Theodore (Anargyros) Anastasopulos
1932 – 2016
A member of one of the pioneer Greek families in Hawaii, Theodore A. Anastasopulos, died at home in Kailua on December 10, 2016.
He was born in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii in 1932 to Demetrios and Julia Anastasopulos, immigrants from Vassara, Sparta, Greece
Because there was no Greek Orthodox Church in Hawaii in the 1930’s, Julia had made a vow that she would baptize her son at a small monastery in Greece near their summer village. The events of WWII and the subsequent Greek Civil War made travel to Greece impossible for many years. The vow was fulfilled in 1952. Ted took the name of the monastery, Saints Anargyroi. The A. for Anargyros was added to his name after he was baptized.
Ted and his sister Helen, attended local schools. While at Stevenson Intermediate, they both worked in the pineapple fields. Because of the war, laborers were limited. When it was their turn to work, trucks would pick up the students from school. They would either hoe or pick pineapples. There were no harvesting machines, so they picked by hand and put the pineapples in a burlap bag carried on their backs. A local newspaper had a full-page picture of them with hoes on their shoulders and a caption reading, “Helping the war effort.”
Graduating from Roosevelt H.S., Ted went on to Menlo Junior College in Menlo Park, CA, later transferring to the University of California at Berkeley. Not really knowing what to do with a major in American History, he decided to go to San Francisco Hotel and Restaurant School. Upon his return to Hawaii, he worked at several hotels, and became manager of the Waiohai Hotel at Poipu, Kauai.
Changing careers Ted received a Master’s Degree in Education from State College Boston in 1968. He taught for many years at Honolulu’s Central Intermediate School and ended up at his alma mater, Roosevelt.
Ted, along with his parents and sister, were among the founders in 1965 of what became Saints Constantine and Helen Cathedral of the Pacific. He served in various leadership positions over the years including Parish Council President. Ted also was the parish historian keeping books of photos, newspaper articles, and other materials.
Ted was an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the first and only person in Hawaii to be so honored.
“I was always uplifted by his positive and generous spirit, and by the way he gave of himself unselfishly to help others,” Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco said in a letter read at Ted’s funeral. “Ted was a man of impeccable character who loved the Lord and exemplified his faith in all his actions.”
“As a founding member of the parish of Saints Constantine and Helen in Honolulu, Ted made sure that Orthodox Christians had not just a place of worship, but a place to engage in ministries to keep families together and connected to the church,” His Eminence added.
Ted liked to garden and learned how to replant orchids and anthuriums. Ted enjoyed cooking, baking cookies and Vasilopita and Easter bread for the family. He made Chutney for the Philoptochos and the Greek Festival to sell for several decades.
He visited Greece and Mount Athos many times. He was fortunate to stay on Mount Athos for several months each visit. Later when monasteries were built on the U.S. mainland, he visited them as well.
Ted was predeceased by his parents, his sister, and her daughter. He is survived by his grandnephew Demetri Marmash who lovingly cared for him in recent years.
Funeral services were held on December 28 at the Cathedral, officiated by the current priest, Fr. Alexander Leong and former pastor Fr. Peter Salmas now of Belmont, CA. Remembrances may be made to the Cathedral, 730 Lunalilo St., Honolulu, HI 96822. May his memory be eternal.
Email the author: The Hellenic Journal