THESSALONIKI – Iraklis Toskos passed away Friday, May 24, 2019, at his home in Thessaloniki. He was born June 11, 1928, in Kastoria, one of six children born to Eleni and Theodoros Toskos. After World War II, Iraklis went to Komotini to open a fur shop and there he met and married the love of his life, Zenovia Voloudakis. Seeking a better life post-Greek civil war, they emigrated to New York City in 1955 where they worked in the thriving fur industry. Determined to integrate better into their adopted American community, both attended night school to learn English.
While living in the United States, the couple attended and were involved in various activities at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Washington Heights, New York City. In 1958, their only child, a son, Theodoros was born. Iraklis and Zenovia were extremely proud when they became naturalized U.S. citizens in 1961. But their American dream was dampened in 1962 when, due to Zenovia’s health problems, they returned to Thessaloniki where the climate better suited her.
There Iraklis set up his own fur shop, his wife working alongside, continuing as a furrier until his retirement in 1985. Beyond his skills as a furrier, he was distinguished by his passion for learning and his love for history and tradition. His eloquent poetry was enjoyed by many. Iraklis also enjoyed “working the land,” tending his olive trees and vines grown on their farm in Plagiari, where the couple hosted many family gatherings.
In addition, he was past president of the Keletron Kastorian Association in Thessaloniki and an involved member of numerous other organizations, including Friends of Agion Oros and Men’s Philoptohos Association of Thessaloniki, the oldest civic group in the city. Over the years he was recognized by many of these associations for his devoted work.
Iraklis leaves behind his wife Zenovia, his son Theodoros (Stephanie) of Pittstown NJ, and many relatives on both sides of the Atlantic. A memorial will be held at Sunday morning liturgy, June 30, at St. Spyridon in New York City. Iraklis requested a simple burial and no flowers. Memorial donations may be made to Society of Kastorians Omonoia, 150-28 14th Avenue, Whitestone NY 11357.