Cover photo for Irene  (Koutsos) Panagiotes's Obituary
Irene  (Koutsos) Panagiotes Profile Photo
1931 Irene 2022

Irene (Koutsos) Panagiotes

February 6, 1931 — April 16, 2022

Calling hours will be held in Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1319 Main Street, Fitchburg on Thursday, April 21, from 10am – 12noon. The funeral service will begin at 12noon. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial contribution to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church 1319 Main St., Fitchburg, MA 01420.



Irene Koutsos Panagiotes passed away peacefully on April 16th, at home, with her family and loving friend and caretaker, Myriam, by her side, for whom the family is eternally grateful. Irene was so fortunate to have great care in her final months and the family is so grateful to all her healthcare professionals. Irene’s parents immigrated from Samos, Greece. Irene grew up in a small home in Peabody, MA on nine acres of farmland with her loving parents, Stavros & Pagonio Koutsos, and beautiful sisters, Katina, Mary, and Little Mary. Life was simple and as she would tell you, “we were poor, but we were rich, we had nothing, but we had everything.” There her parents instilled within her a love for people and kind nature. After graduating high school in 1949, she met her future husband of 66 years, Bill Panagiotes, who proudly proposed to her on their second date. She would go on to raise their four children Steven, Athena, Mark, and Maria whom she was very proud of and would do anything for. Irene was extremely hardworking; “Work is therapy”, as she would say. She and her husband ran many successful businesses; they are best remembered for owning and operating the former Buttercup Hill Club, the Ayer House of Pizza, and their last restaurant, Country Pizza. She touched so many lives and continued to work in her final years greeting customers at her daughter’s restaurant, The Daily Bagel Café in Leominster. Her yearbook appropriately described Irene with the quote; “To hear her speak and sweetly smile, you were in Paradise the while.” Her ambition in that same yearbook read: “To bring happiness to everyone and myself.” Irene brought happiness to everyone she encountered and always put others before herself. She lived a truly successful life by the greatest measure: by the many people she loved and by the many who loved her. She was an extraordinary woman who will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all. She is survived by her son, Steven W. Panagiotes and wife Nancy Gitto Panagiotes; daughter Athena Costa and husband, Giuseppe (Joe) Costa; son Mark Panagiotes; daughter Maria Rafalski and her husband David Rafalski; sister Mary Eliopoulos; and grandchildren Adam Costa, Erica Costa, Alexa Costa, and Steven Panagiotes; and many nieces and nephews.
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