, and she extended her teaching skills to include adults with night courses in cake decoration at Reading Area Community College.
Esther and Bud traveled extensively, visiting their grown children and families in New Jersey and North Carolina, attending continuing education classes at the Disney Institute in Orlando, school board conferences in Los Angeles and New Orleans, and touring small towns up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Her affinity with doppelganger Queen Elizabeth II was satisfied by visiting English castles and churches, and the Waterford Crystal factory in Ireland. But no matter how far they traveled, they always came back to Berks County and the same house they made a home for 63 years.
Esther was predeceased by her beloved husband Bud in 2005 and leaves behind son Gregory; daughter Darice; grandchildren Stephanie, Meredith, Alex, Eric, and Anna; and great-grandchildren Nikolai and Maxwell.
Funeral services on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at 10:00 AM from Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 1001 E. Wyomissing Blvd., Reading, PA 19611. Fr. Theodore Petrides, Proistamenos and Fr. Constantine Alexandrides officiating. Visitation at the church from 9:00-10:00. Interment in Forest Hills Memorial Park, Exeter Twp. In lieu of flowers, Esther requested that donations be made in her name to one of her favorite charities: Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church at the address above, the Reading Public Library, 100 S. 5th St., Reading, PA 19602, Muhlenberg Community Library, 3612 Kutztown Rd., Laureldale, PA 19605, the Humane Society of Berks County, 1801 N. 11th St., Reading, PA 19604, or the Academy of Saint Basil, 79 St. Basil’s Rd., Garrison, NY 10524. The Klee Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., Shillington, is assisting the Anderson family. www.kleefuneralhome.com
Wednesday June 7, 2023 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church 1001 E. Wyomissing Blvd. Reading, PA 19611
Wednesday June 7, 2023 10:00 AM Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church 1001 E. Wyomissing Blvd. Reading, PA 19611
Wednesday June 7, 2023 11:30 AM Forest Hills Memorial Park, Exeter Twp
Fr. Theodore Petrides, Proistamenos and Fr. Constantine Alexandrides officiating
Reading Public Library 100 S. 5th Street, Reading PA 19602
Muhlenberg Community Library 3612 Kutztown Road, Laureldale PA 19605
Humane Society of Berks County 1801 N. 11th Street, Reading PA 19604
Academy of Saint Basil 79 St. Basil's Road, Garrison NY 10524
Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church 1001 E. Wyomissing Blvd., Reading PA 19611