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Sophie Bisbecos Canelake was born in Oshkosh, WI on September 9, 1923 and raised in Wausau, WI. Upon marriage to Leo G. Canelake on June 22, 1947, she moved to Virginia, MN where she raised her three children: Dean Leo, Peter Andrew, and Elizabeth Lee. In 1990, she relocated to Cannon Falls, MN. In early 2015 health concerns brought her to The Gardens at Episcopal Homes in St Paul, MN where she died at age 94 on April 17, 2018 due to complications from congestive heart failure and poor kidney function.
During her years in Virginia, she was an excellent homemaker and busy mom. She was active in the PTA, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Guild, and The Order of the Eastern Star. She enjoyed interior decorating, sewing, knitting, bowling, baking bread and Greek pastries, gardening, taking family car trips, and spending time with friends.
In her fifties, she took course work to become a hospital ward clerk and found employment at Virginia Municipal Hospital. In Cannon Falls, she participated on the local hospital volunteer board, was active at the historic Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, and a member of the Red Hat Ladies and PEO Sisterhood. In her eighties, she took up piano lessons, and in her nineties, she discovered she was talented at drawing and painting.
Sophie enjoyed domestic travel and also explored Israel, Panama, and various European countries. A first generation American, she spoke Greek and traveled to Greece numerous times. Her last journey there was undertaken at age 85 with Peter’s kids, her three young adult grandchildren: Andronikki, Despina, and Leonidas. She cherished her role as their Yiayia.
Sophie was preceded in death by husband Leo, son Dean, brother Andrew Bisbecos, and sisters Lillian and Bertha Bisbecos. Survived and deeply loved by Peter, Elizabeth, grandkids, several nieces and nephews, godchildren, and dear friends, Sophie will be fondly remembered for her quiet demeanor, gracious manner, generosity, intelligence, sense of humor, and beautiful smile.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, April 27, at 11:00 AM at Coventry Chapel at Episcopal Homes, 1840 University Avenue West in St. Paul. Lunch to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, PO Box 122, Cannon Falls, MN 55009.