Lanis Joy Wing Monfried, passed away on Oct. 4, 2020, at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ, with her husband Thomas Monfried, and her daughters Mary (Papadopoulos) Reilly and Chryssa (Papadopoulos) Giannini at her side.
Lanis was lecturing on a topic she loved best, horticulture and plant management, at the Allendale Garden Club when she was felled by a severe hemorrhagic stroke.
Lanis was born on Feb. 11, 1944 in Alexandria, LA, the eldest daughter of Morris and Elaine (Johnson) Wing. The family moved to Maine, and she attended middle and high school in Farmington. From a young age she showed curiosity and enthusiasm for the arts and nature. These were passions she carried with her her entire life.
As a youngster she was active in the arts, music, science, literature, sewing, and also tore up Mt. Blue on her skis. She excelled academically and was a National Merit Scholar and the valedictorian of her high school class in 1962.
After graduation, she took classes at University of Maine Orono, and then moved to New York City to study fashion at the Traphagen School of Design. She met her first husband, Nicholas Papadopoulos, in New York. She and Nick had two daughters together (Mary and Chryssa). She lived in Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and Greece as well as California and New Jersey. Her daughters fondly remember the way Lanis immersed herself in the cuisine and arts of the countries they lived in. Lanis was a superb seamstress, and made clothes for her and her daughters; both daughters were married in dresses designed and sewn by their mother.
She was an active member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Wyckoff, NJ. Between 1982 and 1998 she served the church in various roles: as organist, choir director, choir member, sewer of vestments, and as a cook for the annual Greek Festival.
In 1996, she married her beloved husband Thomas Monfried and moved to Allendale, NJ. She threw herself into transforming her suburban yard into a lush garden oasis. She was honored to be selected for the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program for several years. Lanis was always artistic, and in the last 20 years of her life, she became a prolific botanical illustrator and had many of her pieces displayed in both local and regional shows. She was a member of the Allendale Garden Club and the Community Arts Association, and held leadership roles in both organizations.
Lanis demonstrated self-reliance to all around her. She was always happy to be a problem-solver for others and was seldom daunted by a challenge. She was an avid traveler, painter, carpenter, wallpaper hanger, cook, gardener, seamstress and manager of all tasks minute or intimidating. Her can-do spirit was an example to everyone she came in contact with.
She is survived by her loving husband Thomas Monfried, her daughters and their spouses: Mary and David Reilly of Montague, MA and Chryssa and Chris Giannini of Cary, NC; her siblings and their partners and spouses: Jane Giglio and partner Ralph Record of Wayne, ME; Ted and Jackie Wing of Montgomery, NY; Emily and Earnest Watson of Enterprise, FL; Robin and Helen Wing of Mt. Vernon, ME; Elizabeth and Harry Shedd of Smyrna, GA; Chrystal Wing and partner Suzanne Hunt of Portland, ME; and Rebecca Wing and Terry Fralich of Saco, ME; her stepdaughters and their spouses Victoria Monfried and Ian Edmundson of London, England and Andrea Monfried and Michael Harshman of New York, NY; and her grandchildren Lucas and Maia Giannini, and Caroline, Hannah, and Alexis Edmundson, and Casey Harshman.
A celebration of Lanis’s life will be announced for a future date.
Contributions may be made in Lanis’s memory to the Garden Conservancy at P.O. Box 608, Garrison, NY 10524 or www.gardenconservancy.org/membership/donate.