NEW YORK – “AHEPA mourns the passing of Past Supreme President Andrew T. Banis,” announced Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas. Brother Banis, an AHEPA Life Member of Chapter 171, Oakland, California, passed away peacefully on July 28, 2021.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of Brother Banis’ passing,” Supreme President Kokotas said. “We are indebted greatly to his life-long, 66-years of dedicated and selfless service to the Order and the community. Brother Banis will be missed greatly and will be remembered fondly by the Brotherhood, and the entire AHEPA family, for his contributions to the community. Our deepest sympathies are with the Banis family. May his memory be eternal.”
During his term as Supreme President (2001-2002), AHEPA undertook a fundraising campaign to provide relief in the aftermath of September 11. He also ensured that AHEPA’s humanitarian relief was delivered to the people of Greece following the devastating 1999 Athens earthquake (scroll down for more detail.)
Andrew T. Banis was the oldest son of Tom and Olga Lazana Banis, was born in Sioux City, Iowa on June 16, 1932. The Banis family moved to San Francisco after the birth of their youngest son, Harry. Both parents were immigrants from Greece and were looking to San Francisco to start their new life. Andrew attended schools in San Francisco and graduated from Lowell High School. After four years of active duty in the United States Coast Guard he was Honorably Discharged and returned to complete his College Degree in Accounting and Business. Andrew was married on January 16, 1955 to Thalia Joan Bezaitis for forty-four years. Their children are Tom and Marie Dalkas Banis and George and Kristine Barakos Banis. He has been blessed to have five grandchildren, he always referred to them as his “A’s”. They are Alexandra, Andrew, Angelique (C.T. McIntosh), Anisa (Alex Khoury) and Anthony Banis. Andrew was Founder and Past President of Banis Restaurant Design, Inc. The business services the food industry in Design and Furnishings of all related food establishments. He was pronounced as “Archon Megas Hieromnimon of the Great Church of Christ, Order of Saint Andrew” by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholmeos of Constantinople, Turkey. He also is a recipient of the “Archdiocesan Medal of Saint Paul” and 58 year member and Past President of Ascension Cathedral of Oakland. Andrew was an active member of the Order of AHEPA for sixty years and has served in all offices on the chapter and district level and given the opportunity to serve as Supreme President of Order of AHEPA 2001-2002. He has served with personal and honor to the ORDER. The Hellenic American Professional Society of California presented “The Axion Award” for Andrew’s exemplary service to his learned Profession. He was co-founder of the Bay Area Greek American Business Society. Served with his wife Thalia and Director Paul Manolis during founding of the Patriarch Athengoras Orthodox Institute at University of California Berkeley. But above all, Andy will be remembered as a loving father, husband and grandfather. He taught us all to live life to the fullest, say yes to spending time with family and friends and always have a good story to tell. His positive attitude was contagious and model of how we live our lives. No matter the circumstance, he saw the best in every situation. It was a life well lived in grace, integrity and love.
Schedule of Services Trisagion – Tuesday, 8/3/21 at 7:00 PM, Ascension CathedralFuneral – Wednesday, 8/4/21 at 10:00 AM, Ascension Cathedral, followed by Makaria. Burial to follow at Mt. View Cemetery in Oakland. Live Stream: The Funeral Service can also be viewed through our parish live stream on our Parish Website or on our parish Youtube Channel.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to:
Thalia Bezaitis Banis Scholarship FundGreek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension4700 Lincoln AveOakland, CA 94602
$53,000 in Scholarships was given. September 11th Relief efforts saw $110,000 donated to the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, and the Pentagon Memorial Relief Fund. Athens Earthquake Relief Commitment donated a minivan to transport an EMT crew to the Hellenic Red Cross, an ambulance to Evangelismos Hospital, and $105,000 to the Municipality of Menidi to rebuild a children’s daycare center that was demolished in the earthquake. Received a Greek Independence Day proclamation from Alaska. Introduced the Halki Resolution to the House of Representatives.