Sybil Ruth (Billie) Chatham Stathoplos, 90, passed away at her home in West Hartford, CT on November 14, 2020. Sybil was warm, hard-working, and talented. During her school years she participated in varied activities including sports, music, drama, and student council, and won prizes at the local and state level for her essays. She graduated as valedictorian of her class at Union-Endicott High School in 1948 and continued on to St. Lawrence University, where she was the first in her family to earn a college degree. After college, Sybil pursued a career in Social Work in White Plains, NY, where she met her husband Tony after being introduced on the tennis court by mutual friends. Sybil and Tony loved to play bridge and scrabble and to engage in lively debate. They married in 1956, first at the Methodist Church in Endicott, NY, and the next day in the Greek Orthodox Church in Manchester, NH. Together they built a long and successful marriage and a life centered around family. Sybil served as President of the League of Women Voters in Chappaqua, NY, and was active with the Chappaqua Drama group, some of whose members became lifelong friends. Sybil enjoyed spontaneous gatherings. Her daughters vividly remember one sunny morning in Chappaqua when Sybil invited all of the neighborhood kids to an impromptu pancake breakfast. Sybil and Tony relocated to West Hartford CT in 1970. There, they held season tickets to The Hartford Stage Company and The Hartford Whalers, and enjoyed Jai Alai at its height. Sybil pursued a master’s degree while working at her second career in cash management at Aetna. She spent her free time volunteering at the public library, helping adults learn to use computers, and she enjoyed membership in a small writing group where she honed humorous and poignant stories taken from her life. Sybil and Tony enjoyed nothing better than spending time with family both at their home in West Hartford and at their cottage in Wells, Maine. They hosted many large family gatherings, most memorably the many Thanksgiving weekends with all 24 relatives on Tony’s side. Their house was often filled with laughter and hilarity, Greek dancing, story telling, and games of charades. The children were always entertained and terrified by Sybil’s dramatic telling of “The Claw” and amused by her “Camel Walk” which no one else was ever able to replicate. Sybil gave her three daughters both the geographical and emotional freedom to pursue their interests and life goals. She and Tony traveled to visit when their daughters lived in Australia and Europe. While she imparted enthusiastic encouragement and many words of wisdom, she also taught her daughters to make their own decisions and to take full responsibility for their actions. Sybil’s home was always open to family and friends, who remember her sense of humor and welcoming personality. She was a devoted fan of the Conard High School girl’s swim team and the Conard musical productions. Teenage friends of Susan, Linda, and Amy recall the house as “Grand Central Station” and a second home to many. The Stathoplos living room was the scene of many pillow forts, shows, gymnastics routines, and dancing—even life lessons, such as a sticky slice dropping to the floor as one daughter plaintively asked, “But why can’t I eat my pie in the living room?” In later years, Sybil’s grandchildren fondly remember playing Zilch with “Yaya” and earning the right to have ice cream or root beer floats for breakfast if they could beat her. Sybil will be remembered for her brilliant smile, infectious laugh, sharp wit, unconditional love, abundant encouragement, fierce loyalty and her strong will to live.
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Sybil is survived by her three daughters and their husbands: Susan (Demie) Stathoplos and Daniel Stoll of Newton, MA, Linda Stathoplos and John L Lillibridge III of Wells, ME, and Amy Stathoplos Carow and Mark Carow of Wellfleet, MA. She is also survived by her five grandchildren: Samantha Carow, Emily Carow Meade (husband Travis Meade), Judy Lillibridge, John Lee Lillibridge IV, and Alex Stoll, as well as her great-granddaughter Ellie Gray Meade. She will be missed by her loving sisters-in-law, Antigone Evangelou, Juliette Stathoplos, and Diana Little, as well as many nieces and nephews. Sybil was predeceased by her devoted husband of 61 years, Anthony Stathoplos, as well as her sister, Juanita Chatham Strick, and her parents, Stella Bradley Chatham and Marion Wesley Chatham.
The Paul A. Shaker Funeral Home, 764 Farmington Ave., New Britain, CT has charge of arrangements. There are no calling hours. Burial will be private. Donations in her memory may be sent to: American Brain Foundation, 201 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55415 https://www.americanbrainfoundation.org/ or Laudholm Trust, PO Box 1007, Wells, ME 04090 https://www.wellsreserve.org/about-us/wells-reserve-and-laudholm-trust To extend condolences to the Stathoplos family or to share a memory of Sybil, please visit SHAKERFUNERALHOME.COM