September 21, 1924 - December 29, 2018
George Gus Spanos, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to all, passed away on December 29, 2018 at the age of 94, surrounded by his family. George was born and raised in Stockton, California where he spent most of his adult life. He lived the last four years in Walnut Creek, California, where he and his wife, Mary Boonos Spanos, moved to be near many of their grandchildren.
Born September 21, 1924, George Gus Spanos was one of six children raised by Evanthia and Constantino "Gus" Spanos, pioneer Greek immigrants who came to this country in the early 1900's to pursue the "American Dream". Waking up at dawn and working at his father's bakery every morning before school and selling newspapers on street corners through the Great Depression, George and his brothers at an early age experienced the entrepreneurial drive of their father while learning the importance of hard work, education and discipline.
George enlisted in the Navy during World War II, defending our country as part of the "Greatest Generation". He was a naval officer and flight navigator as well as a champion "light-weight" wrestler. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and the College of the Pacific, and received his law degree from Hastings College of the Law in 1949. George returned to Stockton, eventually setting up his own private law practice in partnership with Harvey Hakeem and later with Harvey's son Michael. George provided early legal assistance to his brother Alex's growing business and eventually left private practice to join his brother full time as General Counsel for his rapidly growing real estate development company, A.G. Spanos Construction, which eventually became the largest apartment builder in the nation.
It was in 1955 that George met his partner for life, Mary Boonos. Although their families knew each other for many years, George and Mary did not meet until they both attended a dance in Modesto, where Mary grew up. They married in 1956 and created a loving partnership that lasted for 62 years.
George was active in the Stockton community. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of Stockton Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs. He was actively involved in St. Basil's Greek Orthodox Church and a member of the Order of AHEPA. He had a passion for gardening and played racquetball for over 50 years, well into his 80's. A "lefty" and force to be reckoned with on-court, he twice won the San Joaquin County Open Racquetball Championship. Additionally, George was an avid Los Angeles Charger football fan. George was a student of history and taught his family the importance of their Greek heritage. He was a man of limitless love, genuine kindness and compassion, strength and integrity, humility and gentleness, loyalty and faith. He encouraged his children and grandchildren to follow their dreams and to venture out into the world, providing his love, support and guidance along the way.
George is survived by his loving wife, Mary; his three children Evanthia (Steven Austin) of Orinda, Andrea (Luigi Ottieri) of Santa Barbara, and Gus (Martha) of Alamo; grandchildren Ariana and Helena Austin, Alejandro and George Spanos; step grandchildren Mia, Tim, Luisa, Bobby and Mia Catherine; sisters Stella Graham and Madeline Madsen; and countless nieces and nephews. George's death closely follows the recent passing two months ago of his brother Alex and earlier by brothers Danny and Leo. The family wishes to thank George's caregivers who provided loving and devoted care over the last several years and few months: Mercedes Hape, Evelyn Brody, Mimi Voltaire, Edward Manolo, Cooky and Frederick. George lived a selfless life giving to his family, colleagues, community, church and friends. His wise counsel, infectious smile, mischievous sense of humor and twinkling blue eyes will be missed.
The Trisagion service will be held on Monday, January 14th at 6pm at St. Basil's Greek Orthodox Church, 920 West March Lane, Stockton. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, January 15th at 10am, also at St. Basil's Greek Orthodox Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the St. Basil's Greek Orthodox Church Scholarship Fund.