Greek-American Historical Museum of Washington State

Church

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Mike Iliakis

In 1966, a feisty, handsome, young immigrant from Crete “took a chance” to come to America at the age of 29 in focused pursuit of his “love at first sight” whom he discovered a year earlier on a Mediterranean cruise. Little did he know at the time that years later, in another country, he’d be a husband, father and rancher in charge of a 100-acre farmstead complete with livestock and hay. Add to this energetic character a love of hunting and fishing with a passion for adding an extra heavy dose of unapologetic bold Greek identity throughout and you have the makings of an extraordinary life. Bernie Iliakis has written the following story about that person, his father Michael.

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The Babunes Sisters (Vasiliki “Billie” Larimer and Ekaterini “Katie” O’Neil)

That’s how Vasiliki “Billie” Larimer (nee Babunes) referred to her mother’s group of friends who would gather at their homes for their regular sessions of sewing, cooking and sharing stories.

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Kalliope “Popi” Tarlson

As a young woman leaving her family in Greece, coming to the United States as a new bride, traveling to distant parts of the world and expanding the knowledge of her faith, Kalliope “Popi” Tarlson knows that God has been her protector.

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Chris Legeros

With a 39-year career in broadcast journalism, Chris Legeros has experienced more than he ever expected in his life. He credits his culture and heritage (four generations of Greek ancestors) with giving him the strength and tenacity to be successful in his work.

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Pallis Family

Chris George Pallis recalls many “Georgisms” from his father that have influenced his life.

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Barbas Family

Tom, Helen and Demetra Barbas’ family moved to Seattle, Washington, in November of 1944 from a protective Greek “bubble” in Detroit, Michigan.

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Derezes and Falangus Families

The Derezes and Falangus families were among the first Greek settlers in the northwest United States. Five generations later their descendants have maintained their Greek culture.

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Pete and Voula Sideris

Their restaurant was originally called Patty’s Eggnest but renamed Pete’s Eggnest when Voula and Pete Sideris bought it. Having served generations of customers with their warm hospitality, it has been affectionately called Pete’s Love Nest.

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Yannis (John) Xydis

Yannis (John) Xydis still has the first guitar he purchased in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1967. He continues to play and sing with the same emotion that inspired him while growing up in Greece.

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Yiannis (John) Tziotis

As his Greek dance students were poised to go on stage, John Tziotis called out “showtime” to raise their spirits for the performance. He has been affectionately known by that nickname since that time.

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