DETROIT, MI – Athina T Siringas, who worked 20 years in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, died December 10, after a long battle with ovarian cancer, The Detroit News (TDN) reported. She was 63.
Family remembered the Birmingham resident as a devoted member of her large Greek family, a wife of 34 years to Nickolaos Siringas, a great cook and avid tennis fan and tennis player, TDN reported.
“Publicly, she was perhaps best known for being on the team of Wayne County prosecutors who handled the 2008 perjury and obstruction of justice cases against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty.” TDN reported, adding that “even though she was in her last days of battling cancer, Siringas went to Florida to attend the wedding of her goddaughter.”
“There are people that come into your life from time to time that you know from the moment you meet them that they will have a significant impact,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy told TDN. “Athina was definitely one of them. She was the epitome of a strong, successful woman: smart, opinionated, passionate, principled, and fearless.
“Athina was a fabulous mom, a loving wife, a hell of a lawyer and advocate, and an all-round grand person,” Worthy continued, TDN reported. “While everyone may not always have agreed with her, she was highly respected by everyone in our office, the bench, the defense bar, law enforcement, the community, and the victims she served. It is a gross understatement to say that we will all miss her dearly.”
Siringas was born in Greece and then moved to Detroit with her parents in 1968 when she was 10. She graduated as salutatorian from Finney High School in 1976, her family told TDN, before earning undergraduate and law degrees from Wayne State University. She graduated cum laude from WSU School of Law in 1983. She and her husband met while they were WSU undergraduates at an Orthodox club on campus.
“Athina was very witty,” Nick Siringas, who retired in 2009 as a financial analyst for Chrysler LLC, told TDN. “She was very fun, kind and generous. She was a really good person on the inside, and passionate. I loved all those qualities in her.”
“They parted ways after college but reconnected at a party in November 1986,” TDN reported, adding that “in August 1987, they married.”
“It was the best life one could experience,” her husband told TDN. “We did many things together. We socialized with a lot of different people in the community and a lot of people in our respective professions. It was a very complete and wholesome lifestyle. I could not have spent 34 years of my life with a better person.”
Siringas began her career in private practice with the law firm of Bell and Gardner, and thereafter Gardner and Siringas. While she was in private practice, Siringas in 1994 defended Toni Cato Riggs, whom Worthy successfully prosecuted in the murder of her husband for his life insurance money shortly after he returned from serving in the first Gulf War.
In 2001, Siringas joined the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office as an assistant prosecutor. She most recently held the title of deputy chief special prosecutor and supervised the Homicide Unit, Major Drug Unit and the Auto Theft Unit.
She was involved in some of the worst cases in Detroit but her daughter Kalli Siringas, who lives in New York with her husband, Vinny Mraz, told TDN that “she separated her work from her family life.”
“She was very prominent figure in the Prosecutor’s Office but she was a very family-orientated person,” said Kalli Siringas, TDN reported. “She was always putting family first.”
She told TDN that her mom “had a photographic memory, was a bit of a perfectionist and could whip up the best Greek koulourakia cookies and moussaka.”
“She really was the best. She was a great mom, a great person, and so many people loved her,” Kalli Siringas told TDN.
Siringas was preceded in death by her father, Vasilios Tsaprailis. In addition to her husband and daughter, she is survived by her mother, Fereniki Tsaprailis of St. Clair Shores; her sister, Roula Tsaprailis; and a brother, George Tsaprailis and his wife Eleni. The dear aunt of Vasili, daughter-in-law of Evangelos and Caliope Siringas, sister-in-law of Argie Siringas (Jim Achidafty), she is also survived by many more cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends.
Visitation will be from 3-8 PM Monday, December 13, and 1-8 PM Tuesday, December 14 with Trisagion at 7 PM on Tuesday at A.J. Desmond & Sons, Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel, 32515 Woodward, Royal Oak.
A funeral will be held at 11 AM on Wednesday, December 15 at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 707 E. Lafayette Street in Detroit. Visitation at the church begins at 10 AM.
Memorial tributes may be made to Karmanos Cancer Institute, 4100 John R. Street, Detroit MI 48201.