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Former DeKalb Mayor Bessie Chronopoulos Has Died At 72

City of DeKalb

A former DeKalb mayor and long-time community activist died Sunday. Bessie Chronopoulos was 72. 

She was a teacher in Genoa-Kingston schools for more than 35 years and served on DeKalb City Council for decades before she was elected mayor in 1997. After serving one term, Chronopoulos stayed involved in politics as a fixture at city council meetings, a prolific author of “letters to the editor,” and as a voting rights advocate.  

Visitation and a prayer service  were held Thursday, Feb. 24 at Anderson Funeral Home in DeKalb. A private funeral service was held Friday morning at St. George Greek Orthodox Church and livestreamed on the church's Facebook page.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory are requested to be made to two organizations she strongly supported -- St. George Greek Orthodox Church and TAILS Humane Society.

Chronopoulos was also an influential member of the League of Women Voters of DeKalb County. League president Linh Nguyen released a statement on behalf of the organization, calling her a "beloved member" who set a powerful example for others: “I will miss her, her energy, her passion for transparency, and her commitment to democracy. Her lifelong work will meaningfully impact the lives of DeKalb residents long after her passing and her memory shall live forever in our hearts.”