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June 13, 1933 ~ January 18, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Evans Gerakas – Obituary June 13, 1933 – January 18, 2023 Evans Gerakas, the youngest child of Greek immigrant parents Mary and Peter Gerakas, was born on June 13, 1933 and grew up in the Bronx, NY and in Richmond Hill, NY. He was a placid, well-behaved, and lovable child and continued this nature as he grew.
His family’s homes were welcome centers for extended family members arriving from Greece with many of them living with the Gerakas family until they established themselves in America. The Greek language was primarily spoken in the home and Evans continued studying Greek as an adult. The family had close ties to the Greek Orthodox Church.
Evans was intellectually oriented, did well in school, and had a good memory. He graduated with honors from John Adams High School in Queens and then won a four-year scholarship from his father’s union to attend Columbia University in New York City where he received a BA degree in History. Upon graduation, Evans was drafted into the US Army.
During his proud military service in the 1950s, Evans worked with communications equipment in West Berlin, helping to translate intercepted electronic radio messages. The city offered him opportunities to attend cultural events which he thoroughly enjoyed. While in Germany, he traveled to see his mother’s ancestral home in Lemnos, Greece and to meet his maternal grandmother, Anthoula Rackages. When Evans approached her to kiss her, she drew back and as customary, extended her hand for Evans to kiss. Evans felt honored to be the only American-born grandchild ever to have spent time with Yiayia Anthoula. Upon his return to the United States, Evans earned a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and secured employment as a historian in the US State Department in Washington, DC. He did research and archival work, wrote briefs for US diplomats traveling abroad, and met every Secretary of State spanning the administrations from Dwight Eisenhower through Bill Clinton.
Evans was extremely proud of the accomplishments of his brother Andrew and his sister Ethel. Andrew was an executive of the Economic Development Division of the State of Hawaii and promoted the export of Hawaiian products in trade shows in US cities and in the US Congress. Evans loved joining Andrew during his visits as they stayed in 5-star hotels and ate at Greek restaurants. Ethel became a registered nurse and began her nursing career in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and schools in the New York area. When she settled in Florida, she established the first racially integrated program to train nurses for the Florida Public Schools in Broward County. Evans and Ethel visited Hawaii every year to keep their ties with Andrew’s family strong.
Upon his retirement, Evans moved to Florida and lived with his sister Ethel for many years in Fort Lauderdale and at the senior living complex of Edgewater at Boca Pointe. They enjoyed attending theater and musical performances.
Evans had a deep appreciation of music, both classical and the popular music of his younger years, and he loved to sing. With his beautiful voice he sang songs constantly, selecting ones that fit the occasion or activity. Evans also participated in choral groups and shows at Edgewater. Being well versed in Byzantine church music, Evans participated in the choirs of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC, the Greek Orthodox Eastern Federation of Choirs, and Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL where he also became a chanter. When in Hawaii, he chanted at Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Honolulu.
Evans loved sports, especially baseball, and being from the Bronx, was a life-long NY Yankees fan. Evans passed away peacefully on January 18, 2023. May his memory be eternal! All will have fond remembrances of Evans, a kind, thoughtful, and humble man.
Evans is survived by his sister Ethel, and the children of his late brother Andrew: Lydia, wife of his late nephew Michael, their children David and Maria; his niece Mary, her husband Geoff Wellein, their children Max and Stephen; his nephew John; as well as numerous cousins.
Contributions in Evans’ memory can be made to Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, in Fort Lauderdale.