Aphrodite George Morphis, co-owner of Antoinette's Sweets in Depew and known to many as "Mrs. Antoinette," died unexpectedly Saturday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. She was 74.
Born in Batavia as Aphrodite Conomikes, Mrs. Morphis was raised in Attica and lived in Greece for a year as a child before eventually settling in Depew.
Married at 16, Mrs. Morphis attended Attica public schools and eventually earned her GED.
She followed in her family's footsteps and in 1948 opened the Miris Confectionary shop in Perry with her husband, James W. They then took over the Morphis family business, Antoinette's, at Fillmore Avenue and Sycamore Street in Buffalo in 1949, operating the manufacturing and retail confectionary business for 10 years.
In 1958, the couple moved to Depew and opened Antoinette's Sweets. Mrs. Morphis became affectionately known by patrons as Mrs. Antoinette. While her husband worked in the back making chocolates, she worked out front and was devoted to coming up with seasonal displays for the storefront. During that time, she also formed lifelong friendships with her employees and clerks.
"Certainly, she was a familiar face to many people," said her daughter, Georgette Hasiotis of Amherst. "She had that warmth, that expansive personality."
Mrs. Morphis was a member of Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation.
She enjoyed traveling, particularly to Greece, where she owned an apartment for two years in the mid-'90s.
She also enjoyed going to the movies and hair salon, rooting for the Buffalo Bills, spending time with her family, and having a nightcap at Salvatore's.
In addition to her husband and daughter, Mrs. Morphis is survived by one son, Peter of Williamsville; and five grandchildren.
Prayers will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Amigone Funeral Home, 6050 Transit Road, Lancaster, followed by services at 11 a.m. in Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Delaware Avenue and W. Utica Street, Buffalo. Burial will be in Elmlawn Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.