Greek-American Historical Museum of Washington State

First Generation

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The walls of Tom Cassis’ basement recreation room contain a family history of photos beyond imagination. For him as long as the family comes first, everything else will fall in line.

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Great yiayia (grandmother) was too long to say for Willene (Vasiliki) Delegans Allison’s great grandson, so the name for this family matriarch became simply “Great.”

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Thomay (from Thomas) “May” Fenerly grew up in a small cottage on Sequim Bay on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula without a road until 1937 and without electricity until 1955.

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Steve (Stavros) James Sourapas’ Greek family experience and the operation of the family business were closely intertwined.

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From Spokane to Seattle to Bellingham, Mary Sellinas Hulbush has maintained her faith, her friends and her Greek heritage.

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He was known as the Junk King of Anacortes when he began collecting discarded items in 1908 but E. (Efthemios) “Mike” Demopoulos became a major landowner and businessman in the town.

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While the town of Manson, Washington, was reminiscent of her parents’ homes in Greece, hers was the only Greek family in the area.

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On his first day of school when Lazarus Stylianos Politakis was hit in the head with a baseball bat he cried out for help in his native tongue. Someone said, “That sounds like Greek to me.”

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How many ways can the heritage of Greeks in America be preserved and shared? Museums? Books? Oral histories? Photographs?

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Combine a 50-year career in oceanography, over 70 years as a photographer, over 50 years using computers and over 40 years studying his Greek heritage and one begins to appreciate the fruitful life of Eugene (Efthemios) Evans (Evangelos) Collias.