Pantelis "Demetri" Callas
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On January 13, 2020, local guitar legend and rock star Demetri Callas (ne Pantelis John Callas) passed away in Las Vegas, Nev., where he had lived for two decades. Although he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2016, he ultimately succumbed to heart failure.

Demetri was born in Frederick, Md., on June 7, 1942, to Anastasia (Anna) Chantiles Callas and John Pantelis Callas. Known locally by his early nickname of Penny, he was in the vanguard of the first rock and roll bands in the D.C. Metro Area. He first performed at local teen clubs, moving on to multiple nightclubs in D.C. and, eventually, to signing on with Columbia Records with his band Flavor. From 1970 - 74, he performed with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons as one of the Seasons, singing and playing the guitar. He was inducted into the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2018.

To the delight of many who knew him in their youth, Demetri returned to the Frederick area to perform during the last decade. The crowd was thrilled to rock on with him as they did decades ago.

Demetri is survived by his loving children Maria Hamby, Diana Toronto (Patrick), Demetri J. Callas and Jason Allen Callas; his grandchildren Mitchell, Travis, Tyler, Jessica, Damoni, David and Melina; his sister Maria C. Papageorgiou; his nephews John Papageorgiou and William Papageorgiou; two aunts, Mrs. Victoria Overmiller and Mrs. Delores Chantiles; an uncle, Dr. Peter G. Callas; numerous cousins in the U.S. and Greece; his devoted pal Edward Kratzel; and his special lifelong friend, Kathryn Rice, and her children, Danielle Burkhardt and J.C. Rice.

His marriage to the former Elizabeth (Betsy) Warfield ended in divorce.

Following Demetri's wishes, there will be no services to mark his passing. However, there has been an outpouring of love and appreciation for his extraordinary talent and unfailing kindness online.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Frederick News-Post from Jan. 27 to Jan. 28, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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15 entries
November 9, 2020
I saw Mr. Callas when he first joined The Four Seasons, at the Philadelphia Academy of Music, January, 1972. He sang lead on the Stephen Stills' song "Love the One You're With". Whenever I hear that song, I think of Demetri, not Stephen Stills. I met him in 1973 at the Philadelphia Civic Center. I was 8 and star struck. But he was super friendly to me and my brother, talked with us for a few moments, waved goodbye to us.

His guitar hooks in "Sun Country" is outstanding. Thank you for the music. Thank you for the memory
February 4, 2020
A fellow member of FHS class of 1961. I have many great memories of Penny Callas and The Shades from my high school and college years. He was great, as was his band. It was fun when he played at our class reunions a few times over the years, at least once he was joined by his son. He will live in our memories forever. RIP
Don Droneburg
February 3, 2020
I was in FHS band with him and we graduated in the same class,61. What a talent and truly nice guy. He made 50's rock 'n' roll in Frederick Millard Haines p.s. I have a nice poster from when the Shades played at the Sharpsburg American Legion back in the day
millard haines
February 2, 2020
Thank you for some of the greatest guitar playing of all time. R.I.P. Demetri.
Robert Kotabish
February 2, 2020
Unforgettable memories of the "BIG MAN IN TOWN"
A loving, caring man
An honest guy
A true gent
Never to be forgotten!
I'm privileged to have been someone whose life he touched
R. I. P Demetri.
Diane Lilleyman
January 31, 2020
I first met Penny when I was in 7th grade his band used to play at the Brunswick Fire hall. When I was 15-16 I used to babysit his children Maria and Diana who was just a baby at the time, Allot of good memories.
January 30, 2020
Joe Long and Lynn Boleyn with Demetri at Raleigh October 2008
A larger than life character who will be very much missed by everyone whose lives he touched
Lynn Boleyn
January 28, 2020
all through the 60's, this was one of my favorite bands to dance to. so awesome, such talent. RIP Penny. I graduated FHS in 69, but it didn't matter where you were playing, FHS, TJ or elsewhere, that was the place to be. Good memories
Chris Garver
January 28, 2020
I can't thank you enough for my more than 60 year love of the guitar and the music that can be created with one. Seeing and hearing you at a YMCA dance when I was 14 helped set a course in my life that continues to this day. You became a teacher and a role model to me and so many others. You've earned your rest. Be at peace Penny.
william lebherz
January 28, 2020
david kepler
January 28, 2020
Tommy Vann And The Professionals
My deepest condolences to all his family and friends! He was an extremely talented and nice person to me on the occasions we conversed and sat in with us!
Tommy Vann
January 27, 2020
My earliest memory of Penny was during Christmas season of 1961. There was a party in the basement of Mike Stup's house and a few of the Shades were jamming. Later In the summer of 1962 I heard them play on the tennis courts next to the swimming pool. Oh the memories are still strong and Demetri and the Shades shaped and added greatly to our youth. RIP.
John Wayne Droneburg
January 27, 2020
Another Star will shine, what a Band they are going to have. God Bless.
Joe Saitta
January 27, 2020
As we all age, there are times in our life that stand out more than others. I graduated FHS in 1964 and everyone knew Penny Callas. He was a very talented and good-looking man and played in bands that I was familiar with at the time. I always loved Rock 'N Roll and dancing--- even today, a song will stop me in my tracks and take me back. After I married and had a child, I was absent from the "scene" and it wasn't until about 1975 when I saw Penny again. I was the office manager for Kurt Andrews/Franklin Life Ins. at the time. Penny visited Kurt in the office often when he was in town. He was so pleasant to me---always a gentleman. My sincere condolences to his loved ones. Penny will always be remembered.
Karen (Martz)(Martin)Raymond
Karen Raymond
January 27, 2020
My sincere condolences to the family! May you Rest in Peace! You were a legend, one of the best, so glad to have known you my friend!
Theresa Dorsey
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