Kiki Halikas Obituary

Kiki  Halikas
Kiki Halikas

March 31, 1920 - December 1, 2017
Born in Chios, Greece
Resided in New London, Connecticut
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Obituary

Angelika “Kiki” Halikas, an iconic figure in the New London community, died Friday December 1, 2017. She was 97.

Kiki was born in Chios, Greece on March 31, 1920, the daughter of Elethirios and Marianthe Halikas, and sister of Augustus. Her father worked for the Chandris Shipping Lines that traveled to America. He eventually came to Groton, Connecticut because of his work. Finding financial success here in America, he went back to Greece to marry Kiki’s mother and the family returned to America via Ellis Island, settling in New London when Kiki was a toddler.

Her father opened and owned Victory Candy Kitchen on Bank Street in New London. The candy shop was next to the Capitol Theatre and Elmore’s Shoes, where for $3 Kiki bought the first pair of the high heels she was so famous for. Fashion was always very important to Kiki. She and her friends would frequently take the train to New York City to shop, eat at restaurants and see shows, one of her favorite activities. She loved going regularly to the Capital Theatre for the 10-cent double feature.

Kiki attended Saltonstall School, Jennings School, and then finally Williams Memorial Institute (now known as the Williams School) which was an all girl’s school at the time. As a member of the Class of 1938, Kiki was active on its Alumni Association for many years. Her first job was at Ocean Beach Park during where she witnessed the Hurricane of 1938. When Kiki recalled her experience she always gave the story her own unique twist. She recalled, “It went black, the windows flew out, and 3 glass pots flew out. I watched a fellow twirl around and around on the pole. I was alone and I thought, ‘I really ought to get out of here.’” Kiki recounted how her boss drove her to his house half way down Montauk Avenue where his wife was serving lasagna that she had just made. Kiki said, ‘How can you eat when the whole world is falling apart?” Later, when her family returned to the candy shop, they saved what they could but were without lights for a month.

Kiki lived through the Depression and World War 2. As a lover of poetry, she reflected on this part of her life in a poem she wrote for a reunion of the Class of ‘38: “We felt the sting of war and its terrible price. Sailors flooded the streets - and livened the nights. Food and supplies were rationed; it was not nice. Long lines formed at the markets; we paid the price.”

Despite these hard times, Kiki stayed a positive, vibrant force. She often recalled attending dances at the roof garden at the Mohican Hotel and the Lighthouse Inn. When interviewed about being married she laughed and said, “I’m an old maid, my father died, my brother married, so I dedicated my time to my mother.” Kiki took care of her mother as they lived together on West Coit Street, until Marianthe died in 1979.

Kiki was a long term part of the Lawrence Memorial Hospital community, for many decades as an employee and then later in her 90s as a volunteer. She worked the switchboard and then found her career path as a secretary for a number of doctors. She was excellent at typing and shorthand. She typed the manuscript for Dr Goodrich’s book, Natural Childbirth. She then worked for Dr. Ward McFarland for 42 years. Despite surviving breast cancer twice, she never missed a day of work. After Dr. McFarland’s death, Kiki worked for Dr. Ronald Clement for 20 years. After Dr. Clement moved away, she “retired,” but that didn’t slow her down. Kiki was always on the go, volunteering many hours at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, walking every day in her famous high heels, shopping, knitting, reading, doing crossword puzzles, going out to eat at her favorite spot: Ocean Pizza on Ocean Avenue, where she always ordered a white zinfandel with a tall glass of ice and pepperoni pizza, extra crispy.

One of her favorite quotes starts, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.”
She inspired so many, staying social, active and well-loved in the New London community throughout her later years. Kiki’s friends and family can attest to the full, vibrant life Kiki lived everyday.

Kiki is survived by her great-niece Chandris “Candy” M. Halikas and niece Constance V. Halikas.

Calling hours will be held from 10-11 on Saturday December 9, 2017 at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in New London, followed by services at 11am. Burial will follow at Cedar Grove Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Williams Memorial Institute Alumni Association, Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, or a charity of your choice.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Kiki Halikas, please visit our Tribute Store.

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Services

Visitation
Mark Ennis
200 Hempstead Street
New London, Connecticut United States 06320
Saturday, December 9, 2017
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Service
St. Sophia Hellenic Orthodox Church
200 Hempstead Street
New London, CT US 06320
Saturday, December 9, 2017
11:00 AM

Charities

St. Sophia Hellenic Orthodox Church
200 Hempstead Street
New London, CT 06320
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