From an orphanage in Thessaloniki, Greece, to Walla Walla, Washington, the story of Fotini Falbo’s life, like Cinderella’s, is similar to that of a fairy tale princess.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greek lmmigrant…Beloved Local American Citizen
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.