Stelios Haralambous, was exemplary in many ways. Arriving in Halifax, then settling in London Ontario, Canada as a Greek immigrant at age 26, Stelios was a highly accomplished Greek Orthodox Cantor or “Psalti”, educated and degreed in Byzantine music in Athens Greece. Stelios’ deep roots in the Greek Orthodox Church began at the young age of 5 years old through his mother, Chrysanthe, who had given Stelios his name as her thanks and gratitude to God for sparing her son from a life threatening illness. The name Stelios was given to honor the Orthodox Saint who is “the protector of children.” Stelios’ mother promised to devote her son to the church… where he grew up serving God through his incredible voice.
Stelios was noted as being one of the youngest first Cantors or “Protopsaltis” in the early history of some of the most well-known and historical churches in Athens, Greece, including The Metropolis Cathedral of Athens and Church of Agios Panteleimon. Stelios’ angelic voice was acknowledged by the church community and its leaders, who included his close friends and servants to God, the late Archbishop Iakovos, Father Demetrios Kavadas and Father Tom George. Stelios’ was blessed to have chanted during hundreds upon hundreds of Orthodox liturgies in the presence of audiences including Aristotle Onassis, Tina Fay, and Spyros Skouras, founder of 20th Century Fox.
Stelios’ second passion was as an equally accomplished chef. He served the restaurant industry in his humble beginnings holding numerous jobs as a waiter, beloved, favorite Greek school teacher and dry cleaner’s owner / operator… while still having time to enjoy making the best of his joyous personality, charm and good looks. Stelios’ friends and family could be assured of partaking in his fondness of music, good food and lots of laughter. The establishments Stelios proudly served included the London Chop House, Detroit Golf Club, The Rooster Tail and The Hilton, San Diego as well as his numerous successfully owned and operated restaurants.
There was no greater passion that Stelios had, and without a doubt still has from his new home with God; Stelios’ family. His greatest accomplishment, beyond his impressive list of completed endeavors throughout his life, was being a loyal and caring son and brother, an amazing father, a dear uncle and very affectionate grandfather. Stelios cemented in his family the many examples of a man who understood the definition of such things as tolerance, patience, generosity, kindness and an appreciation for life itself.
Stelios is survived by his sons John and Danny, grandsons Gabriel Lancaster and Nygil Hoch, granddaughters Kathleen, Alexa, and Carmen Conteh (Haralambous).
A viewing will be held on Friday, February 26th, 2016 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am, at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 229 Powell Ln, Upper Darby, PA 19082. Funeral services will follow at the church from 11:00 am.