Obituaries in Greek-American Community

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kondarinis, FILE)

SHREVEPORT, LA (from the Shreveport Times, published on Feb. 24) – Christos Gregory Panos, 83, of Shreveport, died peacefully at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center on February 21. Magda, his beloved and devoted wife for 42 years, was by his side. Chris (as he was known), was born on September 25, 1935 in the village of Ampelohori, Greece. He and his brother, Andrew, came to the United States in 1951 to live with family in Shreveport. Chris became a member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church and remained so for the rest of his life. After briefly attending Jesuit High School of Shreveport, he transferred to C.E. Byrd High School where he graduated in 1956 with honors. He was awarded a full scholarship to Centenary College as a premed major and, between studying and working, made the Dean’s List his freshman year. Upon becoming naturalized in 1957, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He proudly served in the 95th Infantry Division as a heavy weapons infantryman and earned his expert infantry badge. Upon completing his active duty in Bavaria, Germany and reservist duty in Shreveport, he was honorably discharged. “Those were some of the best years of my life.” After the army, he attended LSUS for business courses for a year. Chris was a restaurateur in Shreveport for over 50 years. He and his brother, Aristotelis (known as Ira), opened their first restaurant, Kollege Grill, across from Centenary College. Later, Chris and Andrew opened and worked side by side in their restaurants, Po-Boy Grill and Danny’s Drive-In. For 38 years, Chris and Andrew owned and operated Panos’ Diner on Milam Street in downtown Shreveport, with their wives working beside them. As a member of St. George, Chris volunteered in various church activities and fundraisers, particularly the luncheons. One of his favorites was the church’s annual bingo fundraiser for St. Basil’s Academy in New York, for which he and Andrew would donate and prepare the food in memory of their parents. In 1966, he became a member of AHEPA and at one time served as AHEPA Chapter 8 treasurer. As was the case with many of his generation, the people of St. George and AHEPA became his family away from Greece. He was preceded in death by his parents, Gregorios and Vasiliki Panos (née Xekarfotou) of Ampelohori, Greece; his sister, Yanoula Panos of Ampelohori; and his brothers Panayotis of Ampelohori, Aristotelis of Shreveport, Kostas of Athens, Greece, and Andrew Panos of Shreveport. He is survived by his wife, Magdalini Christos Panos (née Pallas); his daughter, Ioanna Christos Panos and her husband Christopher Spalding Morris of Houston, TX; his twin sister, Anthoula and her husband, Yianni Kitsou of Ioannina, Greece; his sisters-in-law, Wanda Panos and Fotini Panos of Shreveport, and Leila Panos of Athens, Greece, and several nieces and nephews in the United States and in Greece. The funeral service was held at St. George Greek Orthodox. Pallbearers were Gregory Panos, Kevin Fentress, James Newsom, Johnny Meiki, Louie Ballis, and Trey Tomaseck. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Centenary College’s Great Teachers and Scholars Fund; St. George Greek Orthodox Church; a food bank of your choice. The family would like to thank the medial personnel, staff, and volunteers at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, especially the nurses and doctors on ICU West 3 North, and Hospice 7 West for their dedication and care of Chris and their loving nature. He would have been especially grateful for their attentiveness and understanding toward his wife, during her visits.

SOUTH EUCLID, OH (from The Plain Dealer, published on Feb. 27) – Popie Papouras, 84, passed away on February 26. Predeceased by her husband of 51 years, John, her spirit lives on through her loving children, Nitsa Seidman (Joe), Christopher, adored grandson, John Seidman, beloved sister Vasiliki Nolidis (William, deceased), brother Nikos Samarinis (Zoe), nieces and nephews, Souzi Nolidis, Tammy Nolidis-Mizas (Costa), Xenia Samarini (Evripides Vikopoulis), Paschalis Samarinis, great nieces and nephews, Nikos and Leah Mizas and Andonis and Zoe Vikopoulos, as well as, a large, extended family and many friends. Popie was born in Nestorio, Kastoria, a small village in the Macedonia region of Greece. After graduating from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki with a degree in linguistics, she began teaching in Greece until immigrating to the United States in 1960. A very spiritual person, Popie was an active member of Ss. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral and the Greek community. She served in the Church’s Library Group since its inception and was an active member of the Nestorion Ladies Association, Philoptochos Society, and Daughters of Penelope. She taught Greek school for many years, influencing a generation of Greek-American children and later, became a Greek interpreter for the Cleveland Clinic’s International Department. Popie believed in helping others and her generosity included the Orthodox community and numerous charities. Popie had a passion for Greek history and world culture. She loved to travel and socialize with friends. She was also a talented seamstress. She will be remembered for her kind, loving heart and gentle manner that gave her the extraordinary ability to make everyone feel special. Contributions may be made in memory of Popie to Ss. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3352 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland Heights, OH 44118.

