Obituaries: KOUMANTAROS, ANDONIADIS (nee POLICARDIOTY), BARBATSULY, CULULI, FIFLES, PAULOS - National Herald 2006
The following obituaries and article were published in the January 14, 2006 issue of The National Herald. I am providing them as a possible tool for Hellenic genealogy research.
PANO KOUMANTAROS, a man who liked to help others, and who lived passionately, loses his battle to cancer at 61 by Stacey Mulick, The News Tribune
TACOMA, Wash. - Panayotis "Pano" Koumantaros took two major risks in his life.
At 26 and with little grasp of English, he left his native Greece and his parents to seek opportunity in America. Five years later, he launched his own pension benefits consulting firm.
Both moves paid off.
His firm, Spectrum Pension Consultants Inc., has grown from a one-man operation to a company that employs more than 20 people and provides pension consulting to nearly 700 small businesses in 17 states.
He became active in the Tacoma community, serving in the Fircrest Golf Club, the Tacoma Narrows Rotary Club and the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Parish Council.
He also created a scholarship foundation for college-bound men and women in the local Greek American communities.
Mr. Koumantaros, 61, died on December 22 after a six-month battle with bladder cancer. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Maria; two sons, Petros and Yannis, who will take over their father's company; and his sister, Anna Koumantaros of Athens, Greece.
"He was just an incredible inspiration for us," said Petros. "We hope to continue his legacy well into the future."
The elder Koumantaros was born in Athens. He studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Florence in Italy, where he met John Xitco. Xitco, a Gonzaga University student studying abroad, encouraged Koumantaros to come to the United States.
"I was proud of him when he came over here," Xitco said.
"He did what he said and did it when he said." Mr. Koumantaros immigrated to the United States in 1970 and met his wife later that year. He started his company in 1975. In addition to his work and community involvement, he was an amateur chef and a wine enthusiast. His collection of wine numbers a few thousand bottles, according to Petros.
Mr. Koumantaros enjoyed cooking meals and hosting friends at dinner parties. He also enjoyed golfing.
"He was kind. He was considerate," Maria said. "The man enjoyed waking up in the morning and living."
Mr. Koumantaros, was widely recognized as one of the foremost experts on retirement plan consulting and design, he launched an independent pension benefits consulting firm in April 1975. The company operated as a sole proprietorship under the name Spectrum Financial Planning until July 1978, when it was incorporated under the name Spectrum Pension Consultants, Inc.
To this day, the Koumantaros Family privately holds the company with more than 20 dedicated staff members and nearly 700 clients, and has provided pension benefits to more than 50,000 retirement-plan participants over the years.
Son of the late Petros and Marika Koumantaros, Mr. Koumantaros was born in Athens on August 12, 1944. After being raised in Athens with his sister Anna, he pursued a Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Florence in Italy. He returned to Athens, where he served as an officer in the Greek military for two years. In 1970, he immigrated to the United States and settled in Tacoma, where he accepted a position as a Life Insurance agent with Phoenix Mutual.
Mr. Koumantaros married Maria J. Karanzas at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Tacoma on June 18, 1972. His contributions to local business groups, educational foundations, service fraternities and social organizations are too numerous to count.
He served on the board of directors and was elected President of Fircrest Golf Club, the Tacoma Narrows Rotary Club and the St. Nicholas Church Parish Council. Dedicated to knowledge and educational pursuits, he served as an AHEPA District Governor. He founded the AHEPA Scholarship Foundation, which has provided more than $100,000 in scholarships to college-bound men and women in local Greek American communities.
A Rotarian since 1979, Mr. Koumantaros had a perfect attendance record for 25 years, and was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. He dedicated himself to philanthropic pursuits as a way of giving back to the community which provided him the American Dream. Frequently remembered among family, friends and colleagues for his ubiquitous spirit and social grace, he loved entertaining; was an avid amateur chef; and had a deep passion for wines. Few could forget the excitement of his 60th birthday weekend celebration in Napa Valley or the many dinner parties shared at the Koumantaros residence.
Mr. Koumantaros' love for this country and his passion for living each day to its fullest will be forever remembered by all who knew him. . . . .
