WESTFIELD, NJ – Gabriel Athenson, 88, passed away on January 30. He is survived by his loving wife Helen of 65 years, and three sons and their spouses: Peter and Ellen (Manos), Basil and Susan (Rafferty), and Sarante and Julie (Ternyik). He was a loving and devoted grandfather to eight grandchildren: David, Catherine, Augustine, Alexander, Gabriel, Eleni, Nicholas, and Andrew, and was predeceased by his younger brother Sarante.
Athenson was born on Dec 8, 1927 in New York City, to Peter and Nina (Thomas) Athenson, and spent his early childhood in New York until 1936 when the family relocated to Greece, where they remained during World War II.
He returned to the United States in 1946 and spent 16 months in Korea serving his country as a sergeant first class in the first army infantry during the Korean War.
Athenson earned an accounting degree from LaSalle Extension University and was employed in the fur industry. He later he went on to own Acropolis Wines & Liquors in New York City, followed by employment with Star Industries.
Helen and he lived in Yonkers, and for the last 18 years resided in North Edison, NJ.
An athlete and a lifelong lover of soccer, Athenson founded the Greek-American soccer club DOXA and served as its first president. He was also an active member of the Holy Trinity Church of Westfield, the Thomas Jefferson chapter of AHEPA, Hellenic Post 440 of the American Legion, Trinity Circle and the ROMEOs.
A kind, gentle, wonderful man, Athenson will be greatly missed by friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 250 Gallows Hill Road, Westfield, NJ 07090.