LOS ANGELES, CA – Faye Spanos, the beloved wife of Los Angeles Chargers owner Alex Spanos, passed away the night of August 8 at 92 years old. She was born in 1926 to Greek immigrant parents in Tarpon Springs, Florida, one of the biggest Greek-American enclaves in the United States. During the 1900s, her parents left the Greek island of Simi to come to the United States, joining fellow islanders who had arrived earlier, in search of a more prosperous life in America.
When she was nearly three years old, her mother died, leaving a six-month old son and Faye and difficult times that were overcome by having an extended and loving family of aunts, uncles and cousins who became a big part of the fabric of her life.
When she was just 18, she met her future husband, who was in the Air Force and stationed at Drew Field in Tampa. After a long-distance courtship, they married in 1948 in her hometown of Tarpon Springs.
Then they settled in Stockton, California, working side-by-side in the kitchen at the Roma Lunch Bakery, an establishment owned by Alex’s father. The young couple began to build their family as they welcomed their children, Dean, Dea, Alexis, and Michael.
As their children grew, so did her husband’s success in business as he built a billion-dollar fortune in real estate and construction, and buying a majority share in the San Diego Chargers in 1984. The team moved to Los Angeles in 2017. Their son, Dean Spanos, is the Chargers’ Chairman of the Board and controlling owner.
The Spanos family is well-known for philanthropy, donating to causes related to schools, children, the arts, and hospitals.
Faye opened her heart and home and shared their good fortune with their large extended families and their community.
She taught everyone around her by example. Guided by faith, she lived her beliefs every day of her life and treated everyone with the dignity and the respect they deserved. Faye’s name in Greek derives from the Greek word for light, and throughout her life, she was the light and rock for Alex and her family.
She brought balance, encouragement, faith, support and love to her family, and was a blessing who will be missed. The family also has 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
The Spanos family released the following statement on August 8:
The entire Spanos family is heartbroken to announce the death of the family’s matriarch, Faye Spanos, who passed away peacefully at age 92. Faye was the essence of grace, compassion, humility, and kindness. Her devotion to her family and her deep faith in God guided her throughout her life. Faye was a blessing to all who knew and loved her.
Beloved wife, mother to four children, grandmother to fifteen grandchildren, and great grandmother to ten, Faye lavishly nurtured them all with love, attention, and support. Faye married the love of her life, Alex, in 1948. As their family grew and their business prospered, Faye shared their good fortune first with their large extended families and then with their community. Faye’s generosity and kindness matched her husband’s, and together they made donations benefitting schools, children, the arts, hospitals, and people in need.
Faye Spanos’ Greek name “Fotini” derives from the Greek word for light. And throughout her life Faye has been the light and rock for Alex and for her family. She brought balance, encouragement, faith, support and love to her family. Faye’s legacy to her large family and to those who knew her and loved her was her multitude of kindnesses and her fathomless compassion. Faye Spanos will be missed terribly by her family and by all who knew her.
Funeral arrangements are underway and will be announced in the next few days.
In a statement released by the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell said, the Los Angeles Times reported, “The NFL family is saddened by the passing of Faye Spanos, the light and rock of the Spanos family. Faye was a woman of faith, compassion and dignity, who inspired her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren as well as countless friends and extended family. We extend our deepest condolences to Alex, Dean, the entire Spanos family and the Chargers organization. Family meant so much to Faye, and she was a wonderful partner to Alex for 70 years on a lifelong journey marked by their service and generosity to people throughout their beloved state of California.”