Essaaf (“Essie”) El-Semrany Constantine Koury of Drexel Hill passed away peacefully on May 19, 2023 while in hospice at Riddle Village in Media, PA. She was 90.
Essie was born on March 6, 1933 in the town of Jage, Lebanon. Her parents, Hanna and Nada Hashem, passed away before she was 2 years old, and she and her brother John were raised as orphans. She came to the United States with her husband, Joseph B. Constantine, Sr., who predeceased her in 1989. Her second husband, Joseph P. Koury, predeceased her in 2013.
She and Joe Constantine settled first in Narberth and then in Prospect Park, where they raised six children. They built and operated Constantine’s Variety, which became a popular neighborhood store.
In 1970 Essie and Joe opened their home to her brother John and his wife Laurice, who moved their entire family of eight children from Lebanon to the US. The household consisted of 18 residents and will always be fondly remembered.
Essie enjoyed music, especially her beloved Arabic music. She excelled at Lebanese cooking and she loved to garden, maintaining a huge mint patch for her famous tabbouli and kibbe. Essie also loved animals as evidenced by the many dogs and cats she took in over the years.
For the first time since she left Lebanon, Essie traveled to her beloved homeland a few years ago, where she made countless memories visiting relatives, sightseeing, and enjoying the delicious cuisine.
Essie is survived by her children and their spouses: Bernadette Sullivan (John), Joseph Jr. (Catherine), Regina Quay (Robert), Cecilia Hodgson (Butch), John (Carol), and Peter (Maria del Pilar), as well as many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Essie loved to entertain family and friends. Her home was always welcoming to anyone who would drop by, especially Mary, who was a good friend to Essie in her later years.
Friends and family are invited to the viewing on Thursday, May 25 from 9 to 10:45 a.m. at D’Anjolell Memorial Home, 2811 West Chester Pike, Broomall, followed by Funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. at St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church, 3679 Providence Road, Newtown Square. Burial will be in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, 1600 S. Sproul Road, Springfield. Attendees are invited to wear something purple or lavender. Contributions in Essie’s memory may be made to St. Sharbel Church.
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