Andrew Sam Mousalimas
December 6, 1924 - May 20, 2020Longtime Resident of Oakland
Andrew Sam Mousalimas, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away peacefully after a full and rewarding life. Born on December 6, 1924 to Sotiros and Paraskevi Caredis Mousalimas in Oakland, California, he was the older brother to Michael, who predeceased him. He traced his California roots to Michael and Bessie Caredis, who arrived in San Francisco from Greece in 1898. Andy was an active parishioner, altar boy, choir member and leader of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, later Ascension. He loved and celebrated Oakland, the city in which he was born and spent his life.
When attending Salinas Junior College during his freshman year, he lettered in varsity basketball when World War II started. Andrew volunteered on March 31, 1943 into the 122nd Infantry Battalion, known as the Greek Battalion. Andy was one of 200 volunteers to join the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S) under which he served for two years as a paratrooper, an experience he would later write of in his memoirs, and one for which he received the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington D.C. in 2018.
When the war ended, Andy returned to Oakland and attended Golden Gate College for one year when circumstance, and his koumbaro, Perry Phillips, introduced him to the love of his life, Mary Kumarelas from Salt Lake City, Utah. On January 4, 1948 they were married and settled in Oakland. They had five children, Sotiros, Eugenia, Paula, James and Andrew.
Andy threw himself into his passion for his Church, serving as board member and later, in 1955, was elected, at 31, as the youngest president of the Assumption community. In November of 1968, he, Mary and brother-in-law John Kumarelas, opened the Kings X, an Oakland landmark and first sports bar. It was a hub for gin tournaments, fantasy football, trivia competitions, and contributed to local charities. Perhaps most famously, he was a founder of Fantasy Football and inducted into the Toyota Fantasy Football Hall of Fame.
Andy was predeceased in death by his wife, Mary. He championed his four children, Sotiros, Eugenia Ahlas (George), Paula Gassoumis (Dean) , and James Mousalimas (Diane Georgiou). Most of all he adored and was adored in return by his seven grandchildren, Harry (Victoria) Ahlas, Andrew Ahlas, Zachary Gassoumis, Ria Gassoumis Rossi (Stephen), Ariane Mousalimas (Justin Joseph), Gianna and Paris Mousalimas. He was proud when he became a great -grandfather to Anna and Valarie Ahlas. His generous and larger-than-life personality will be missed by all whose lives he touched.
Due to current events, private services will be held. We ask for your prayers. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral General Fund. For further information please call, Harry W. Greer, Funeral Director (FDR-745). Alameda Funeral and Cremation Services, Alameda, 510-522-6020.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from May 22 to May 24, 2020.