91-year-old USMC veteran Anastasius Jack Georgalas
YORK COUNTY – Anastasius Jack Georgalas, 91, fell asleep peacefully in his Seaford home on November 3. Jack was born in New York to Jack and Teresa Georgalas. His family moved to Newport News in 1943, where he grew up with his twin sisters, Athena and Jacqueline. He attended Saint-Vincent High School and graduated at just 16 years old. Jack continued his education at the Georgia Military Academy and was a proud University of Virginia Wahoo, class of 1952. During this time he had a romance and then married his lifelong sweetheart, Mary Handges on the day. Christmas in 1952. He had great ambitions which led him to join the US Marine Corp where he proudly served as an officer. The couple welcomed their first child, Suzanne, while stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. They were then blessed with three other children; one daughter, Venisse, and two sons, Jack and Harry. Jack and Mary continued their adventure throughout life and, as he put it, “built things and made things grow.”
Jack always used to joke, “See what you’ve created, Mary?” as he watched all of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at many family functions. Business, church, philanthropy, and family were the four cornerstones of Jack’s life. Jack and Mary co-founded Tri-Cities Beverage Corporation in 1959 with a truck, a brand of beer, and huge ambition. This led to the thriving business which still operates today.
Jack has spent his time working for many philanthropic organizations, worked diligently for the Town of Newport News as President for Oyster Point and Downtown Development, served on the CNU Board of Directors and received the Virginia Center for Inclusive Humanitarian Award. Communities. Most importantly, he served his church, the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, as a founding member and major benefactor. He served on the parish council, generously donating to the church and the Archdiocese as a member of Leadership 100, and received the honor of Archon. On top of all this, his biggest achievement in church was the annual festival. He took it outside, developing it into the huge success it is today. Jack served as chairman of the festival committee for years alongside many hard-working family and friends.
He also spent time as a Brother of the Order of AHEPA, a charity aimed at helping Greek Americans thrive through scholarships, housing, and helping children with disabilities. Jack was not only a member of the Order, but chairman of the Cypriot / Hellenic affairs committee, chairman of the national council and top president at the top of its membership. His main goal was, as always, to grow the organization to help as many people as possible.
Beyond all this, he was a rose grower, a master grill and an extraordinary dancer. He was frequently found at Pop’s Drive In every morning at community tables laughing with his friends with a napkin on his coffee to keep him warm.
He is predeceased by his wife Mary, his sister Jacqueline, his cousin Danny, his daughter Suzanne and his son Harry. His memory will be eternal since he will be sadly missed by his children, Venisse Georgalas and Jack Georgalas; sister, Athena Savvas; son-in-law, Michael Kokorelis; grandchildren, Zeus Blankenship, Colette & George Garofalis, Cassie & Phi Lam, Mike & Kea Kokorelis, Diane & Bobby Pearce, Ashton & Mark Ashe, and Taylor Georgalas; and ten great-grandchildren. A Trisagion service will be held on Sunday, November 7 at 6:00 p.m. at the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. A funeral service will be held at the church on Monday, November 8 at 11:30 a.m. with interment immediately following at Peninsula Memorial Park in Newport News. Arrangements by Amory Funeral Home, Grafton.
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