Denise Vidalis passed peacefully into the loving arms of the Lord from her home in Naples, Florida on July 19, 2021, enveloped with the love of her family. Denise was beloved by everyone who knew her, whether that was for a minute, a visit, or a lifetime. She will be remembered always as Ma, Mom, Sissie, Niecy, and Nana. Ma was the best cook, the caretaker, and the soother. She was the trusted keeper of secrets, the worrier, and the loyal friend. So dependable, Denise was the person you wanted at your side, whether that be at home, at work, or anywhere else. She was the safest harbor in any storm, strong and capable…reliable and steady. Standing out was Denise’s wicked sense of humor. She was unafraid to be the loudest laugher or craziest dancer. This one knew how to have fun. Denise was the middle child, second of three daughters born to Julie (Petalas) Skope and Thomas George Skope in Fitchburg, MA. She was lovingly “bookended” by sisters Georgia Hannagan of Chelmsford, MA and Ri Venuti of San Diego, CA. Motherhood came to a young Denise, just 20 at the time of her first, and she flourished in the role to Sheri, Tom, Misty, and Jason. Devoted to her children, Denise grew an unruly household, always caring for more than just her own. Family and friends regularly stopped by unannounced and were always welcomed. The dinner table consistently had additions to the 6-person household. There was always enough to feed an army, and it was unfailingly delicious. Denise’s Greek heritage was more than just ancestry: it was truly part of her identity. She reveled in all things Greek from the food to the music, customs and culture, including the country itself. Her Greekness was all-encompassing, and Denise adored her heritage; traveling to Greece a few times in her adult life was a blessing and a gift, fulfilling in a way that lacks for words. What it didn’t lack for was power, and with this power, she instilled a pride of birthright passed down like an heirloom, living on through children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who are honored with this legacy.Though fearless was not a word she might have used to describe herself, she was a courageous adventurer who was unafraid to travel alone, many times driving thousands of miles across country, and even moving herself from coast to coast more than once. She positively reveled in the two trips-of-a-lifetime she took to Greece, and in fact, had her children promise to travel there together in 2022 or 2023 to walk where she has walked, see what she has seen, and to spread her ashes in that land she also considered home, even if not her homeland. It was not an easy feat for Denise to be the one receiving care and attention in the end, the role-reversal so foreign to her. She never wanted the focus to be on her or her illness. She was “fine” and “having a good day” right up to the end, and we had to learn our way through her cancer journey with her in the lead. Denise was doing things her way or the highway! At our own pace, we each came to realize how we could squeak our care into just the right spots. As time went on, the spots grew larger, and we filled them with everything we possibly could. Denise was preceded in death by her parents, Julie Skope and Thomas G. Skope, her daughter Misty Tasso (previously of Massachusetts and Peterborough, NH), and her dog G. Remaining behind Denise are her adored sisters: Ri and husband Guy Venuti of San Diego, CA; and Georgia and husband Fred Hannagan of Chelmsford, MA; and her loving children Sheri and wife Larainne Wilson of Georgetown, MA, Thomas Fillios, Jr. of Naples, FL, and Jason and his wife Tracy Manoogian of Cedar Mountain, NC. Denise is also survived by her grandchildren of whom she was so very proud: Ryan Kelley, Thomas Fillios, III, Jennifer Stevens, Maxwell Moseley, Minita Fillios, Taylor Ryan, Ashley Ryan, Katerina Fillios, Tyler Fillios, Kyle Stevens, David Bosworth, Noah Stevens, Peyton Bosworth, James Manoogian, Benjamin Manoogian, Bethany Manoogian, Michael Manoogian, Aiden Wilson, Autumn Wilson; as well as her precious great-grandchildren: Lily Ryan, Ethan Romero, Ali Jean, Elise McGlinchey, Charlotte Lee, Amina Jean, Olivia Lee, and Cameron Lee. Denise was also aunt to nieces and nephews who were always close to her heart. Although Denise is no longer here for her family and friends to care for, hold, talk, and laugh with, she departed feeling the devotion and love that she always gave to us, unconditionally poured back on her. We remain, with her immeasurable imprint on our lives, honored to be carrying her with us until we meet again. Donations honoring the life of Denise Vidalis can be made to MSPCAAngell, a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine whose mission is to protect animals, relieve their suffering, advance their health and welfare, prevent cruelty, and work for a just and compassionate society; and mailed to MSPCA-Angell, Attn: Donations, 350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130. For more information see www.mspca.org or call (617) 541-504
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