Born in Athens, Greece, to General Nicholas Amourghis and Adriani Zervou, both from the Ionian island of Kefalonia, our mother was a force of nature able to transcend great adversities, such as the Germans’ occupation of Greece when she was 15, and embrace many challenges, when enthusiastically undertaking the study of Mandarin and Dari Persian later in life. She was an avid reader of history and French literature, a polyglot and world traveler, which included an overseas life of more than 20 years as the spouse of a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. On her return from abroad, she worked as an interpreter and secretary for the Embassy of the Republic of Burundi for over 20 years, and went on a lovely holiday there upon her retirement.
Our mother’s life spanned nearly a century of history that was for her deeply personal. Her experiences, gift of language and sense of humor made her an unforgettable raconteuse; a serious scholar filled with joie de vivre. She raised us to appreciate world travel and embrace the gift of education as a life-long and joyful adventure. Above all, our mother instilled in us a sense of justice, ethics, and kindness. All our successes are owed to her encouragement and inspiration.
Mama died peacefully, on Easter Sunday, in her home, in Washington DC. She was preceded in death by her husband of 29 years, William Joseph Tierney, daughters Elizabeth Theresa Tierney, and Christine Nichole Tierney, and is survived by daughters Martha Adrienne Tierney and Alice Tierney Witt; grandchildren William P. Critz , Anna Critz, Blair Witt, Jenny Witt, and Allison Hansen Ngoma; great-grandchildren William E. Critz, Nolan Critz, Neyo Ngoma and Nala Ngoma.
We wish to express our deepest gratitude to Marta Rodriguez, Maribel Martinez, and Sally Chinanzvavana for their selfless and loving care and their enduring friendship. Services will be held at a later date. Our mother will be lovingly and longingly remembered for all time. Gialo Gialo Mama.