Akoury, Alexander G.
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June 26, 1926 - August 27, 2011
An energetic man who went to sea to help win World War II, then came home to build homes to house the Baby Boomers, Alex Akoury died at home in Simi Valley, CA. Born in Venice, CA, his heart finally gave out after prevailing over prostate cancer for 20 years.
Unable to join the Army, Navy or Marines because of severe myopia, Alex entered the war at 19 by becoming a radio officer in the Merchant Marines. Having never been away from home, he sailed around the world on a Liberty ship with a secret - he couldn't swim. One thing he couldn't keep secret, however, was his extreme sea sickness. He was on radio duty when news came that the war was over, and he was first to tell shipmates the joyous news.
He married Velma George in October, 1947. They were married 50 years before her death in 1998. They raised four children, supported by his work in construction. After building homes, he was part of one of the first firms to use drywall to construct a new concept in shopping -- the mall. Later he was Coordinator of the Drywall Apprenticeship program through the Carpenter's Union. When he found the textbooks to be outdated and unclear, he wrote new ones. He was a 60-year member of Carpenter's Local #1506.
Alex was defined by the things he loved: Family, dogs, antique cars, a good pot of chili and a great plate of spaghetti. He cared for his wife in her last years, then focused his love and energy on his kids, grandkids and life-long friends. He was generous, loyal and always ready to help those he loved. He was a longtime member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles. In recent years, he joined St. Michael's Orthodox Church in Van Nuys. His passing leaves a profound ache in the hearts of all who loved him and were touched by him.
Alex is survived by two daughters, Julia (Art Thiel) and Denise (Mike Glisson), and his son Tom (Tiffany) who spared no energy or love in caring for his father in the last years. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren, Alexander and Genevieve Akoury, and Alena and Alexis Waite, and by his niece, Ellen Mortellaro, who in Alex's heart was another one of his kids.
A viewing will be held on Thursday, Sept. 1, from 5-8 PM at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Cemetery, in North Hollywood, CA. Funeral services will be held at St. Michael's Orthodox Church in Van Nuys, CA on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 10 AM. Graveside services will follow at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Alex's memory to Prostate Cancer Foundation, 1250 Fourth St., Santa Monica, CA 90401.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Aug. 29 to Aug. 31, 2011