A Heartfelt Farewell to Chris Tomaras

CHICAGO, IL – Memorial services for Chris P. Tomaras, Founder & Chairman of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, too place on October 21. He died the previous Wednesday, October 14, at age 77.

The visitation took place at the Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home in Chicago. Hundreds of people attended. His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, assisted by many other priests, performed the Trisagion Service. His Eminence also spoke warmly about Tomaras as family and friends gathered to pay their respects for the last time.

The funeral was held on October 22, at St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church in Niles, Illinois. Metropolitan Iakovos, along with His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Rev. Fr. Constantine Botsis, and several clergy from churches across the Chicagoland area, presided over the service. Afterward, the Honorable Consul General of Greece in Chicago, Ioanna Efthymiadou, briefly addressed Tomaras’ family and friends. Following the funeral, Tomaras was interred at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, Illinois.

The funeral luncheon was held at the Chateau Ritz in Niles. Friends and family quietly celebrated Tomaras’ life. Yanni Valsamas, Executive Director of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, made a short introductory speech. He then invited others to share their memories. Tomaras’ granddaughter, Niki Burke, spoke on behalf of the extended family, followed by his dear friends John and Tom Sotos.

Other close friends who spoke about the life and legacy of Chris P. Tomaras’ were Cook County Treasurer, Maria Pappas; Vice Chairman of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, Robert Buhler; Regional Commander of the Archons of St. Andrew the Apostle, Metropolis of Chicago,John Manos; Supreme President of AHEPA, John Galanis; Chairman of the Board of the Greek American Rehabilitation & Care Centre, Eleni Bousis; Consul General of Panama in Philadelphia, Georgia Athanasopulos; Chairman of the Chicago Sister City – Athens Committee, Demetrios Kozonis; Member of the Board of Neo Kyma Messinias Takis Economopoulos; PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation Academic Committee member, Dr. Constantine Georgakis, and his wife Dr. Christina Georgakis; and 2007 PanHellenic Scholarship Award recipient Demitra Giannaras, who also read a eulogy by writer Harry Mark Petrakis.

The family is grateful for all of the condolences, and extends its deepest gratitude to all donations to the Foundation made in Chris P. Tomaras’ memory.

The outpouring of sympathy and affection reveals the extent of his influence and impact as an international figure.



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