Sunday, December 14, 2014

Magical Mystery Tour: Day 5 (Sarris Family gathering for fun and historical purposes)

On Sunday 11/23, three cousins came to Stockton to visit my aunt Liberty Sarris. And with that golden opportunity, 7 of us got together to share Sarris Family info and photos.  Our merry little band met for church and then repaired to Papapavlo's Restaurant for lunch and a 3-hour photofest. 

From left to right: Temia Demakopoulos, Kathryn Demas, Jane Demas, Libby Sarris, Sofia Demakopoulos Osborne, Connie Mellis and Paula Xanthopoulou.

Our conversations were all about the families of my Papou George Sarris and his younger sister Sofia (see photo above), plus various cousins also from Kyparissi, Lakonias. Sofia married Bill Demakopoulos, who had the Palace Candy store on Main Street in Stockton next to the old Fox Theater -- and where both George and Evghenia Sarris came to cook and make hand-dipped chocolates. George and Evghenia had two children, Angeline and Liberty. Sofia and Bill were the parents of Evelyn (Mellis), Jim, Nick (Demas), Demie, and Georgia (Johnson). All but Liberty are deceased.

For the record: Connie Mellis, from Aptos (Santa Cruz), is the widow of Evelyn's son and only child, Spiro. Sofia Osborne (born in Stockton) and Temia are the children of Jim and Sylvia. Demie Demakopoulos had no children. Elaine Sampanis of West Chester, OH (Cincinnati area) - and former Grand President of the Daughters of Penelope -- is the daughter of Georgia Johnson, who was a Charter Member of Stockton's  Sparta Chapter No. 18. Her brother Johnny lives in Louisville, KY. Kathy and Jane Demas are the youngest of Sofia Sarris Demakopoulos' seven grandchildren. And Paula Xanthopoulou -- whose brother's are George and Bill Xanttopoulos -- is the oldest of George Sarris' three grandchildren. There you have it.

The research to-date represents five generations of Sarris Family members.  But there is still much work work to be done. We collected some new info and great photos -- now to connect the dots. Stay tuned!

NOTE: A few days later I finally met up with Katherine Lourentzos of Manteca. For a long time I had been curious about research she had done on her own family (from Piana, Arcadia) that resulted in the detailed and Limited Edition 254-page, A Century in America, The Petropoulos Family: From Past to Present (Lourentzos, Poulos and Gaines).  The Book was "Written and compiled from memories, stories, pictures and love" as a result a 1995 reunion of the whole clan. It was published in 2012 in conjunction with Ted Poulos' 85th birthday and a second reunion. I was very moved to see photos of Helen Panagos (nee Poulos), who was my brother Bill's godmother and died tragically of cancer.  Kudos to Katherine and her family, who have set the bar VERY high for the rest of us!

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