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Chris P. Tomaras: Family & Friends Remember Him at Emotional Funeral


Chicago, IL - Memorial services for Chris P. Tomaras, Founder & Chairman of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, have been concluded. Mr. Tomaras died on Wednesday, October 14. He was 77. 


The visitation took place on Wednesday evening at the Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home in Chicago. Hundreds of people attended. His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, assisted by many other priests, performed the Trisagion Service. His Eminence also spoke warmly about Mr. Tomaras as family and friends gathered to pay their respects for the last time.

Courtesy of Hellenic Heartbeat


The funeral was held on Thursday, October 22, at St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church in Niles, Illinois. His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Rev. Fr. Constantine Botsis, along with several Reverend Fathers from churches across the Chicagoland area, presided over the service. Afterward, the Honorable Consul General of Greece in Chicago, Ioanna Efthymiadou, briefly addressed all of Mr. Tomaras' loved ones and friends. Following the funeral, Mr. Tomaras was interred at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, Illinois.


The funeral luncheon was held at the Chateau Ritz in Niles. Friends and family quietly celebrated Mr. Tomaras' life. Yanni Valsamas, Executive Director of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, made a short introductory speech. He then invited others to share their memories of Mr. Tomaras. His granddaughter, Niki Burke, spoke on behalf of the extended family, followed by his dear friends John and Tom Sotos.


Other close friends who spoke about the life and legacy of Mr. Tomaras' were Cook County Treasurer, Maria Pappas; Vice Chairman of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, Robert Buhler; Regional Commander of the Archons of St. Andrew the Apostle, Metropolis of Chicago, John Manos; Supreme President of AHEPA, John Galanis; Chairman of the Board of the Greek American Rehabilitation & Care Centre, Eleni Bousis; Consul General of Panama in Philadelphia, Georgia Athanasopulos; Chairman of the Chicago Sister City - Athens Committee, Demetrios Kozonis; Member of the Board of Neo Kyma Messinias Takis Economopoulos; PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation Academic Committee member, Dr. Constantine Georgakis, and his wife Dr. Christina Georgakis; and 2007 PanHellenic Scholarship Award recipient Demitra Giannaras, who also read a eulogy by writer Harry Mark Petrakis.   


We are thankful to everyone for their condolences, and extend our deepest gratitude for all donations to the Foundation made in Mr. Tomaras' memory. The outpouring of sympathy and affection reveals the extent of Mr. Tomaras' influence and impact as an international figure. We would like to extend a special thank you to Hellenic Heartbeat for covering Mr. Tomaras' memorial services and luncheon, and also thank the Greek media for their support and coverage since Mr. Tomaras' passing last week.