Louis Gus Atsaves, 84, of Spartia, Laconia, Greece, fell asleep in our Lord on September 9, 2021, while visiting his much loved Greece and leaves behind his beloved wife Helen, his children: Constantine, Despina, Nicholas and Georgia (Demonsthenes), eight loving grandchildren: Louis, Sylvia, Elias, Eleni, Anastasia, George, Sophia and George; Dear brother of Dimitra and the late George, Eleftheria, and Christ (survived by Angeliki) and brother-in-law of Pamela (George) and the late Leonidas (survived by Eleni), Gus (Angeline), and Thanasi. Cherished son of the late Konstantinos and Despina and son-in-law of the late Nicholas and Georgia. He leaves mourning many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, godchildren in the U.S. and in Greece, and dear friends throughout the world. He will be missed by the many who called him “Pappou”, “Theo” , “Nouno” , “Brother Lou”, and “Barba Louie” who seem to all have a story in their hearts about an encouraging conversation or adventurous trip… to Louis everyone was family.
Louis and Helen started their lives together 55 years ago, raising their four children and serving devotedly at St. Demetrios Church of Chicago. Louis served the Church as a Parish Board Member for many years, as Vice-President for two years, Solon Greek School Board Committee Chairman, chaired the Annual Picnic and was an Usher every Sunday for many decades. His faith and community was a large part of his life, especally important to him was teaching Sunday School for 42 years. It meant so much to him when adults of all ages would recognize him, “ Mr Atsaves I was in your Sunday School Class! Thank you!” and would introduce their children to him. He was so proud of his students acknowledging him and this includes a few who are now Priests and a Presbytera.
He honorably served as a U.S. Army Sergeant in the Korean War and was a proud member of Hellenic post #343. One of his greatest joys was joining his fellow Veterans, friends and families at the beautiful Veteran Memorial at Elmwood Cemetery, every year on Memorial Day.
Life long member of Order of Ahepa (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association), “Brother Louie” served as President of Chapter #94, District #13 Governor, Supreme Governor, and proud AHEPA Bowling League member since the early 1960’s. Tuesday nights will never be the same again and his “stylized bowling moves” will most certainly be missed.
He served as Supreme President of the Pan-Laconian Federation of USA and Canada, Life Member of Knights and Ladies of Sparta, Past President of Spartia Brotherhood of Chicago, current President and Family Life Member of the Pan-Laconian Brotherhood of Chicago,and Member of Sparta Society of Chicago. Enthusiastic supporter and contributor to the Hellenic Community of Chicago, the many Churches and Philanthropic causes, including organizing the annual Pan Laconian float in the Hellenic American Independence Day Parade and many other events. All who experienced him know that he loved getting people together and he loved bringing joy to the room.
Known to break out in a song, he started what’s become a family tradition to start every morning with “Kalimera sto Theouli, Kalimera stin Mama Kai ton Baba, Kalimera sta Paidakia ston Pappou Kai Tin Yiayia” (Good morning God, Mom, Dad, the Children, and Grandparents). Every winter he could be found wearing his Santa hat and singing the Kalanda (carols) in groups big or small and he wouldn’t stop until every one was included and every verse was sung. His most cherished events were the annual visits to the Greek American Rehabilitation Center, where along with bringing a guitarist, he would lead the singing and uplift the residents to sing and dance traditional Greek songs together. His other favorite time of year was Easter when he’d lead all in prayer and enthusaistically proclaim “Christos Anesti” (Christ has Risen!). It was not only his songs, but his words – everyone who knew Louie would joke “he’s Laconian but he’s not laconic” – he was an orator who loved to honor and toast people from the podium, he lead from the front of the room, and always liked to kick off an event with a speech to ensure that everyone was honorably mentioned. Always “ Gia to kalo” he used his leadership to build communities, host events like the Apokreatiko (Carnival) Dinner Dance (where he loved to wear his fake mustache and see everyone in costume). He would also love to see that the youth were encouraged, supported, and succeeding, especially at the Laconian Educational Scholarship Dinner. Bringing together all the generations through his many sponsored events, he loved to see people achieving their dreams and being recognized for it.
To his own grandchildren he has given countless childhood memories on many trips together and celebrating their life events. Pappou Louie was happiest to witness their achievements and give a high five with a big, strong hug, and a “Bravo!” and “Se Anotera!”. He most recently was filled with enormous joy of spending time with his youngest grandchildren, playing soccer in the backyard and treating them to his favorite pizza parties. His love of fruits and nuts, parks and the outdoors has truly been passed on. He loved all his grandchildren dearly.
Louis Gus Atsaves was an extraordinary man, kind, loving, giving, a friend to all, young and old alike. If you knew him, he welcomed you warm heartedly and of, course, pulled you into a photograph- everyone was special and the moments memorable, and you felt it. His infectious smile, kind heart, and inspiring joy toward life and all people will be missed by his grieving family and all his friends. Memory Eternal our dear and faithful Christian.
Ο Θεός να σε αναπαύει.
You May be Gone from us, but you will never be forgotten. Your mark on this Earth is everlasting. “Laconas Dia Panda (forever)!”
Family and friends will meet Sunday, September 26 from 4PM-8PM for visitation at Nelson Funeral Home, 820 W. Talcott, Park Ridge. Funeral service Monday 10:30AM with a brief visitation beforehand at 9:30AM at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2727 W. Winona, Chicago. The service may be viewed live on the St. Demetrios of Chicago Youtube Channel or Memory Eternal Facebook page. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, River Grove. In lieu of flowers, donations in Louis’ name to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church or Pan-Laconian Brotherhood of Chicago Educational Scholarship Program would be appreciated. Arrangements by Memory Eternal Funeral Directors, Ltd. 847-375-0095.
May His Memory Be Eternal.