Aithra Alexandra Vlahopoulos Martin, 96, of Keyport, New Jersey, born on November 23, 1923 in Athens, Greece to the Very Reverend Philemon and Presvytera Anthie Vlahopoulos, went to be with God, her beloved husband Charlie and her inseparable sisters, Katherine and Mary. She left this world peacefully, singing a song as she was often known to do on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
She was predeceased by her husband and the love of her life, Charles “Charlie” Martin, her parents, her brother, Thefkalion Vlahopoulos, and her best friends and sisters, Katherine Herbert and Mary Rosenbach.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Katherine and Evangelos Papamarkou of Hazlet, with who she lived these last several years, her granddaughters, Mary Papamarkou of Keyport who was her travel buddy and partner in crime, Anthie Jones and her husband, Brian, of Brick, and Evangelia Papamarkou of Keyport and her great-grandchildren Athena Jones of Denver, CO and Patrick Jones of Delaware.
She is also survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Elayne and Peter Leighton of Jackson, her granddaughter, Sandra Gilmer and her husband, Russ, of Hagerstown, MD, and her great-grandchildren, Ahja and Will Gilmer.
She also leaves behind her daughter and son-in-law, Charlette and Gary Schneck, Slatington, PA, her granddaughters, Aithra Kaiser and her husband, Don, of Kempton, PA, and Roberta Wayne, Walnutport, PA, her grandson, Daniel Martin and his wife, Amanda, of Marietta, GA, her great-granddaughters, Rachel Haja and her husband, John, of Allentown, PA, Christina Bilheimer and her husband, Brian of Palmerton, PA, Alexandra Neff and her husband, Brian, of Palmerton, PA, and Jessica Martin, her great-grandson, Daniel Martin, her great-great granddaughters, Araya Aithra Haja, Melody Bilheimer, her great-great grandsons, Michael and Karsyn Neff and her sister, Ann Lytle of FL.
She spent her early years in Greece and moved in 1927 to Buenos Aires, Argentina where her father was a Greek Orthodox parish priest. Her early years were filled with piano lessons and a passion for music and curiosity. Her curiosity fueled her rebel spirit and mischievous ways, something that endured the entirety of her life. She moved with her family to Kansas City, MO in 1934 where her father was assigned a new parish and would fondly recall their journey on one of Aristotle Onassis boats to their new home and their assimilation into Midwestern life, knowing no English.
Several more stops in the United States would ultimately bring the family to Asbury Park, NJ and a new Greek Orthodox parish. It is where she spent her high school years working on the boardwalk and playing the organ at church. She graduated from Asbury Park High School in 1944.
Aithra graduated Montclair State Teachers College in 1949, where she met her future husband. Her mischievous spirit was ever present when they eloped and then followed with a church wedding in May 1947. She and Charlie took their girls out on the road during summers, a travel bug that lasted a lifetime.
She and Charlie settled in Keyport, NJ in 1961 where they both took jobs with the Keyport Board of Education. He as a High School Math Teacher and she as a teacher or “school marm” of the two room West Keyport School for 1st and 2nd graders. She retired in 1987 after finishing her career in the Keyport Central School. Summer vacations were filled with family vacations and bus trips around the country.
Upon retiring, Aithra and Charlie hit the road and broadened their travels to Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada. Always longing to go back to her childhood home in Buenos Aires, she made that trip several times with her granddaughter, Mary, along with trips to Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Costa Rica and Brazil.
In later years, Aithra became beloved “Yiayia” to many; those she met on her strolls through the Grove in Shrewsbury, the Flea Markets at Columbus, visits to get her nails and hair done and more recently Nanny Karin and Nanny Diane. She was a member of the Chapel Beach Club and held her corner court on the patio waving to all the children. She would regale all who would listen with music and song. She had a heart full of love, childlike innocence and boundless energy for living life and joy. Aithra will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her, and never forgotten.
Family and friends are invited to visit on Monday, January 20, 2020 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Shore Point Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 3269 State Highway/Route 35 North, Hazlet, New Jersey 07730 and Tuesday morning, January 21, 2020 from 10:00 to 11:00 AM at Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church, 20 Hillcrest Road, Holmdel, New Jersey 07733. A service will begin at 11:00 AM at Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church and interment will follow at Shoreland Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Hazlet. In lieu of flowers donations to can be made to the Keyport Board of Education, c/o Charles and Aithra Martin Scholarship Fund, 370 Broad Street, Keyport, NJ 07735. For information, directions, or to send condolences to the family, please visit, www.shorepointfh.com.
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