Gus Afendoulis passed away on May 27th, 2019. It is hard to describe this warm and gentle man who was so beloved by all. Gus was a man of many talents; a loving and involved family man, veteran, successful business owner, builder, bridge Life Master and so much more. Gus was born in 1924 to Stathi and Vasiliki Afendoulis. He graduated from Central High School in Grand Rapids in 1943. After serving in WWII, he returned to Grand Rapids. He married Anna Haspas, earned his degree from Aquinas College and started the well-known Afendoulis Cleaners with his brothers. Throughout his career, he volunteered at his parish, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, and many community organizations including the Grand Rapids Civic Theater, where he ushered and built sets. When he retired to Clearwater Beach with Anna, he kept busy directing bridge and building amazing birdhouses for family and friends.
After the passing of Anna, Gus lived in Raleigh where he was known as “Papou” or grandfather to many in the community. Even in his 90’s, he was active. He worked side-by-side at daughter Vicki and son-in-law Charles’ business, CE Rental, with Lena Hua whom he called his “adopted daughter.” He loved to help his dear friends Linda and Bob Giglio (Raleigh, NC) at their business. He sang in various church choirs for 67 years… and was upset when the young people could not get there in time for the start of liturgy. He said, “If I can do it, you can too.”
He will be remembered as a wonderful man who stayed active, busy and engaged, and enjoyed life. The last two years, Gus returned to Clearwater Beach, FL. He was preceded in death by his wife Anna, brothers George (Bertha) and Sam (Tina) his sister Alexandria Athans (Tom)
He is survived by his daughter Vicki and her husband Charles Phaneuf, grandson Charles Phaneuf (Emily), daughter Cynthia Kay Afendoulis, and son Stephen Afendoulis (Bess) and grandsons Peter and Gregory; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. They include; Maria (James) Landon, Dean (Elena) Athans, Stathi Afendoulis, Georgia (Doug) Everse. Chris (Phyllis) Afendoulis, Becky (Eric) Trierweiler, Katie Afendoulis, Lynn Afendoulis and Katharine Zuiderveen (Gus called her “my travel buddy”.)
Gus will be remembered as a kind and humble man who rarely took credit for any of his good works. He was unceasingly grateful to all for even the smallest gesture. He got up every day with a smile and always thanked God for giving him one more day. And so we pray, O Lord, give him rest in a place of light, in a place of green pasture, in a place of refreshment where there is no pain, sorrow or suffering. May his memory be eternal.
Visitation will be at from 5 to 7PM on Friday, May 31 at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids, Trisagion at 6:30PM. Funeral service will be Saturday, June 1 at 10AM at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 330 Lakeside Drive NE, Grand Rapids.Rev. James Berends officiating. Interment Restlawn Cemetery.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Choir Fund, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church 5000 Lead Mine Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612 or Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church 330 Lakeside Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.