Obituary for Cleo Tarlas (Furla)
Cleo Furla was born on September 7, 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri to John and Pitsa Furla. One of four girls, she grew up in a close and extended family, and a tight-knit Greek community revolving around the church. She eventually met and married Hercules "Herc" Tarlas, an immigrant from Xylokastron, Greece, in 1956. They had a great but short life together until Herc's untimely passing in 1980, when Cleo became a widow at age 48, and was left to raise their three boys.
A devout Christian, Cleo dedicated most of her life to her church, serving as a Sunday School teacher and choir member, among other roles. She was particularly passionate about the church's philanthropic arm, the Greek Ladies' Philoptochos Society, where she acted in numerous capacities and held various positions. She spent many hours in the church kitchen through the years, preparing and baking food items for different events, including the annual Greek Festival. Her works outside of the church included volunteering as a tutor for elementary school children. Cleo believed in giving back and doing for others, but in a way that was understated; her good deeds came in many forms and were often known only to those who were on the receiving end- a humble and important lesson that she passed along to her children.
Cleo was a strong woman with a loving heart and a quick wit, and she loved all sports. She led a long, full and bountiful life and was full of gratitude for the many blessings that were bestowed upon her. Her family is grateful to have had her with us for so many years, and while we'll miss her, we celebrate her long-awaited reunion with her beloved husband and our father and grandfather Herc, and two infant children she lost- a son at birth and her only daughter, Pamela Sophia, at two months old.
Most of all, Cleo cherished her role as a mother and Yiayia. She leaves behind her three sons; Dan (Andrea), Lindsey (Linda Coates Gatti), and George (Kim), along with her nine beautiful grandchildren; Elena, Cole, Katherine, Danny, Eric, Ana, Cecilia, Kyra, and Alex, and her three sisters; Aspasia Manettas, Leonora Taratsas, and Nikki Pappadakis, and sister-in-law Voula Hassouras; several nieces, nephews, Godchildren, and many friends.
The family would like to give a special thank you to the staff at Brookdale Creve Coeur, Dr. Daniel Gaitan, and the staff at Missouri Baptist Hospital for the compassionate care they provided to Cleo.
Visitation will take place on Friday, February 9th from 9am until the time of the funeral service beginning at 11am at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 4967 Forest Park Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108. Interment at St. Matthews Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are preferred to St. Nicholas Church "The Next 100".