William D. Cocorinis William D. Cocorinis, beloved husband of Willa Dean Papanikolas Cocorinis, passed away early Sunday morning at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center. Bill was born to Dimitri and Ioanna Cocorinis in the village of Glossa, Skopelos, Greece. He would later write of his love for the island and people of his youth in his book of short stories, "Diamond of the Aegean." Bill also published dozens of periodical and newspaper articles throughout his long and productive life on a variety of topics close to his heart, typically involving his love of Greek philosophy, people and history. Bill first came to the United States in 1948 on what was intended to be a short visit to wind up his own father's business affairs, who had recently passed away. En route to San Francisco, Bill succumbed to Dena's charms while passing through Salt Lake City. Bill remained under Dena's spell for the rest of his life. Shortly after arriving in Salt Lake, Bill learned that the University of Utah was in need of an instructor of Modern Greek. Despite what could charitably be described as a rather limited knowledge of the English language, Bill commenced teaching with his typical enthusiasm. 55 years and 5500 students later, he taught his last class just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Bill would ultimately master English, but proudly hung on to his distinctive accent, which his many admirers delighted in mimicking. Bill received his M.A. degree from the University of Utah in 1957 and went on to become the successful owner and principal broker of Sugarhouse Realty for almost 50 years. Bill received many honors over a lifetime of service to his church and community, too numerous to mention in their entirety. He served as a three term president of the Greek Community of Salt Lake City and received the title of "Archon Deputatos" by the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople. Bill was a Life Member, Archdiocesan Council, Greek Orthodox Church of the Americas, and was particularly close to His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America. In April of 1998, Bill was a recipient of the University of Utah's Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award. He loved his association with the many fine professors and students at the University. He believed that with patience, understanding and persistence, he could win them over to his view that all words of any consequence, and all philosophical ideas of any consequence, originated in Greece. Shortly before his death, Bill was informed by the University of Utah that he was to be awarded an honorary degree in the spring of 2004. As President of the WBBA Holladay Cottonwood Baseball League in the late 1960's, Bill spearheaded the financing of what became known as "Cocorinis Field," still in use today. Bill was the loving father of Dimitri "Mitch" Cocorinis and Jonette C. Mangum, and the father-in-law of Geoffrey W. Mangum, all of whom, although occasionally exasperated by his exuberance, adored him. In turn, Bill was very proud of their professional and personal endeavors. Bill's proudest final legacy was his two grandchildren, David Cocorinis Mangum and Alexandra Mangum. David, a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, has inherited his grandfather's writing talents and passion for books and interesting people. Alex, an outstanding student, swimmer and dancer at Skyline High School, shares Bill's very considerable charisma, social skills and movie star good looks. In addition to his immediate family, Bill is survived by two sisters, Zoe Panagiotou of Athens, Greece and Alexandra Pitsiou of Volos, Greece, sisters-in-law, Ida Collard, Catherine Papanikolas, Kathryn Papanikolas and Dorothy Papanikolas, and many nephews and nieces. A viewing will be held Friday, December 5, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake City. Trisagion to begin at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Services to be held Saturday, December 6, also at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, at 12:00 noon. Interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Donations for a humanities scholarship in Bill's name may be sent in care of Professor James Svendsen, University of Utah, 255 South Central Campus Drive #1400, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112.
Published in Deseret News from Dec. 3 to Dec. 5, 2003.