Holiday Shores | Sunday, November 27 2011
He sang, he danced, he laughed. He threw a “going-away” party attended by more than 200 friends and relatives last summer when he knew the cancer within would eventually kill him.
That’s our Dad, Charles Christakos, who was born on October 22, 1918, in East St. Louis, Illinois, to Gregory and Evengia Christakos (Christopoulos). He married our Mom, his wife, Helen Demetrulias, on June 15, 1942. All of us kids came along in rapid succession, beginning with me—Eugenia Theodora in 1945—followed by Angela, Gregory, James Chris, Nicholas and Irene Kathryn. And, he died on November 27, 2011, at 93 years old in Bethalto, Illinois.
This bare outline of his life doesn’t begin to describe a life lived well, a life lived without regrets, a life that was full and happy. The fifth of nine children born to Greek immigrants, Dad grew up poor, but rich in spirit. Although he only attended school through eighth grade, Dad possessed the street smarts, innate intelligence and work ethic to operate numerous successful businesses and realize his and Mom’s goal of giving the six of us everything we needed to prosper and be happy.
We were American, but we also had the foundation, security and stability of the Greek traditions we continued to follow. We grew up on a street in Cahokia, Illinois, surrounded by my Mom’s Demetrulias relatives. Dad’s siblings lived in towns close-by, and he was a friend—and sometimes benefactor—to them. Dad is the last of the immigrant Greeks from our childhood—he outlived his siblings, Pete, Lula, Lucille, Tom, Anna, Pearl, John and Bill.
In addition to his children and their spouses, Deborah Christakos, David Duffey, Mark Janes and David Hicks, he is survived by his beloved granddaughters, Renee, Ellen, Polly, Vanessa, Rebecca, Erin, Kelli, Jackie, Jessica and his grandsons, Jimmy, Andy and Mark, and great-grandchildren, Jason, Tristen, Summer, Daeja, Collin, Drew and Ariadne. His large extended family on both sides—including his nephews and nieces—were also dear to him.
All those who knew Dad through his long life were aware of his zest for life, generosity and positive attitude. He will be missed by all of us
In accordance with his wishes, cremation rites will be accorded.
Online guestbook available at www.pitchfordfuneralhome.com
Pitchford Funeral Home in Wood River is in charge of arrangements,
Pitchford Funeral Home