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In Memory

Tessie Tryfon ** (American History Teacher)

Tessie Tryfon Menechios was born April 17, 1938, in Salt Lake City to Chris and Georgia Tryfon. She passed away at her home on Tuesday, December 12,  after a long battle with cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). She had an idyllic childhood in Salt Lake. She and her friends would watch Gene Autry cowboy movies and re-enact them in the gully and creek by her house. She loved going on family picnics in the canyons. After she graduated from the University of Utah, she taught at East High School, then one of the top ten high schools in the country. She won teaching awards for her demanding history courses. She was well-loved and was very proud to keep in touch with many of her former students, even 40 years after she stopped teaching. In 1968, she married Charles Menechios and moved to Palos Verdes Estates where she raised her family. She maintained close ties to Salt Lake City, while making lifelong friendships in California. She was an active member of the Greek Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City and Redondo Beach. She sang in the choir as a young woman and served as vice-president of Philoptochos. An excellent cook, she was known for her fruited sherbet, baklava, and sweet potato casserole. She also enjoyed gardening and loved her roses. She instilled her love of the ballet, classical music, and art in her daughters. She is survived by her loving and devoted family, husband Charles; her daughters, Katherine Frazier (Don) and Stacy; and two granddaughters. Also her brother, George (Pam) Tryfon; and many nieces and nephews.

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05/24/16 09:54 PM #1    

Jesse Fox

"Miss Tryfon" as I knew her was probably the best teacher I ever had. She was tough and I had an run in with her over something that I felt was unfair. When the issue was resolved, we both respected each other and became good friends as teacher and student. When I think of East High I always think of her and remember her class as one of the best experiences of my life. It's hard to think she is gone. 

Jesse Fox

05/25/16 12:48 PM #2    

Cathy Dickerson (Lengeling)

She expected a lot from me too. Miss

Tryfon was the best 'teacher' I had at East.

I remember staying up most of the night to write a paper right before the Thanksgiving break of my sophomore year. She gave me a good grade on that one. RIP

05/25/16 02:04 PM #3    

Doug Rigby

My experience with Miss Tryfon was similar to those mentioned.  She was always clear about her expectations and was dedicated to her students to make them understand what they were there for.  I wish there were more teachers like her.  She made me want to be a better studemt.  And that wasn't easy.

05/25/16 08:03 PM #4    

Heather Stewart (Dorrell)

I think it was Mr. Henderson who taught American History...?. MissTryfon taught World History; I know because I remember staying up one night to do my colored pencil maps of the Aegean Sea and all those teeny islands. She was impressed, so it was worth it. I remember Miss Tryfon was concerned about the fate of antiquities from the Cradle of Civilization--  to be drowned and lost forever once the Aswan Dam was built. Creighton West was in that class.  Our classroom was next to the orchestra room, so we heard them practicing all through our history lessons.  They sounded really good.  Miss Tryfon was one my favorite teachers, She set high expectations and seemed genuinely interested in students.

05/26/16 01:33 AM #5    

Jared Weaver

Mr. Hermansen taught American History.

06/23/16 12:33 PM #6    

Heidi Hayes (Jacobs)

Miss Tryfon was a gifted teacher who pushed us hard to use our minds and engage in a larger world beyond 13th east and 9th South.  I loved her classes.  She sponored Model UN and I recall the year that East was assigned France and got to sit on the Security Council at the state wide sessions held at the U.    We had to "think like the French"...(not always easy but always interesting).    She had high expectations yet listened carefully to our early and sometimes fumbling perspectives with patience.    

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