BROOKLYN – Parents, students, teachers, Chairman Basil Danas and other Board members of the Greek afternoon school Plato (in Brooklyn), colleagues, patients, relatives, and friends gathered on the evening of August 16 at the Andrew Torregrossa & Sons Funeral Home in Brooklyn to venerate the mortal remains of Dr. Spiro Demetis and express sincere and heartfelt condolences to his family.
The next morning, they gathered at the Church of the Holy Cross in Bay Ridge to attend the funeral and big Dr. Demetis a final farewell.
Dr. Demetis died on August 14 at age 58, survived by his fie, Constantina, their children Antigone and Theodore Cacoyannis, Constantine Demetis, and Statmatia Demetis, his father, Kostas, siblings in Greece Amalia and George Miteloudis, nephews Antigone and Michalis Servos, Dionysios, Alexander, and Constantine, Eugenia and Stergios Naskou, Constantina and Costas Slatano, Christina Voudouris, cousins, and other relatives.
Dr. Demetis was born in Serres and raised in Thessaloniki. He came to the United States to study and became an accomplished physician and a mentor for many doctors and all those who had the privilege to learn from him.
The book of condolences underscores those sentiments. John Kassotis of Astoria wrote: “it is very difficult to understand how we can be separated from people we love so much, but we find comfort in knowing that our beloved Spiro is resting in Jesus’ bosom. We will miss him.”
Amit Gupta of Tupelo, MS added: “my vocabulary is too limited to describe our feelings for this wonderful man, excellent teacher and doctor, mentor, and friend.”
Dr. Demetis loved Greek paideia, and for many years served as president, vice president, and advisor to the Plato School. He was the pillar of the school, and as Chairman Danas said, played a key role in the school’s functioning and progress.
Danas pointed out that the school is now in the hands of those who grew up within it generations ago.
School Treasurer Stefanie Christakos spoke of how crowded the offices were, how over 1000 people came to honor him. “To us, Dr. Demetis was not just the president. He was a teacher, a mentor, the person who kept the school together and gave us the opportunity to offer our own contributions to it.”
Speaking to Dr. Demetis’ generosity, Christakos said: “he covered the tuition of those who couldn’t afford it, and balanced the school budget when there was a deficit. And he did it discretely. He was a philanthropist and an educator in every sense of the word.”
Alkiviadis Amarantos said Demetis “was a true friend – virtuous and moral. He was a first-class person: likable, sociable, and approachable. Our friendship was close, because we shared common visions and ideals, common principles and values…He had a great fondness for children – he had a childlike heart, and ached for each one. And was a great leader of the school, and a staunch supporter of the Hellenic language and culture.”