CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Elias Hatzis Hatzigeorgiou passed away on June 2 after a brief battle with an aggressive form of cancer, at the age of 72, The Daily Progress reported.
Hatzigeorgiou was born in the village Menetes on the island of Karpathos in Greece to parents, Hatzis and Irene Hatzigeorgiou. He attended college and graduated with a degree in Accounting and Finance in Athens in 1967. After his studies, Hatzigeorgiou served as a logistics officer in the Greek Armed Forces, part of NATO alliance and therefore recognized in the United States as a veteran.
During his younger years, he played amateur soccer for his beloved local club of Poseidon Karpathos FC and he participated in various track & field competitions where he won first and second place among hundreds of contestants on multiple occasions. Hatzigeorgiou immigrated to Canada with his parents and siblings in 1964 and married Maria Spanos in Montreal in 1981. Shortly after their wedding, they moved to Arlington, VA, where he worked in the hospitality industry in Washington, DC. He was honored to meet President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosaline Carter. Hatzigeorgiou was the favorite bartender of the first lady at Embassy Road Hotel.
Hatzigeorgiou’s son George was born in 1982 and four years later, daughter Irene. In 1987, the family moved back to Karpathos and then in 1996 they settled in Charlottesville, VA, for a better future for the family and the best possible education opportunities for his children.
A passionate sports fan, Hatzigeorgiou was a die-hard supporter of Olympiacos Football Club in Greece and never missed a single game on television, also attending as many games as he could during his annual trips to Greece. He was also a Redskins supporter.
Known for being a realist and a lover of pragmatism, Hatzigeorgiou was a firm believer in the power of self and always said that there was "no can or can't do, there is only I want to or I don't want to" achieve something, The Daily Progress reported. A man of integrity, honesty, and compassion, Hatzigeorgiou was a devoted father who adored his children, dedicated his life to their success by being there every step of the way, and was very proud of their accomplishments.
Hatzigeorgiou was a businessman who spent half the year on his home island of Karpathos, running his famous bed & breakfast business during the summer seasons for over 25 years. He cultivated personal relationships with the majority of his customers over the years and touched the lives of thousands during his lifetime.
Hatzigeorgiou is survived by his children, George and Irene, and his older brother, Vasilios. He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Antonios; his mother, Irene; and father, Hatzis.
Visitation was held on June 5 at Pierce Funeral Home in Manassas, VA where the funeral service was also held on June 6. Hatzigeorgiou’s children request that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Nativity of Our Lord Orthodox Church in Manassas in memory of their father.