HomeObituariesHelen Liacouras Lambros

Helen Liacouras Lambros

She soared in college, focusing on music, English and Spanish. She became the student conductor of the 100-voice glee club and acted in various plays. She composed the hymn that was performed at the college’s graduation — an early example of firmly putting her thumbprint on a production. She then taught English and Music at Thomas Junior High School in South Philadelphia. During that period, she also started the first Hellenic University Choral Group. The organization of dozens of music and choral groups would follow during her lifetime.
In 1947, she married neurosurgeon Vasilios S. Lambros, and they settled in Washington D.C. Helen continued her love of dance by studying under Martha Graham. She became involved in fundraising, using her musical and theatrical experience to raise support for children through the Chevy Chase Junior Women’s Club. She also became the musical director at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Washington D.C. Most notably, her choir was invited to sing at President Eisenhower’s Inaugural Banquet in 1956.
In 1962, the Lambroses, along with their children Val, Eleni, and Damian, relocated to Los Angeles, CA. As usual, Helen dove in and became the music teacher at St. Anthony Sunday School. Helen gave piano lessons in her home on Allen Avenue. The house was always bustling with activity. Helen was constantly planning events, writing plays, cooking, and producing musical soirées featuring terrific musicians and singers, often with Helen at the piano. One of her greatest productions was her own 95th birthday celebration.
In 1965, she joined Footlighters, a philanthropic organization that raised millions of dollars for under-privileged children’s services in Los Angeles. Helen was involved for 35 years serving in various roles including Ball Chairman, Production Chairman, and in 1978 she served as President. She made lifetime friends and memories.
Any initiatives that combined the church and music were her forte. In 1973, she wrote “Holidays in Greece,” which was presented at the Wilshire Ebell Theater. Her bicentennial musical show a few years later combined both the St. Anthony and St. Sophia junior choirs for a grand performance at the annual Mother’s Day luncheon. She originated, directed and produced the present form of the St. Sophia Philoptochos Debutante Ball. A favorite production was “The Contosbury Tales,” presented in honor of Fr. Leon Contos, former pastor of St. Sophia Cathedral.
Helen was regularly sought-out to lead projects for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. She was a lifetime member of Saint Sophia Cathedral. She was appointed by Archbishop Lakovos to the National Philoptochos Board. She was a founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. She was a driving force behind the initial Greek Folk Dance Festivals and the Church’s Rite of Commitment ceremonies. The list of initiatives and achievements is endless.
Helen loved theatre. She joined the Michael Shurtleff acting classes for “fun,” which led to her Theater Geo days, allowing her to continue to act on stage, film, and television. She appeared in various films such as “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “The Morning After,” “Purple Hearts,” and “Fives Aces.” On television, her appearances included “NYPD Blues,” “Perfect Strangers,” “Parole Board,” “Simon and Simon,” and “You are the Jury.” Her stage work favorites were “Spirit Your Wife Away to The Woods,” “Romantic Comedy,” “Family Voices,” “Cheaters,” “Picnic,” “A View from The Bridge,” and “Lemonade.” She was most proud of her own granddaughter, Lucia, who is following in her footsteps.
Helen was recognized time and time again for her tireless efforts to support the arts, music and her Orthodox faith. In 1989, she was honored as Mother of the Year by the St. Sophia Philoptochos Society. In 1998, she received the Humanitarian Award from the Greek Folk Dance Festival. In 2005, she received the Elios Cultural Achievement Award, which is awarded to a person who has demonstrated love of youth, culture and the principles of the Greek Orthodox Faith. No award could have been more fitting.
Hundreds of family members, friends and young people benefitted from Helen’s encouragement to “Show up and say ‘Yes’” as she would say. She celebrated young people and was a mentor to so many throughout her life. She believed in discovering and bringing to the public’s attention any young Greek artist and creating events to showcase their talents. This included singers, dancers, actors, painters and conductors. She established the Lambros Music and Fine Arts endowment to continue this support in perpetuity.
Helen was simply a remarkable person who was a tireless advocate of others. She was in your corner. A teacher of life. She served the church, community, youth and the arts with love, grace and dignity.
Helen cared deeply for her friends and family, both immediate and extended, and stayed in touch with so many through her last days. Her iPhone was always close by. She would use it to cheer on everyone and was better at sending emails and texts than people 60 years younger. She leaves behind an incredible group of fans who will miss her dearly.
She is survived by her children Val Lambros M.D. (Deborah), Eleni V. Lambros, Damian V. Lambros (Marcella), and precious granddaughter, Lucia. She is also survived by her dear sister, Aliki (Franz Brandenberg) and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, her husband, Dr. Vasilios Lambros, her sister, Vilma Liacouras Chantiles, and her brother, Peter Liacouras.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to the St. Sophia Cathedral Music Ministry.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 24th at 11:00 am. at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1324 Normandie, Los Angeles CA. Please join the family immediately thereafter for the Makaria.


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