The above incorporates information from stories published by the Tacoma News Tribune on December 24 (“Immigrant Forged Success in South Sound - Panayotis 'Pano' Koumantaros lived passionately, focusing on his family and friends and his Fircrest Pension Benefits consulting firm - dies of cancer at age 61”) and December 27 (“Panayotis 'Pano' Koumantaros, Local Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, Dies at 61”)
ANDONIADIS, Athena (nee Policardioty) - Age 92; died January 3, 2006, beloved wife of the late Nicholas; loving mother of Andrew (Jolene) of Oregon and Nina (Ken) Lamson of Georgia; proud grandmother of Alexandra Andoniadis, Anastasia (Jim) Satterwhite and Kacina Lamson; dear sister of the late George Polek. Family and friends met January 6 in the morning at Transfiguration of Our Lord Greek Orthodox Chapel at Elmwood Cemetery in River Grove, IL, for funeral Service. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Donations to St. Philothea Greek Orthdox Church, 3761 Mars Hill Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677 would be appreciated. Arrangements by John G. Adinamis Funeral Director, Ltd. c/o Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home.
BARBATSULY, Tom. - A furrier in Garden City for more than 60 years, Tom Barbatsuly was known by his patrons for his friendliness as much as he was known for the chinchillas and minks he sold them or stored for them, relatives said. "He was a very warm, affable man, a consummate gentleman who was very generous with his time," Greg Efthimiou of Arlington, Va., said of his grandfather. A fixture in the community since opening Barbatsuly Brothers Furs of Garden City in 1936, Barbatsuly died Monday of natural causes at his Garden City home, six days shy of his 99th birthday. Barbatsuly was born in Kastoria, the fur capital of Greece, one of nine children and the youngest of six boys. All his siblings preceded him in death, relatives said. Barbatsuly, who came from a family of furriers, learned his craft in Greece before moving to Paris at 21, to hone his sewing and furmaking skills. He moved to Boston in 1923, joining his brother, George. Tom Barbatsuly moved to New York soon after and joined with three other brothers to open a fur business on Jamaica Avenue in Queens. He met his wife, the former Tina Chagaris, around 1926 while visiting the family farm retreat in Platskill. They married in 1936. Shortly after, he established the Garden City store with his brother Nicholas. His son, Mark, who died in 2004, and his daughter, Carol Efthimiou, joined him in the 1960s to help run the business. Barbatsuly was active in numerous civic organizations and served as president of St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Hempstead. The church honored him for his contributions with the Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the highest citation available to a layman. Besides his wife, Barbatsuly is survived by his daughter, Carol Efthimiou of Garden City, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held on January 6 at St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Hempstead. A private burial followed at Greenfield Cemetery in Hempstead. Contributions may be made to the St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 110 Cathedral Ave., Hempstead, 11550.
CULULI, John J. - Age 83; of Bethlehem, VA; died January 4, 2006 in St. Lukels Hospital in Bethlehem. He is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Mary (Pappas) Cululi. Born in Bethlehem he was the son of the late Demetrios and Mary (Thomas) Cululi. He graduated from Liberty High School Class of 1940. John served as treasurer of the Bethlehem Future Craftsman of America. He won the National Scholastic Awards in mechanical drawing and industrial design in 1938, 1939 and 1940 and was awarded a Scholarship to Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh. He enlisted in the Navy in World War II as a aviation machinist mate and served as instructor on the Salerno Bayand on an escort carrier. He was honorably discharged on May 7, 1949. John, his brother Augustine and nephew James Petrakis pioneered the First TV community cable system in the Lehigh Valley in 1950 and the third system in the Country, operated as Electronic Enterprises Inc. and sold the cable system to the Wolsonovicks, the present owners of Service Electric in 1957. John retired from Allentown Mack Truck in the plant engineering department after 17 years of service. John was honored as a member of Liberty High School Alumni of Distinction Award at its 75th Anniversary in 1977 for pioneering the first TV community cable System in the Lehigh Valley and the holder of several U.S. patents as a mechanical artist in individual design. He was a member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Bethlehem and had served two years of the Church Council. He was a member of St. Nicholas Senior Citizens and a 50 year member of Order of AHEPA Homer Chapter 65 in Bethlehem. Survivors: wife, Mary, three Daughters, Cleo Millheim of Bethlehem, Demetria Paonessa of Poughkeepsie, NY and Ann Weaver of Sacramento, CA; six Grandchildren. Services were on January 7 in St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, in Bethlehem. Burial in Cedar Hill Memorial Park Cemetery Allentown. Funeral arrangements were made by the John F. Herron Funeral Home, in Bethlehem. Contributions: to the Church, 18018 or Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Center, 631 S. St. John Street, Allentown, PA 18103
FIFLES, Peter G. - Age 76; loving son of the late George T. (Martha, nee Paris) Fifles; dear brother of Gus "Deno" (Tasia) Fifles, Theophilos “Phil” (Gloria) Fifles, Arthur (Janet) Fifles and the late Ernest G. Fifles. He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. Visitation was January 10 at G.L. Hills Funeral Home in Des Plaines, IL. Funeral Service was the following day at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Des Plaines, IL. Interment at Elmwood Cemetery, River Grove, IL. Memorials to Greek American Rehabilitation and Nursing Centre in Wheeling, IL.
