It is with heavy hearts that we share the following news with readers of TIRF Today. Mrs. Penelope “Penny” Alatis passed away earlier this month on August 15th at her home with loved ones by her side. Penny was the wife of long-time TIRF Trustee and co-founder, the late Dr. James “Jim” Alatis.

The tribute below is from Everly-Wheatley’s website and shares information about Penny’s life, including her family members, career, and education. (To read this information on Everly-Wheatley’s website, please click here.)

Loving mother and grandmother, Penelope M. Alatis is survived by her sons Anthony J. Alatis, William J. Alatis and his wife Olya, her grandchildren James A. Alatis, Natalia R. Alatis, and Alexa P. Alatis. Penelope was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, James E. Alatis as well as her son, Stephen J. Alatis.

A graduate of Youngstown State University and Georgetown University, Penelope (Penny) worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher in the Alexandria Public Schools, spending most of her 30+ years at F. C. Hammond High School. She was teaching during the time of the T. C. Williams Titans football team, depicted in the film Remember the Titans. Many of her ESL students remembered her fondly for years after she taught them.

Penelope was listed as “member number one” of the TESOL International Association founded by her husband, James, to support teachers of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Penny attended the first 50 years of the TESOL convention in 50 cities. She traveled extensively around the world with her husband and served as an officer of WATESOL in the Washington, DC area.

Penny was also an avid bowler and served on Alexandria Hospital’s Board of Lady Managers, as well as on the Philoptochos of St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to TESOL or TIRF. Please join TIRF in offering condolences to the Alatis family at this difficult time.


Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

The International Research Foundation for English Language Education