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Athens, Greece - Technical Sergeant, United States Air Force, retired, Charles Kostas died on 26 August 2013 in the village of Ahladi, Agia Anna Municipality, Island of Evia, Greece at the age of 77. Sergeant Kostas was born in Kalamata, Greece on 8 June 1936 and grew up and was orphaned during the NAZI German occupation of Greece. On 10 July 1952, Konstantinos Kostopoulos (Charles Kostas) arrived at Ellis Island, New York aboard the H/S Nea Hellas. He was a resident of Manchester, Massachusetts, residing at the home of his uncle, Athanasios Filias at 22 Desmond Avenue. In 1955 after graduating from South Boston Evening High School, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he served as a career non-commissioned officer. Sergeant Kostas served his adopted country with honor and dignity around the world to include Thule Air Base, Greenland, NATO Headquarters in Izmir, Turkey, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, Clark Air Base, Philippines and eventually retired at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona. Sergeant Kostas is the recipient of the USAF Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Defense Commendation Medal. Mr. Kostas established an insurance brokerage in 1975 and later moved back to Greece. He served as the President of the Phoenix and Athens chapters of the American-Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), and was a chanter at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Phoenix. Mr. Kostas is survived by his wife, Argyro and six children, Angelos, Alice, Elizabeth, Giota, Ather and Alexandra as well as 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 30, 2013