Northwest & Pacific Notes – August 2018

Aristides Phoutrides

Aristides Stephanos Phoutrides succinctly and accurately, described himself as “an imperfect man who loved his entire family, his church, his country, his ship and shipmates, and cherished his friends.”
Aristides was born in Seattle Aug. 9, 1925. He was the youngest child of Reverend Stephanos and Presbytera Calliope Phoutrides. His father was the priest in Seattle, first at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church and, later, at the Church of the Assumption.

At 16, Aristides graduated from Broadway High School in Seattle and was admitted to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. World War II intervened, and at 17, he entered the U.S. Navy. His combat experiences on the USS Laffey—both at Utah Beach and Okinawa—were formative. During the battle of Okinawa, the Laffey withstood the most unrelenting kamikaze air attacks in history and earned the nickname “The Ship that Would Not Die.” He knew first-hand the sacrifices others had made to enable his safe return from the war. After the war, he resumed his studies at University of Washington graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

On Aug. 27, 1949, he married Betty Demas of Portland. Their family includes three children, Stephen and his wife Kathy, Elaine and her husband Charles Dana, Cynthia and her spouse Paula; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Aristides had a long and rich retirement fueled by boundless energy. He volunteered for many years in service to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Portland. He also was a proud, past-president of the USS Laffey Association and a regular volunteer at Patriots Point in South Carolina where the Laffey—now a National Historic Landmark—is preserved as a museum ship. With the keen and exacting mind of an engineer, he embraced computer technology; became an avid, meticulous gardener and traveled extensively across the world.
As Pappou, he was beloved by his family and his many friends. May his memory be eternal.

NEW BOOK: “Midnight Waltz,” released in April 2018 by Blysster Press, by the Greek-American author Maria Giakoumatos, is the first of the four-part Infernal Symphony series.

New author Maria Giakoumatos (right) holding her book and pictured with her father Konstantinos. COURTESY PHOTO

A night of spooky fun exploring a haunted house takes an unexpected turn when Anthony meets the undead Emily. Their awkward, newfound friendship attracts an eccentric group of demon-fighting paranormal investigators—as well the cult of dark mages holding Emily’s soul captive for their mysterious schemes.

Midnight Waltz is no ordinary supernatural tale,” said Charity Becker, Blysster Press editor-in-chief and author of the “Presence” horror series. “The author takes a familiar genre and gives it a wicked twist with sharp wit, deep character development, and expertly-crafted suspense that keeps you turning pages. Maria shows off her unique voice and attention to detail throughout the entire novel, making sure readers are engrossed and entertained with every page. Great for young adult audiences and older readers alike, Midnight Waltz is more than just a fun supernatural romp. Maria has crafted an entire world with deep story arcs and believable tension.”

The daughter of AHEPA member Konstantinos and his wife Mary Ann Giakoumatos, the burgeoning author grew up in the Kent (WA) and Seattle areas, which serve as the main settings her first book. She worked as a journalist for the University of Washington’s The Daily, while studying for a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology. Being a proud member of St. Demetrios in Seattle, her strong Greek cultural and Orthodox Christian background inspired many of the spiritual elements in her writing. Aside from writing, Giakoumatos enjoys playing piano—her twenty years of practice influencing the classical music references in her story. She runs her own blog, posting short stories, writing tips, and reviews at 

At 374 pages, “Midnight Waltz” is available on Amazon, or directly from the publisher at Giakoumatos had her initial book signing at the University Bookstore on July 12 in Seattle.

AUGUST GREEK FESTIVALS: Anchorage’s 24th festival is August 17 – 19, complete with great food, an agora and deli, bookstore, dance performances, children’s games, and more. Honolulu’s 37th on August 25 and 26, at Ala Moana Park in addition to the above, will also have musicians from the mainland.




Email the author: Theodora Argue

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