The First Man I have ever Loved: Stavros Pantelidis
February 7, 1942 – April 25, 2017

Thessaloniki, Greece 1981

“Get down from those boxes!” he called. My father came and picked me up off the small fort I built. I was chanting Freedom from the Turks, and I was stomping my feet on the boxes with all the strength I had. “What are you saying?” he asked me. I replied, “babaka mou I’m crushing the Turks you told me about last night.”

The night before, my father told me the story of the Greek Revolution in 1821 and the fight for Freedom from the Ottoman Empire. I was so young and impressionable at that time. I had a strong passion for my country, and that was imprinted on me because of him, the first man I ever loved.

As I got older, he told me there are three things that must remain sacred in your life, our Greek Orthodox Religion, our country and PAOK, our city’s soccer team. He constantly reminded me to keep these three beliefs in my heart and to have them in my heart and soul throughout all my life’s journey.

Upper Darby PA, 1984

Our family moved to America for a better life. I came home from school one day to find a big box with my name on it in my room. I waited for my father to get home to open it and anticipated on what it would be. He told me “I got you a blackboard and some chalk so that you can teach your sister everything you learned at school.” I was overjoyed because that’s what I always knew I wanted to become, a teacher. At once, I opened the small box of chalk and started spelling out words in my head and wrote them on the board; my father said: “You will be a great teacher one day.” The first man I ever loved believed in me and told me to never give up on my dreams.

He recounted stories about the motherland, Greece and advised me never to forget his birthplace and where we came from. As I got older he showed me how a husband treats his wife, he cherishes her and listens to her wants and needs. And how a wife respects and loves her husband. A constant reminder of how important family is and that family comes first. That with the love of your family, every hardship in life will be conquered. “Never be afraid when you have your family by your side, love each other, need each other, show your feelings every day.” The first man I ever loved would say to me.

Philadelphia PA, 2016

My proud lovable and loving father was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in his lungs. He did not want to believe that he would leave his family. Pride shined in his eyes when he saw his grandchildren, children and especially his most beloved wife. They were married for 48 wonderful years, and now it was time for him to start a new journey in heaven.

The first man I ever loved, my daddy, my heart, and soul passed away today but his lessons will always guide me through life, and his memory will be eternal. One should be lucky to have had the chance to meet such a man, a true Greek “levendi.” Be in peace father for I shall always have you in my heart, for you will always be the first man I ever loved…

Monday, May 1, 2017
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Upper Darby, PAFUNERAL SERVICE

Monday, May 1, 2017
11:00 AM
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Upper Darby, PA

Monday, May 1, 2017
Fernwood Cemetery, Lansdowne, PA