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Obituaries

AHEPA Past Supreme President Stephen Manta Has Died

WASHINGTON, DC – Ahepans mourn the passing of Past Supreme President Stephen A. Manta, announced Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas. Brother Manta passed away on his 83rd birthday, on January 4.

“We mourn the great loss of Past Supreme President Steve Manta,” Supreme President Kokotas said. “Brother Steve came from a strong family of Ahepans, and his love for the fraternity and brotherhood always was evident. He will be remembered fondly by the AHEPA family. We also thank him for his service to our country as a member of the U.S. Naval Reserves. We also are grateful for his service to the community, and he will be missed greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Manta family. May his memory be eternal.”

Brother Manta, a Life Member of his beloved Milo Chapter 348, Chicago, served as Supreme President from 1997 to 1998. During his term, AHEPA first honored His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with the Socrates Award in Washington, D.C. Brother Manta cultivated a genuine friendship with then – U.S. Ambassador to Greece R. Nicholas Burns, who joined Manta’s Chapter 348. Manta also was the second AHEPA Supreme President to meet with Turkish government officials in Ankara.

Brother Manta also served as a member of the AHEPA Centennial Foundation, the entity responsible for the erection of the Tribute to Olympism sculpture in Atlanta’s Centennial Park and the George C. Marshall Statue, which stands on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Athens.

Brother Manta also was committed to education, serving on the District 13 Scholarship Committee with dedication.

Brother Manta was the son of Past Supreme President John L. Manta, who served as Supreme President from 1956-1957.

Born in Chicago, IL on January 4, 1940, he was the son of John L. and Barbara (Petrakis) Manta. Manta attended St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, Northwestern University, and served in the U.S. Naval Reserves. Along with his brothers Leo and Frank, he co-owned JL Manta Inc., an industrial painting contractor company. Manta was a member and steward of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Palos Hills, IL, where his grandfather, Fr. Mark Petrakis, served as the parish priest for many years. He was an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, an honor given to him by His Holiness the Patriarch for exceptional service to the church. In addition, Manta was a Past Supreme President of the Order of AHEPA, a Greek-American association established to assist Greek immigrants in America. He was a life member of the Milo Chapter. Manta had a love for movies and was a walking encyclopedia of film knowledge. He enjoyed theater, reading, politics, bowling, stamp collecting, and fishing in Alaska and Wisconsin with his family. He was overjoyed to see his beloved Chicago Cubs finally win the World Series, a moment he had waited for his entire life. He loved playing basketball and spent many happy hours playing with friends and family, not dribbling to his left. Manta will be deeply missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his children Melissa Manta-Zannakis and her husband John of Center Valley, PA, and Peter Manta and his wife Antoinette Zabala-Manta of San Jose, CA. He is also survived by his former wife Dena P. (Booras) Manta of Bettendorf, IA, and his six loving grandchildren: Dean, Andrew, and Maya Zannakis, and Duke, Isabel, and Simone Manta. Manta was predeceased by his brothers Leo and Frank Manta.

A viewing will be held on Thursday, January 12, 3-7 PM, with an AHEPA service at 7 PM, at Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Home (9000 W 151st Street, Orland Park, IL 60462). The funeral will take place on Friday, January 13, 10:30AM at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 11025 South Roberts Road, Palos Hills, IL, followed by burial at Evergreen Cemetery in Evergreen Park, IL.

Throughout his life, Manta contributed time, energy, and resources to the Blair Early Childhood Center in Chicago. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to either Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church or the Blair Early Childhood Center: https://blair.cps.edu/.

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