Greek-American Historical Museum of Washington State

Making a Living

The Greeks in Washington supported themselves and their families as entrepreneurs, professionals, artists, musicians and in public service.

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Jim Tallahan

With the name Jim Tallahan, (Demetrios Talaganis) and living in Bellingham, Washington, he was more like an “all American boy” than the child of Greek immigrants.

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Stamatis Vokos

Stamatis Philippou Vokos has never changed his name although many non-Greeks, even his wife when she first met him, have found it difficult to …

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Washington’s First Greek
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NOTE: Greeks in Washington is dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing the story of Greeks in Washington State. Of the many stories compiled and exhibited at www.greeksinwashington.org each has its own unique twist. This one, about the first Greek in Washington is truly unique.

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Asimakopoulos

When Anna Asimakopoulos saw a map showing Seattle, Washington, in the far northwest corner of the United States, she said, “stin ali akri tou cosmo” (at the end of the earth). Her sons, Andrew and Theo, (Thoukididis) are grateful their father gave up a successful job as a firefighter in Athens, Greece, to bring his family to “far off” Seattle.

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K.G. Dino Apostolou

The descendants of George and Demetra Apostolou comprise one of the largest Greek families in the Seattle, Washington, area. The story begins with Konstantinos “Dino,” one of the eight Apostolou children who came to Seattle between 1962 and 1971.

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Sophia Dyke (nee Kourkoubas)

The youngest of four siblings from a small village in Greece, Sophia Dyke (nee Kourkoubas) took an independent route to the United States, her education and her profession.

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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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From February 7 to May 31 2015, the Greek-American Historical Museum of Washington State, in partnership with MOHAI (Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry) held an exhibit entitled “A PLACE AT THE TABLE; over 100 years of Greek restaurants, culture and the entrepreneurial spirit.” For those who were unable to view the exhibit, or those who would like to revisit A Place at the Table, the following five video segments are presented here.

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Demetrios “Dimitri” Spyridakis

Demetrios “Dimitri” Spyridakis has never said “no” in public or to his students. He credits his success as an environmental engineering professor to the positive support he gave to them and their work.

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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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