Mary Trakas Karres

November 16, 2016

Mrs. Karres, of Charlotte, passed away on Wednesday, November 16, 2016.  She was born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 2, 1923. Mrs. Karres was the daughter of the late Christos J. Trakas and Georgia Demas Trakas.  A completely devoted and beloved wife, mother and friend, she had an unbounded and unqualified capacity to love and to care for her family, friends and pets. She truly never met a stranger.  Her keen intellect, infectious enthusiasm and tremendous energy were a source of great comfort and pleasure to all of those around her.  She will always be in our thoughts and prayers and forever in our hearts.  

She attended and received a tremendous education in the Boston public schools and graduated from Girls Latin School, the country’s first college preparatory high school for girls. In 1946, Mary and her family traveled to North Carolina to attend a postwar convention of the Adelphotis Arachoviton “Karyae” where she met Steve Matthew Karres. After a long distance courtship, they were married on January 2, 1949, and afterwards they made Charlotte their home. She always loved this city and was warmly greeted upon her arrival by so many lifelong friends. 

A lifelong member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, she loved the Church and its parishioners and worked on many projects there throughout her life. She was a member of the Agia Elpis Ladies Philoptochos Society, the philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox Church, and served as its President. She served as Chairperson of the Annual Greek Pastry Sale, which pre-dated the Yiasou Greek Festival. She was a member of the Ladies Society of Karyae and served as its President.  

Mrs. Karres loved being involved in and contributing to organizations throughout the Charlotte community which gave her much pleasure.  She was active in the PTA and served several terms as President of the Montclaire Elementary School PTA. During the court-ordered integration of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system, she was appointed to and served on the Citizens Advisory Group to the Board of Education. She participated in Church Women United, the Committee of 100 Women at Johnson C. Smith University, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews. She was a long time street hostess for the Montibello Homeowners Association, which gave her the opportunity to meet so many of her neighbors. For over 30 years, she was a member of the Opera Guild of Charlotte and served as its President. She was a Patron of the Opera and enjoyed serving on the Board of Opera Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Karres and cherished the many warm and lasting friendships made through participating in all of the organizations in which they were involved.

She was an avid North Carolina Tar Heels sports fan and derived endless pleasure from Carolina basketball. In addition, she loved and followed the Boston Red Sox throughout her life. An avid cook, she loved to entertain and have fun, loved every holiday, and had a special knack for making any small occasion an extra special pleasure. She always enjoyed the spectacular beauty of the North Carolina mountains and cherished the time she spent at her home in Blowing Rock. In the summer, she cherished delightful weeks spent on Cape Cod with her extended family.

Survivors include her sons Matthew and Christopher of Charlotte and her sweet dog Rudy.  She was predeceased by her sister Mimi Tingus and her brother-in-law Constantine G. Tingus, sister Patricia Trakas, and brother Dr. John C. Trakas, all of Milton, Massachusetts. She is survived by her sister-in-law Anne Trakas, and her niece and nephews, Jennifer Trakas Acerra and her husband Stephen Acerra, Christopher Trakas, all of Milton: and Nicholas Trakas and his wife Barbara, and their children John and Elizabeth of Westwood, Massachusetts. She was also predeceased by her beloved dog Prince and sweet Lovie the cat.

The Trisagion and visitation for Mrs. Karres will be held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Monday, November 21, at 7:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held at the Cathedral on Tuesday, November 22, at 11:30 a.m.  Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery, Charlotte, NC.  Pallbearers for the service will be Stephen Acerra, Dr. Anthony Carraway, Nathan Craig, Gus Euripides, Lt. Col. Matthew G. Karres, Matthew J. Karres, Nicholas J. Karres, Harry J. Stathopoulos, and John Williams.   

Memorials may be made to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Foundation of Charlotte, NC, 600 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28203, and to the Opera Guild of Charlotte, Inc., P.O. Box 470132, Charlotte, NC 28247. 

 Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral Service, online at www.  

 May her memory be eternal. She will forever remain in our hearts.


Share your memories & condolences


  • Jan Burris

    Matt - I was so sorry to read of your Mother's passing. I know she will be missed by you and your brother. She was very much loved and knew it, I'm sure. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in your loss. Sincerely, jan

  • Dedra Brown

    I was sorry to hear of the passing of your Mother. She was such a good Mother to you and Matt. I know you will miss her but keep all the wonderful memories you have of her close to your heart and she will always be with you.