ALEXANDRIA, VA (from The Virginian Pilot, published on Feb. 13) – Penelope Paras, 90, of Alexandria, VA passed away peacefully at home in the presence of her children and grandchildren on February 9th, 2019 in Alexandria, VA. Penelope was born in Portland, OR to George and Olga Polechrones on June 17, 1928. She married Jim G. Paras on August 20, 1954 in Portland, OR. She received her BA in Child Psychology at U. of MD, Stuttgart and was a leader in her Greek Orthodox Community and choirs in Portland prior to moving to Athens, Greece upon her marriage. There she engaged in many philanthropic activities and was also President of the American Women’s Organization of Greece. Penelope is survived by her son George and Lisa Paras, and grandchildren Dimitri, Alexander, Alessandra, Rachel, and Yianni; her son Christopher and Julie Paras, and grandchildren Nicholas and Christina, and great grandchild Lacey; and her daughter Katerina. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Save the Children in memory of Penelope P. Paras. Call 1-800-728-3843.

VALPARAISO, IN (from the Northwest Indiana Times, published on Feb. 27) – Kristine Angela Smith (nee Coveris), age 72, of Valparaiso, passed away on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at University of Chicago Medicine. Kristine is survived by her children: Nicholas (Tiffany) Smith, Christopher (Cindy) Smith, Marika “Margaret” (Jordan) Pierson, Samuel (Vanessa) Coveris; grandchildren: Collin, Caden, Kendall, Bryce and Theo; brothers: Dean (Shawn) Coveris and George Coveris; nieces: Meredith (Anthony) Mansch and Kaitlin Coveris; numerous other nieces, nephews, cousins; and husband: Kendall G. Smith. Kristine was preceded in death by her parents: Stamatios and Mary Coveris. Kristine was a graduate of Merrillville High School – Class of 1964. She received her Nursing Degree from Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s working as Head Nurse of ICU. She continued her education to receive her Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Degree from the University of Michigan. Kristine was the Past State President of AANA – American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and served on the Scholarship Board. She was an active member of Ss. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, previously serving as camp nurse at Fanari camp in Wisconsin and at Ionian Village in the Peloponnese of Greece. Kristine was friends to some, but family to everyone – she will be greatly missed on this Earth. Visitation will be held on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at Geisen Funeral & Cremation Services, 7905 Broadway Ave., Merrillville, IN 46410 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM with a Trisagion Service to be held at 5:00 PM. Funeral Services will be held on Friday, March 1, 2019, at 10:00 AM DIRECTLY at Ss. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 8000 Madison St, Merrillville, IN 46410, with Fr. Ted Poteres and Fr. George Pappas officiating. Interment to follow at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, IN. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Kristine’s name to the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (www.netrf.orgonate). Sign Kristine’s online guestbook and view directions at – (219) 769-3322.

AMHERST, OH (from The Plain Dealer, published on Feb. 27) – Nick Stamatis, age 87, of Amherst passed away Monday, February 25, 2019. He was born on September 20, 1931 in Hostia, Greece to John and Venita Stamatis. In 1951, at the age of 20, he immigrated to the United States. Nick worked at US Steel as a crane operator in the Lorain 3 Seamless Pipe Division for 19 years. Upon leaving US Steel, he and his wife Coula, opened Casey’s Drive-In of Lorain where they worked side by side for nearly 20 years. Nick was a member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. He served on the Parish Council, was President of AHEPA Chapter 144, and also President of the St. Nicholas Senior Group. He enjoyed his daily coffee gatherings with his friends at McDonalds and especially loved spending time with his grandchildren. With a real skill set to fix almost anything, he was also an avid do-it-your-selfer with a genuine love for carpentry. Nick is survived by his children, John (Fay) Stamatis, Bonnie (Tim) Uhr, Peter (Rene) Stamatis, and Sam Stamatis; grandchildren, Nick, Peter, Alex, and Nicholas. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 34 years, Coula, in 1990 and brother, Seraphim Stamatis. The family will receive friends on Friday, March 1, 2019 at the Dovin and Reber Jones Funeral & Cremation Center, 1110 Cooper Foster Park Road, Amherst from 4:00 – 7:30 p.m. Trisagion Services will follow the visitation at 7:30 p.m. The family will also receive friends on Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 10:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 2000 Tower Blvd., Lorain, Ohio. Rev. Michael C. Gulgas, Pastor, will officiate. Interment will follow at Elmwood Cemetery, Lorain. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in memory of Nick Stamatis to the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Lorain. Online condolences may be left for the family at:

