BIDDEFORD — Alice Hadiaris Collette, 91, passed away peacefully on the morning of Nov. 18 with her family at her side.

Alice was born in Biddeford on Jan. 24,1926. She was a first generation American, born to Greek immigrant parents Kostas and Kyrani Hadiaris. She was christened with the name Argyro but her Kindergarten teacher was unable to pronounce it properly and she was nicknamed Alice, the name she used for the rest of her life.

Alice grew up and attended school in Saco, graduating from Thornton Academy in 1945. She lost her mother when she was 8 years old, but grew up surrounded by her loving father and five older siblings who remained extremely close their entire lives, never moving more than a few miles away from each other.

After graduating from Thornton Academy, Alice went to work at Saco Lowell, now Saco Defense. It was there that she met her future husband, Marc. Alice and Marc were married in 1955 and moved to Biddeford where they raised three children.

Primarily, Alice was a mother. As soon as her first child was born she became a stay-at-home mom and cherished every minute of it. Her children’s friends were always encouraged to spend time at the house on Southgate Avenue. In the years before seatbelts and car seats were required, Alice would pile neighborhood kids into the family car and drive them to the beach or swimming lessons. A backyard pool became a neighborhood hangout on hot summer days. During her children’s high school years, the basement family room of her home was regularly filled with teenagers.

Alice’s second greatest passion was cooking. The house was always filled with Greek dishes and homemade desserts. She was an excellent pie maker who thought buying store bought crust was a major sin. At Christmas time, she would bake countless batches of Greek pastries, fill boxes with a variety of them and make deliveries to friends and family. Her children, and their friends, loved the pastries so much that she often had to hide them, afraid that if she didn’t they would disappear before the holidays.

When her children were older, Alice returned to the workforce at Biddeford City Hall to keep from getting bored. Once her kids were grown and out of the house, grandchildren arrived to keep her busy. Each of her three grandchildren spent countless hours with “Yaya” and “Papou” and had very special bonds with their grandparents. Alice stayed active in all their lives; caring for them, attending school and sporting events and passing down her Greek heritage and traditions. Family gatherings, especially Sunday meals, were a cornerstone until her death.  

Alice and Marc visited London and Paris in the early 1980s. After that trip, Marc decided he never wanted to get on another airplane. They made countless road trips with their dear friends, Lucille and Wally Regina. Alice, always an independent spirit, decided there were places she wanted to see that required air travel so occasionally took trips with good friends to exciting destinations like Hawaii.

The Greek community was an important component of Alice’s life. Many of her closest friends were members of the St. Demetrious Greek Orthodox Church and for many years she was a member of the St. Fotini Society. Alice was a faithful supporter of the annual Greek Festival in Saco, spending numerous hours in the church kitchen in the weeks leading up to the festival making batches of Greek pastries, such as baklava. For the church’s fall festival, she made trays of fig squares. They were so popular that she had to increase the number made every year until she maxed out on how many she could produce. She could be found at both the summer and fall festivals running around with her endless energy.

Alice was preceded in death by her husband, Marc in 2003.

She is survived by: her daughter, Diane (Steve) Neal of Scarborough; her son, Marc (Nancy) Collette of Lyman; daughter, Joanne aka Honey (Marc) Girard of Buxton; grandchildren, Michael Collette and his partner, Kim L’Heureux of Portland, Ashley (Seth) Libby of Clearfield, Utah, and Emily Girard of Buxton.

Alice’s children would like to thank friends and family who were there for Alice throughout her life. She was fortunate to have had a very close extended family and a large network of special friends. The family would also like to thank the Gorham House, whose staff gave Alice incredible care and made her very happy during her residency there.

A Greek Orthodox funeral ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, at St. Demetrious Greek Orthodox Church, 186 Bradley St., Saco. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Biddeford. A celebration of life will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Biddeford Saco Country Club, 101 Old Orchard Road, Saco.

To view Alice’s memorial page or leave an online condolence, please visit www.cotefuneralhome.com.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to The Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, 383 US Route One, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME. 04074.