ASTORIA – The Greek-American philanthropist Leonidas Lois passed away on November 13 at the age of 93. Lois, who spent the last few years at HANAC (Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee) in Astoria, was found unconscious at 9 AM by his at home caregiver. Immediately an ambulance was called, but unfortunately it was too late.
“Leonidas Lois lived here for many years and was like a member of the family,” HANAC Director of Social Services, Nikos Nikolaidis, told The National Herald, but he says that lately, due most likely to his advanced age, his health had been failing.
“He was a good and open man, always cheerful. But lately he seemed down. A month ago, I had seen that it had begun and he struggled. We had assured him, of course, the presence of an aide to assist him, while the staff was watching over him as well.”
Sadness for the loss of Leonidas Lois was also expressed by HANAC's Social Services Deputy Director, Sofia Payias.
“He was a pleasant person, he wrote poems, told stories about the war, but also the first difficult years that he spent in America,” she said.
According to information, Lois’ last wish was to be buried in Greece, with his family being immediately alerted to his death.
Leonidas Lois was known as “Leo the Greek” and as “Karaiskakis” since he appeared as the iconic hero of 1821 in the New York Greek Independence Parade on 5th Avenue, a role that has been taken over in recent years by Yannis Nikolopoulos, President of the Association Diplatanos.
Lois served as President of the Federation of Central Greece while he was an active member of the Aetoloakarnani and Roumelioton Associations, as well as a member of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York.
He will be remembered for his love for Greece, his charitable contributions, and special interest in national issues.
“Leonidas Lois was a super-patriot. He fought a great deal for our national affairs and he believed in the perpetuation of the Greek language and the Greek customs and traditions. He worked and contributed to the Federation of Central Greece but also to various associations he was called to serve,” "he told the EC for the late President of the Neohoriton Association of America, Vasilis Kotsalos, who described the deceased as “an example for the Greek community.”
"Few are those who have the nation and national pride within themselves. We will miss Leonidas,” Kotsalos said.
The late Leonidas Lois was a regular reader of the National Herald, and in the past often made announcements through the newspaper about various social activities, including the effort to raise funds for the Holy Transfiguration Church Community Center in Anchorage, Alaska.
May his memory be eternal.