Panayotis "Pano" Koumantaros, Local Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, Dies at 61 Panayotis "Pano" Koumantaros, local entrepreneur and philanthropist, died early morning on Thursday, December 22, 2005. His death, at age 61, came after a courageous 6-month battle against bladder cancer. Widely recognized as one of the foremost experts on retirement plan consulting and design, Pano launched an independent pension benefits consulting firm in April 1975. The company operated as a sole proprietorship under the name Spectrum Financial Planning until July 1978 when it was incorporated under the name Spectrum Pension Consultants, Inc. To this day, the Koumantaros Family privately holds the company with over twenty dedicated staff members and nearly 700 clients -- it has provided pension benefits to over 50,000 retirement plan participants over the years. Son of the deceased Petros and late Marika Koumantaros, Pano was born in Athens, Greece on August 12, 1944. After being raised in Athens with his sister Anna, Pano pursued a Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Florence, Italy. He returned to Athens where he served as an officer in the Greek Military for two years. In 1970, Pano immigrated to the United States and settled in Tacoma, Washington where he accepted a position as a Life Insurance agent with Phoenix Mutual. Pano married Maria J. Karanzas at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Tacoma, Washington on June 18, 1972. Pano's contributions to local business groups, educational foundations, service fraternities, and social organizations are too numerous to count. He served on the board of directors and was elected President of Fircrest Golf Club, the Tacoma Narrows Rotary Club, and the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Parish Council. Dedicated to knowledge and educational pursuits, Pano served as District Governor of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association ("AHEPA"). He founded the AHEPA Scholarship Foundation, which has provided over $100,000 in scholarships to college-bound men and women in local Greek-American communities. A Rotarian since 1979, Pano had a 25-year perfect attendance record and was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. Pano dedicated himself to philanthropic pursuits as a way of giving back to the community that provided him the American Dream. Frequently remembered amongst family, friends, and colleagues for his ubiquitous spirit and social grace, Pano loved entertaining, was an avid amateur chef, and had a deep passion for wines. Few could forget the excitement of Pano's 60th birthday weekend celebration in Napa Valley or the many dinner parties shared at the Koumantaros residence. Pano's love for this country and his passion, living each day to its fullest, will be forever remembered by all who knew him. The Trisagion (Vigil Service) will be at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 27 at the Piper-Morley-Mellinger Chapel at 5436 South Puget Sound. Pano's funeral will be held at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, located on 16th and South Yakima, on Wednesday, December 28, at 10:00 a.m. The burial will take place thereafter at the Tacoma Cemetery at 12:30 p.m. Immediately following the funeral and burial services, the family will host a luncheon at Fircrest Golf Club, scheduled to begin at approximately 1:30 p.m. At Pano's request, a cancer research foundation will be established in his memory. In lieu of flowers, the family will be accepting donations to the Pano Koumantaros Cancer Research Fund. Donations may be sent to P.O. Box 9535, Tacoma, WA 98409. Pano is survived by his wife Maria J. of Tacoma, sons Petros P. and Yannis P. of Seattle, and sister Anna Koumantaros of Athens, Greece. Questions can be answered by contacting the Piper-Morley-Mellinger Funeral Home at (253) 472-3353.
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) from December 23 to December 27, 2005