Sophia's Story

PORTLAND - Sophia Evangeline (Gingeras) Danie, 87, passed away on January 20, 2015. She was born Queen Anne's Hospital in Portland, Maine on November 18, 1927, the daughter of Evangelos (Angelo) Gingeras and Penelope Emanouel (Tsaldari) Gingeras. Sophia was a first generation American; her parents immigrated to America from Mytilene Greece, landing in Boston, Massachusetts. Sophia was one of five children; Irene, Sylvia, John, and Georgia. She is survived by her sister Sylvia.

Sophia attended school only through the 6th grade and then worked in her father's restaurant in Portland, Maine. Her mother, Penelope, was a professional seamstress and passed this skill on to her daughter, who became very accomplished in her own right. She met and married her husband of 25 years, Richard Armand Danie, and they had a beautiful formal wedding. From that union they brought four children into the world, Dennis, Marcia, Dwight, and Dale, and took great pride in watching them grow into adulthood. Richard was a papermaker and the Danie family moved from Westbrook, Maine, to Muskegon, Michigan, back to Millinocket, Maine and finally to Madawaska, Maine. All the while, in each location, Sophia made steadfast friends with whom she remained in contact with for the remainder of her life.

Sophia's pride and joy came from her roles as mother and homemaker. She created lovely homes filled with the aromas of wonderful foods, including the food of her beloved Greek ancestry. Holidays were wonderful celebrations, each with their special foods and themes. In spite of the harsh circumstances of her own upbringing, she raised her kids with love and steadfastness. Even though she lacked a formal education she was a student of life and thirsty for knowledge; she was very intelligent and creative. She dove into repairs around the home like fixing the washing machine, the plumbing, or the car, not once entertaining the idea that she wouldn't be successful. You could always find her busy with some project like painting by number, refinishing furniture, helping her kids with science projects, picking mushrooms, or sewing doll clothes. Sophia had a deep abiding love for the ocean and on Sunday afternoons you could find her on the rocks at Kettle Cove harvesting mussels to make pilaf or basking in the sun. She loved animals, especially dogs, cats, and feeding the birds. She enjoyed finding and collecting antiques. She was truly a remarkable person.

Following her divorce, and never having worked outside the home, that same can-do attitude landed her a job at Valle's Restaurant as a hostess. She told them that she had hostess experience...which was true...sort of. Later she hosted at Boone's Restaurant on the Portland waterfront. She took delight in showing the uninitiated how to eat a lobster.

Sophia is survived by her children Dennis S. Danie and his wife, Anne-Mayre Dexter of South Portland, Maine, Marcia A. Gray and her life partner, John S. Hale, Jr., of Glenburn, Maine, Dwight S. Danie of Miami, Florida, and Dale R. Danie and his wife Monique (Blanchette) Danie, of Madawaska, Maine. She is also survived by 6 six grandchildren: Scott Danie, Jennifer (Danie) Lucero, Jason LaPlante, Michelle (LaPlante) Houston, Danielle Danie and Kristen Danie. She is survived by her many nieces and nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren and special people, including her nieces Donna (Larrivee) Schwartz, Paula (Larrivee) Burbank, Gerard Larrivee, Betty (Gagne) Danie, Jessica Roy, Emily and Bo Lamb and Louisa and John Raby, her friend and roommate Sally Flynn and the special folks at South Portland Nursing Home.

Sophia wishes to be cremated and to have her ashes spread, rejoining her with the ocean, will be respectfully carried out by her children.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland, Maine. Online condolences may be expressed at

Those who wish may make donations in her memory to: Cancer Research Foundation, PO Box 553, Portland, Maine.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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