DETROIT, MI – John Angelopoulos, 82, passed away from coronavirus on April 10 at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, less than a week after the passing of his wife, Aspasia, on April 4, the Detroit Free Press (DFP) reported. Mrs. Angelopoulos, also 82, was suffering from late stage cancer and symptoms of COVID-19.
John Angelopoulos was the Protopsalti (principal chanter) of Saints Constantine and Helen Church in Detroit, where he served for 51 years.
Born and raised in the village of Proti Florina, Greece, Angelopoulos “lived with his extended family in a large house where the women would make bread and cheese, while the men were shepherds or worked the land,” DFP reported, adding that “his family had a love for the church and for music.”
Angelopoulos “learned to chant from his father, who was a psalti (chanter),” DFP reported, adding that “many uncles, cousins, and extended family members sang in the church and inspired his love and respect for the church that they cherished.” Angelopoulos also played the accordion, guitar, piano, and other instruments, DFP noted.
Angelopoulos served with the Greek Army as a member of its Military Police force in Lisbon from 1956-58 and traveled on his Harley Davidson to Yugoslavia and Austria, according to DFP.
Like many Greeks in search of a better life, Angelopoulos, his wife and children, Anastasia and Vasili, immigrated to the USA and settled in Detroit in the summer of 1968. Angelopoulos worked for the Ford Motor Company until he retired in 1998.
“The family’s first memories of their time in Detroit were of the Detroit Tigers winning the World Series, and the Greek community that welcomed them from the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, then located on Oakman Boulevard in Detroit,” DFP reported, adding that “shortly after moving to the area, Angelopoulos became Chanter at Saints Constantine and Helen, and served at the church for 51 years.”
In October 2019, Angelopoulos was honored for his 50th anniversary as Protopsalti of the community which is now located in Westland, MI. He averaged 100-125 services per year, DFP reported, adding that “he is missed by his parish community.”
John and Aspasia Angelopoulos are survived by their children Anastasia Crabtree and Vasilios (Kim), and grandchildren George (Traci) Madias, John (Alicia) Madias, Jason Crabtree, Stephen (Brie) Crabtree, Sarah Crabtree, Emily Crabtree, Thomas Crabtree, Kaitlin (Jessica Ernst) Angelopoulos, Stefany Angelopoulos, and Adam Angelopoulos.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church would be appreciated by the family.