GARDEN CITY, NY – Greek-Americans and Queens natives George and Kaliope (Callie) Papazicos passed away due to COVID-19, on April 4 and April 8, respectively, at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, Newsday reported. He was 64 and she was 62.
The husband and wife were”inseparable” since they met when both “signed up as counselors in the summer of 1976 to help at-risk children of New York City at a summer camp run by the Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee,” Newsday reported.
They lived in Garden City for 28 years where they raised their two daughters and continued helping others as devoted members of the AHEPA family. George was a member of AHEPA Constantine Cassis Chapter No. 170 for 31 years while Kaliope was a longtime member of the Daughters of Penelope Medusa Chapter.
Daughter Christine Papazicos Sabato of Wilton, CT said, “They were always looking to help others. Callie was great with people, which led her to develop long-lasting friendships. George had a big smile and lived to entertain others. This desire and interest in helping others continued throughout their lives,” Newsday reported.
George Papazicos was born to Athanasios and Mary Papazicos, the eldest of two sons and a daughter. He was raised in Jamaica, Queens, attending public schools and graduating from the Brooklyn Technical High School before earning a degree in math from Queens College. He later earned a law degree from Columbia Law School.
Kaliope Kentrotas of Flushing was born to Antonios and Toula Kentrotas, and had one younger brother. She graduated from the St. Demetrios Jamaica Day School and Queens College, earning a degree in communications.
George was an attorney for more than 35 years, and worked as the U.S. head of tax at Equitable Life before retiring in 2017. Before beginning his career in law, he taught math at the former School of the Transfiguration of the Savior Church in Corona, Queens.
Their daughter told Newsday, “George was always very driven and wanted to put together his love of math and business. After he obtained his law degree, he began working in corporate tax.”
“Callie, as Kaliope was affectionately called, worked as a travel agent for 40 years and retired at the end of 2019,” Newsday reported.
“Callie started working at a travel agency at age 16 and fell in love with travel. Even after she retired at the end of last year, she continued to help others as she began her travel plans for her first year of retirement,” Sabato told Newsday.
Daughter Maria DellaCorte, now of Miller Place, was born in 1985, and Sabato, in 1987.
George was “the math whiz, always challenging people with puzzles and never at a loss for stories to make people laugh; Callie, a master baker of Greek cookies, who loved to make people feel at home and comfortable,” Newsday reported.
“They led by example, showing their kindness and generosity to others, as they participated in various charitable activities. George would participate in fundraising tournaments and Callie would frequently help at the Mary Brennan INN [Interfaith Nutrition Network] Soup Kitchen.” Sabato told Newsday.
As devoted members of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul in Hempstead, George had served as a former parish president and Callie had served as president of the Philoptochos Society.
Besides their daughters, the couple is survived by Kaliope Papazicos’ parents, Antonios and Toula Kentrotas of Flushing; George Papazicos’ mother, Mary Papazicos of Franklin Square; Kaliope’s brother, Andreas Kentrotas of Douglaston; George’s brother, Nick Papazicos of Monroe, and his sister, Irene Papazicos of Franklin Square.; six grandchildren; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were private, but a memorial service is planned for the future.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul in Hempstead.