Demetrios (Dimitri) E. Spyridakis passed away on October 12, 2021, in Seattle, WA. Born on December 6, 1931, in Heraklion, Crete, to Emmanuel and Garifalia Spyridakis, Dimitri was the youngest of nine children. He is survived by his loving wife Jan and children, Irini Spyridakis and Minos Spyridakis (Angelina Saez, partner), along with many nephews, nieces and close friends. Dimitri and Jan were married at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Seattle, WA.
Dimitri received a B.S. from Athens Agricultural College (Greece). He earned a Ph.D. in Soil Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He worked as a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin and then at the University of Washington, where he taught water chemistry until his retirement. Dimitri was a lifelong educator and a caring role model who found great reward in mentoring students.
An avid learner, Dimitri had a tremendous thirst for knowledge, enjoying history, music, politics, art, culture, gardening, and traveling with his family. He never forgot his humble beginnings and his many relatives in Greece. As his niece recently wrote, he “filled his suitcases for close and distant relatives to distribute his gifts, but more with his love, his laughter, and his peace with every return trip. Dimitri’s house is a piece of Greece, from the hand-woven curtains of Kastrinogianni, to the paintings, the records, and the books. I haven't seen a richer garden that shows the variety of flowers and plants, from lost seeds of Greece rescued by a man from Crete so they can live on in Seattle.” Dimitri was also an extraordinary chef.
Dimitri was a child of life. He was a warmhearted generous friend and a loving husband and father. As part of a dying era of gifted storytellers, he shared a special magic through his words. He found beauty and inspiration in the smallest things, teaching us to cherish the essence of every moment. Dimitri will be sorely missed and live on in our hearts forever. For more on Dimitri’s life, see the article about him entitled the “Easy Going Professor” on the Greeks of Washington website.
A Funeral Service will be held Monday, October 25th, 11a.m., at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2100 Boyer Ave E, Seattle, 98112. Attendees, please wear masks. A private graveside service will follow for immediate family only. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice. Matters close to Dimitri’s heart include refugees, education, and the environment.
A Funeral Service will be held on Monday, October 25th, 11a.m., at
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
2100 Boyer Ave E, Seattle, 98112.
Attendees, please wear masks.
A private graveside service will follow for immediate family only.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.
Matters close to Dimitri’s heart include refugees, education, and the environment.