The AHEPAN - May 2011 - (Page 15)
AHepA FAmily CHApter news
Past Supreme President John Economou. AHEPA mourns the passing
of Past Supreme President John Economou who passed away February 25, 2011. Brother John served as Supreme President during the 1993-1994 administrative year. His obituary as published in The Akron Beacon Journal online on February 25, 2011, is below. John Economou, owner of Pearl Coffee and prominent in Akron’s Greek community, died early Friday. Mr. Economou was a lifelong Akron resident and was known as one of the city’s biggest boosters. When planners for an Akron charity event said they were going to use a Cleveland caterer, he objected and sprang into action. As his daughters, Johnna and Elena, tell the story, Mr. Economou told the organizers that Akron had plenty of caterers who could do the job. It wasn’t long before a local company was hired. ‘’He was a strong supporter of keeping the business local, supporting the local Akron businesses,’’ Johnna Economou said. Pearl Coffee was started in 1919 by Mr. Economou’s father, Nicholas, and at various times was a grocery and food distributor. Now it is a coffee roaster, selling its Diana brands to institutions, restaurants and stores. The daughters tell how he embraced Greek customs, even pointing out that Akron’s name was derived from a Greek word. A Greek trait is why he never revealed his age. ‘’Greeks are kinda funny about telling their age,’’ Johnna Economou said. ‘’You can say he was born the day that [Franklin D.] Roosevelt closed the banks, 1933. . . . That’s how he always liked to present himself. He said his father had to go door-to-door to gather money to get him out of the hospital, because he couldn’t go to the bank.’’ Mr. Economou was a member of the Rotary Club and served on the Better Business Bureau board. But his daughters said his biggest ambition was fulfilled when he became supreme president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), which has established orphanages and scholarships nationally. A member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, he rose to become an archon. Sports played a big role in his life, including playing basketball for the University of Akron with the nickname ‘’Buckets.’’ He also was a big New York Yankees fan, displaying a flag and other Yankees items at his South Broadway store. Johnna Economou is Pearl Coffee’s general manager and will carry the tradition to a third generation.
‘’One of the things he said was, ‘Never give up.’ He’s my idol,’’ she said. ‘’And he always told me to be true to your customers.’’
WWII Vet, Past Supreme Governor Theodore Kyrkostas. AHEPA mourns
the passing of Past Supreme Governor and World War II Veteran Theodore Kyrkostas who passed away March 16, 2011. His obituary as published in Newsday on March 20, 2011 is below. Theodore William Kyrkostas was proud to be a Greek-American and even more honored to have served in the Navy during World War II. Kyrkostas, a 50-year Little Neck resident, died of Alzheimer’s complications Wednesday. He was 85. “He was always a smiling guy,” said his eldest son, Theo Kyrkostas 62, of Sea Cliff. “He was always very positive.” Born in Manhattan on March 13, 1926, Kyrkostas was raised in Astoria and attended the neighborhood’s Bryant High School. He was the third son of five children born to Greek immigrants Vasili and Mary Kyrkostas of Smyrna. In the summer of 1943, Kyrkostas saw many of the neighborhood boys going off to war, including two of his brothers. Not wanting to be left behind, he enlisted, too, his son said. “In those days, everybody wanted to join the service to protect our country,” Theo Kyrkostas said. “For them, it was like going to college.” Three weeks out of boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Base, Kyrkostas was sent to the South Pacific, where Japanese kamikazes attacked his ship. Kyrkostas saw many friends get killed, but the ship survived and saw action all over the Pacific, including the Philippines, Guam and Australia, his son said. “It was really tough on him,” Theo Kyrkostas said. “He was only a 17-year-old kid. He didn’t talk about it much.” Theodore Kyrkostas went on to open Liberty News Distributors in the 1960s, an international print-distribution company, with his eldest brother. When he retired at 55, Kyrkostas became the supreme governor of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, a Greek-American organization. “He always believed in the Greeks and the Americans coming together,” Theo Kyrkostas said. “He wanted to give back to Greece and help Greek people.” In addition to his son, Theo, he is survived by his wife, Margaret C. Tellalian-Kyrkostas, 81, of Little Neck; a daughter, Peggy O’Hanlon, 55, of Port Washington; a sister, Penny Martakis, 70; and four grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The AHEPAN - May 2011
The AHEPAN - May 2011
Supreme President’s Message
AHEPA Family News
March Madness: Hellenic Style
2011 AHEPA Convention Information and Registration Form
AHEPA Family Chapter
The AHEPAN - May 2011