Local Restaurant Icon Toula (Limnios) Petrou, 90

Toula_PetrouToula (Limnios) Petrou, 90, wife of the late William "Bill" Petrou, of Haverhill, passed away Sept. 18.

She was born in Haverhill Nov.30, 1924, daughter of Peter and Sophia Limnios. She was educated in Haverhill Schools before marrying the love of her life, Bill, to whom she was married for 57 years.

An icon in the city of Haverhill, Petrou was loved by all who had the privilege of meeting her. She and Bill were instrumental in creating the "Restaurant District" in Downtown Haverhill by owning and operating several establishments: The Tap, Toula's and Bradford Tavern to name a few. The matriarch of their businesses, Toula made every staff member, customer and visitor to their restaurants feel like part of her family. She spent decades greeting their valued customers with her signature phrase, "…more importantly, how are you?" She worked at the family business, Krueger Flatbread & Olivia's, until no longer possible. Famous for her "Toula's Salad Dressing," which is still served and asked for by name. She loved people and hearing their stories, remembering the smallest details about them all up until her final days. Her sincerity radiated from her, and everyone who encountered her loved her right back.

She is survived by her sons Michael Petrou of Haverhill and Stephen and wife Susan (Stolworthy) Petrou of Amesbury; grandson Jason and wife Leanne (Eastman) Petrou of Haverhill; granddaughter Colleen Petrou of Boston; granddaughters, Samantha, Olivia and Danielle Stolworthy of Amesbury; sister Maria (Limnios) and husband Jim Natsios; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was predeceased by her brother William Limnios and his surviving wife Helen of Weathersfield, Conn. She was blessed with longtime and devoted friends, Cecelia Badalato and Theresa Parker, who were by her side until she passed.

Her funeral will be Wednesday morning, Sept. 23, beginning in the Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 South Main St., Bradford, at 9:30 a.m. Funeral service in the Holy Apostles Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church, 154-156 Winter St., Haverhill at 11 a.m. Interment will follow in Linwood Cemetery, Haverhill. Calling hours will be Tuesday in the funeral home from 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Toula's memory to the American Heart Association, 300 5th Ave., Waltham, MA 01701.