The Honorable Nicholas Tsoucalas, of Weston, MA, formerly of Rego Park, NY, died peacefully after complications from pneumonia on March 22, 2018.
Beloved husband of the late Catherine (Aravantinos) Tsoucalas of 63 years. Devoted father of Georgia Tsoucalas Argyrople of Weston, MA and Stephanie Turriago of Pound Ridge, NY. Adoring grandfather of Victoria and Catherine Argyrople and Nicholas, Vivian and Christina Turriago. Caring son of the late George and Maria (Monogenis) Tsoucalas originally from Nisyros, Greece. Loving brother of the late Calliopi Caravakis and the late Michael Tsoucalas, and of Theodora Carras of Silver Spring, MD and Athena Hazlaris of Ormond Beach, FL. Supportive father-in-law to Daniel Turriago. Admired uncle of many nieces, nephews and extended family.
Judge Tsoucalas was one of five children born to George and Maria Tsoucalas, on August 24, 1926 in New York City. He was educated in the NYC public schools. While in school, he worked at the Le Petit Paris Restaurant, which his father owned for 40 years at Broadway and 145th Street, in Manhattan.
In 1944, Judge Tsoucalas joined the U.S. Navy and served as a radio operator on APD and transport vessels in the European theater of World War II, as well as the Caribbean and North Atlantic. Upon returning home, he enrolled in Kent State University, in Ohio, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1949. Subsequently, Judge Tsoucalas entered New York Law School, receiving his LL.B. in 1951, and the Constitutional Law Award at graduation. That same year, he was recalled into the Navy for the Korean War and served on the aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Wasp.
After his service, Judge Tsoucalas was admitted to the New York Bar in April 1953. Shortly thereafter, he began his own law practice, specializing in Immigration and Admiralty Law. He also attended New York University Law School for graduate courses.
From 1955 to 1959, Judge Tsoucalas served as an Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Thereafter, he was appointed to supervise the 1960 Census for New York’s 17th and 18th Congressional Districts, and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Appraisal, Neversink Riparian Rights
In 1968, Judge Tsoucalas was appointed as a Criminal Court Judge for the City of New York and served until 1986. He also served as an Acting Supreme Court Judge for Kings and Queens Counties from 1975 until 1982. During this tenure, Judge Tsoucalas handled many notable cases including the “Son of Sam” trial.
In 1984, President Reagan nominated Judge Tsoucalas to the U. S. Court of International Trade. In June 1986, the U. S. Senate confirmed his nomination.
Judge Tsoucalas issued countless notable decisions throughout his time on the federal bench. In addition to handling international trade cases, Judge Tsoucalas acted as a visiting judge in the U.S. district courts throughout the U.S., and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In 1997, Judge Tsoucalas became a Senior Judge and eventually retired from the U.S. Court of International Trade in 2016.
Judge Tsoucalas served with distinction in numerous other positions such as: the Chairman of the Federal Bar Association Committee on Juvenile Delinquency; Subcommittee Chairman of the New York County Lawyers’ Association for Public Order and Responsibility; Hartoularios and Co-Chairman of the Nominating Committee for the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; President and founding member of the Hellenic Lawyers’ Association of New York; President of the Board of Directors of Evangelismos Greek Orthodox Church in NYC; President of the St. John Theologos Society; President of the Parthenon Foundation; President of the Order of AHEPA Delphi Chapter; member of the New York Athletic Club; and member of the Parthenon Lodge, F.A.M. Over the years, Judge Tsoucalas was honored many times for his outstanding commitment and support of these and other organizations.
Evangeline Tsistinas-Kubu, niece of the deceased, told The National Herald, “My uncle was a great man who led a life of service to God, his country, his family, and to all humanity. He will be remembered by the Greek-American community as a son of immigrants who achieved much success and helped so many others across his lifetime. The legal community will remember him for his brilliant legal mind, his passion for truth, and for his unwavering mentorship to so many throughout his career. His friends and family will remember his kind heart, his laughter, and the lessons he taught us all about how to lead a life of meaning and purpose. He will live forever in our hearts.”
Visiting hours for Judge Tsoucalas will be held on Monday, March 26, 201 4:00-8:00pm, at the Leo Kearns Funeral Home, 61-40 Woodhaven Boulevard, Rego Park, NY 11374. Funeral service on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 10:00am at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Shrine, 196-10 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11358. Interment at Maple Grove Cemetery, 127-15 Kew Gardens, NY 11415 to follow the funeral.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Nicholas Church and Shrine (address listed above) or to St. Michael’s Home, 3 Lehman Terrace, Yonkers, NY 10705.