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Locked up for more than a year inside a Greek prison for a failed plot to free a famed political prisoner there in the 1970s, Athena Psyhogios made a promise to herself: Others would read her story one day.

So when she — with an assist from husband, James Henderson — finally published her memoir in 2018, it marked a joyous culmination of a mission half a century in the making.

Athena Mihos Psyhogios Henderson shared a name with the Greek goddess of wisdom, warfare and craftwork. And through her 93 years — split at times between Greece and Minnesota — she wove each into the life she led.

"Mom was and still is our Greek goddess, and was and still is the strongest woman I've ever known," said her daughter, Maria Psyhogios.

Henderson died Dec. 22, 2022, after a long battle with lung cancer. Born in Detroit, she would later call Minnesota home for most of her life. But she kept her ancestral Greece close to her heart.

She lived in Greece during the Great Depression and through World War II under the care of relatives as her father managed a restaurant in Janesville, Wis. There, she watched her family aid the Greek resistance to the Nazi incursion.

"Ever since I was aware of what was happening around me, I could not accept injustice," she said in a 2014 interview with the Athens News Agency-Macedonia Press Agency.

Decades later — with a return voyage to the United States and starting a family in Minneapolis in between — Athena returned to Greece with her three children from her first marriage to Peter Psyhogios.

"My heart was beating but it was beating in Greece," she would later say.

By then active in protesting the Vietnam War and dictatorships in South America, she was asked to help win the release of Alekos Panagoulis, imprisoned for attempting to assassinate the leader of the Greek Junta in 1968.

"Anything political that she could get involved with, she was," said James Henderson, who met Athena when the two worked at a bookstore in Roseville in 1977. They married in 1985.

Her book, "Athena: A Greek-American Woman's Resistance to the Nazis and the Greek Junta," is on shelves at libraries in Hennepin County and the University of Chicago, Princeton and Harvard.

The plot to free Panagoulis — attempted alongside Lady Amalia Fleming, whose husband helped discover penicillin — was interrupted. Athena endured one month of torture and another year of imprisonment before her eventual release and return to the United States.

Sotiria Peterson remembered her mother taking her and her siblings with her to demonstrations against the dictatorship while in Greece. She said she still listens to Greek revolutionary songs.

"When Mom was passing away, I played them for her," Sotiria said. "She passed all of that on to me hard. Culture was so important."

Dean "Dino" Psyhogios, Athena's son, called his mother "a protector … someone looking out for me." He remembered how she advocated for him to save up for a new lawnmower and once got him into the cockpit of a commercial flight.

Maria Psyhogios described her mother's political activism as a "force to be reckoned with." She drew a link to the aid her family gave those fighting Nazis in Greece to the care Athena later gave others, often with hand-knit clothing, in Minnesota.

"It was this generosity that she carried forward the rest of her life," Maria said.

Athena is survived by Henderson, brother Yiannis Mihos, son Dino, daughters Maria and Sotiria, granddaughters Alexia (Anthony) Farah and Anastasia Bridgeman, and great-grandsons Nicholas and Arthur Farah.

Services were held late last month.