ST. JOHN, IN (from the Northwest Indiana Times, published on Mar. 3) – Demetrios Stathis, age 61, of St. John, born and raised in Athens, Greece, passed away February 19, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. Beloved husband of Janina Stathis (nee Wyrostek) for 38 years. Loving father of Panagiotis (Sarah Lidster) Stathis and AnnaMaria (Chase Dunlop) Stathis. Dearest brother of Aristotelis (Marina) Stathis. Closest friends of Andreas Glastras, Triantafylli Panagi, and Stelios Kouvelis. Loved by many cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors. Demetrios is also survived by his loving dog Foxy Lady. He is preceded in death by his parents Panagiotis and Maria Stathis and his former wife Deborah Ann Stathis. He will always be remembered for his love for his family, and passion for the outdoors, traveling, spontaneous road trips, stories, sense of humor, jokes, spending time with family and friends, fixing anything, his garage, selflessly helping others, being proud of his Greek heritage, and his infectious smile and laugh. Memorial will be held privately. Arrangements entrusted to Elmwood Funeral Chapel, St. John, IN. For more information 219-365-3474 or

HONEOYE FALLS, NY (from the Rochester Democrat And Chronicle, published on Feb. 27) – Constantine “Gus” Stefanou passed away on February 22, 2019. Gus was a kind gentleman, loving husband, father and papou (grandfather), who always put family first. With his drive, determination, respect for others and integrity, Gus was provided the opportunity to share a beautiful life with his wife and five children. Gus could be found cheering on his children, then the grandchildren at their soccer, baseball, and hockey games or track meets, listening to his children and grandchildren performing around the piano for family concerts, playing their instruments at school concerts or performing a capella in college. Papou’s garden drew many a fan each summer as it was a family affair to ready, plant, tend and finally harvest the crop from an amazing planting of over 100 pepper, cucumber, and tomato plants. He was born in Drosopigi, Greece and seized the opportunity to come to the United States in the early 1950’s through a sponsorship from the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), of which he was recognized as a Life Member for over 50 years of service and dedication to the organization. Self-educated in his early years and driven throughout his life, Gus built very successful businesses in building construction, commercial/residential real estate and insurance. Gus is a 1957 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Building Construction. He was very active in the real estate community. Gus earned his Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation. Gus served as President of the New York State CCIM Chapter. He also served as President of the Commercial and Investment Division for the New York State Association of Realtors. Gus held Emeritus member status with the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors. Along with his business accomplishments, he was a very active member and benefactor of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation and community serving on the Parish Council multiple terms, including in the capacity as Parish Council President. Gus is predeceased by his loving spouse of 57 years, Florence; his parents, Dimitrios and Kleonicki Stefanou; and brother-in-law Spiro Mitrousidis. He is survived by his children, Elaine (Jerry) Sackleh, Christine (Geoff) Perry, Stephanie (Adam) Templeton, Anastasia (Walter) Turek, Dimitri (Maja) Stefanou; 11 grandchildren, Demetra, Anastasia, Sophia, Olivia, Athena, Jonathan, Nicholas, Emma, Ava, Constantine, Hudson; brother, Damianos (Petroula) Stefanou; sisters, Agora Mitrousidis, Mary (George) Tegas and many other family members. Friends may call Friday 2-4 PM & 7-9 PM , at Anthony Funeral Chapel (2305 Monroe Ave.) A Trisagion Service will be held at 8 PM. Friends are invited to bring a written memory or photo for the family’s Memory Book. A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday 1 PM at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, 962 East Avenue. Interment at White Haven Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Gus to Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit – Friends of the Metropolis Fund, 2560 Crooks Rd., Troy, MI 48084. To share a memory of Constantine or send a condolence to the family visit Gus’ bright blue eyes, heart-warming smiles, big hugs, and soft spoken demeanor are truly missed. May His Memory Be Eternal.