George C. Gatos, PhD
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George Constantine Gatos, 89 passed away on April 6, 2013 in Wilmington, DE just days shy of his 90th birthday. A native of Amfissa in Central Greece, he was the youngest of four sons born to Constantine and Paraskevi Gatos.
George attended the University of Athens (Greece) earning a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and a Master's degree in Agriculture. After serving for three years in the Greek Army during the Greek Civil War he worked for a few years as a winery oenologist, learning all aspects of the field of wine making. Deciding to pursue his education further, he immigrated to the United States to attend the University of Delaware where he earned a Master of Science ('56) and a PhD ('59) in Chemistry. Upon completion of his doctorate, he began working with Atlas Powder Company, which became ICI Americas, where he spent the majority of his career in pharmaceutical research in the division that eventually became AstraZeneca. He was one of the three lead scientists who developed the drug Seroquel, which represented a major advancement in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and has been one of the company's most profitable drugs. George retired from AstraZeneca in 1987.
George was a dedicated member and leader of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Wilmington for more than five decades, serving on the Parish Council in numerous capacities including president. He was instrumental in all phases of the planning and oversight for the construction of the Church Community Center and was one of the original founders of the ever-popular Greek Festival, having also served in the role of festival chairperson. He was an active member of the AHEPA organization for almost fifty years, serving as its president and as a founder, and for many years, chairman of the group's scholarship committee. He was a charter member of the Wilmington Hellenic University Club and a member and officer of the Young @ Heart club.
A man of many talents and varied interests, George was a much sought-after bridge partner due to his great skill and knowledge of the game. He loved gardening and experimenting in the cultivation of fruit trees, enjoying much success especially with his peach, almond, and quince trees. He was an enthusiastic stamp and coin collector, and enjoyed entertaining his friends with his large repertoire of magic tricks. He bowled in an Atlas/ICI/AZ bowling league until age 80 and followed local sports teams, including University of Delaware football as a season ticket holder for several decades.
In addition to his parents, George was predeceased by his two older brothers, Vasilis and Takis, his wife Alice Couvas Gatos, and companion Dorothy Thompson. He is survived by loving daughter Paula Gatos of Wilmington, brother Harry C. Gatos of Shelburne, Vermont (formerly Cambridge, MA), sister-in-law Mary Couvas Pailas of Landsdale, PA, six nieces and nephews and their spouses, several great nieces and nephews, one new great-great-niece, and numerous friends.
Visitation will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Chandler Funeral Home, 2506 Concord Pike, Wilmington on Thursday, April 11. Funeral service will be held on Friday, April 12 at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 808 N. Broom Street, Wilmington, DE. Burial will follow the service at Silverbrook Cemetery, Lancaster Pike.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 808 N. Broom Street, Wilmington, DE 19806, to Compassionate Care Hospice, 702B Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE 19805 or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of DE, 100 W. 10th St., Suite 209, Wilmington, DE 19801. Additionally, due to the fact that blood transfusions enhanced the quality of George's life for the last several months, the family encourages anyone who is able to donate blood to the Blood Bank of Delmarva or to your local blood bank.
For online condolences, please visit
CHANDLER FUNERAL HOMES & CREMATORY
Chandler Funeral Homes and Crematorium
2506 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 19803-9925
Published in The News Journal from Apr. 9 to Apr. 10, 2013