GUS E. POULOS, Famous Auto Dealer in Salt Lake City, Dies of Cancer at 64
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah businessman and philanthropist Gus Ernest Paulos, the auto dealer whose television commercials showing only the top of his head and poking fun as his short stature, has died at 64.
He passed away on Sunday, January 1, at LDS Hospital at age 64 following a two-year battle with lung cancer. Paulos, a third-generation owner of Gus Paulos Chevrolet, died on Sunday, January 1, after a two-year battle with cancer.
Mark Drennan, a General Motors zone manager, said Paulos did such a good job building community awareness about his dealership that he could have fun with his advertising campaigns.
"They basically could spend the money to be funny and basically let people know Gus Paulos was a great place to buy a car. They didn't have to scream, '$10,000 off,' " he said.
In 1980, Paulos took over the family auto business in West Valley City from his father and uncle. He had started working there at age 14 doing janitorial work and washing cars.
The brothers inherited the dealership in 1938 when their father, a Greek immigrant who became Magna's first automobile dealer in 1921, died in an auto accident.
Paulos was born on September 23, 1941 in Salt Lake City. He graduated from Cyprus High School and attended the University of Utah on athletic scholarships for football and wrestling. He later served in the United States Marine Corps.
Paulos' business was recognized with many awards, including TIME magazine's 2004 Quality Dealer Award, said his daughter-in-law, Debbie. TIME listed him as the number-one car dealer in the United States for humanitarian and community service.
In 1987, Gus Paulos Chevrolet was also named one of the nation's top 500 automobile dealers by Wards Auto Dealer magazine, which evaluated dealerships across the country for dealer sales volume, sales professionalism and service excellence.
Paulos' family and friends described him as a selfless man who gave back to his community.
"He was a very kind and generous and inspiring father, and businessman, and set many examples," said his son, Greg, 42, who will become the fourth generation of Pauloses to own the dealership.
John Franks, general manager of the dealership, said Paulos gave to charities and individuals and organized a campaign against drunk driving.
Paulos sponsored high school football and basketball in West Valley City and provided for scholarships at the University of Utah, his daughter-in-law said.
He also gave money to cancer research, and to individual cancer patients who could not otherwise afford medications or treatments.
Gus was born on September 23, 1941 in Magna, Utah to Ernest Gus and Katherine Joan Paulos. He grew up and was educated in Magna, graduating from Cypress High School and then went on to the University of Utah.
After serving in the United States Marine Corps he returned to Utah and married Lanna Jo Franks. They were later divorced. In 1979, he married Barbara Ann Rydalch. Gus and Barbara were a perfect match and enjoyed wonderful years filled with success, good humor, family and friends.
In 1980, Gus took over an automobile franchise which had been in the family since 1921, and went onto create one of the top dealerships in the country. For many years, he was the number-one dealer of any make in Utah. He was known for his humorous, self-deprecating advertising, through which he often made fun of his short stature. He also was known for his extreme generosity and kindness, especially toward those who had encountered any kind of misfortune.
Over the last 25 years Gus spent literally millions of dollars battling drunk driving. He felt strongly that the products he so proudly sold should never be misused in that manner and was very aware of the pain and devastation caused by those who operated vehicles under the influence. He made significant contributions to numerous other charitable causes in Utah, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and to many other organizations and individuals whenever they were in need.
Gus received numerous honors during his life, including recognition by the Utah State Legislature and the Governor of Utah.
Gus had great love for his family. His family was the great joy of his life. He also considered those who worked with him and his many associates as part of his family. He had the ability to make everyone feel that they were the most important person in the room. Despite his short stature, Gus cast a long shadow for good wherever he went.
Gus is survived by his wife Barbara; his mother, Katherine Joan; his children, Greg & Debbie Paulos, Tim & Candey Paulos, Troy & Kelli Rydalch and Bart & Candice Rydalch; his brothers, Peter and Leon; his sister Patty P. Miller; eight grandchildren and one greatgrandson.
The viewing was held at the Larkin Mortuary on January 6. Funeral services were held on January 7 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Salt Lake City.
The Paulos family would like to especially thank LDS Hospital, Dr. Pearl, Salt Lake cancer specialists and all others who were there for Gus during his last several months. In lieu of flowers, Gus requested that donations be made to the Gus Paulos Charitable Foundation at any Wells Fargo Bank, to the cancer treatment charity of their choice, or to simply do an act of kindness for someone else.
The above incorporates information from stories published by the Associated Press on January 3 and the Salt Lake tribune on January 6.