Greek-American Historical Museum of Washington State

Greece

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Louie and Mary Malesis have made significant contributions to both the Renton and Seattle, Washington, communities. In 2015 their granddaughter Sophia Giakoumatos interviewed her grandfather and the results of that interview are presented here. Their story is supplemented with information in italics from a video interview with both Louie and Mary in 2017.

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Family in the Greek culture is very important. Frequently, families will “adopt” people to join them by calling them thea (aunt) or theo (uncle) either for respect, to acknowledge closeness or, to expand a small family. Friends who are godparents to children or sponsors for a married couple are called koumbari and are considered family. Whether at home in Seattle, Washington, or while visiting his ancestral homes in Greece, Jim Kost regularly hears this call from those he encounters.

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As Tommy Rakus’ family came from Roumeli, tin carthia tis Elathas (the heart of Greece), his passion for all things Greek originates not from the food, the dancing or the language but from his heart.

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Where most Greek families with long names shortened or Anglicized them, Greg Asimakoupoulos’ family did just the opposite. With Greek and Norwegian parents his connections run deep with families in Seattle, Washington, and the northwest United States.

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In about 1890 two Jewish men, Jack Policar and Solomon Calvo, were traveling in Turkey and were considering migrating to New York City.  On …

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Sam Treperinas has many stories to tell about his very successful 50-year career with the railroad and a busy retirement. For Sam and his wife Elly, the title of this exhibit is very appropriate for their experiences and success in life.

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When Kenny Dudunakis was growing up in Pocatello, Idaho, being Greek was a badge of honor. He moved to Washington State in 1989 where he has developed his career in commercial real estate.

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Tasos Manouras and Kiki Karakatsani are part of a recent group of Greek immigrants who bring a high level of education to the growing economy in the Seattle, Washington, area.

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During World War II in Greece, Maria Cooper (nee Deligianni) was unable to pursue her schooling. Rather, as a teenager and the oldest of seven children, she was responsible for her younger siblings.

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When Maria and Christos Govetas immigrated to the United States in 1978, the opportunities for education and successful careers were far beyond their dreams.