Thomas Anastassiou
1919 - 2021
BORN
1919
DIED
2021
FUNERAL HOME
Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions- Rice Center
5310 Torrance Blvd
Torrance, CA
Mar 24, 1919 - Sept 4, 2021 Thomas (Tom) Anastassiou, 102, of Palos Verdes Estates, California, passed away on September 4th. Tom was predeceased by his wife, Jennie; they were married for 58 years. Tom was born in Greece and immigrated with his family to the United States in the 1920s. He served in the United States Army during World War II and received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service. Tom spent 29 years as an educator at South Gate High School. Tom is survived by his three sons, Peter (Sally, wife), Jim, and Tom Jr. and his four grandchildren, Nicholas (Veronica, wife), Haley, Jennie, and Tommy. Services will be held on Friday, September 17th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1324 Normandie Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90006. The family kindly requests that those persons wishing to attend the funeral be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine or have a negative test result for COVID-19 within 24 hours of the funeral. Please go to Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions website, www.LAfuneral.com, to send the family messages, share memories, or to obtain directions to the services.

Published by Daily Breeze on Sep. 13, 2021.
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MEMORIAL EVENTS
Sep
17
Service
11:00a.m.
St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral
1324 Normandie Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Funeral services provided by:
Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions- Rice Center
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4 Entries
I met Mr. Anastassiou 30+ years ago as a spry 70 year old, the father of my lifelong friend from college Tom Jr. Mr. A was first and foremost about family. You never saw a man more proud of the varied accomplishments of his sons, and no grandfather ever beamed brighter at the sound of his grandchildren. As Tom Jr´s friend, I saw this most closely with Tommie and Jenny. To whom, let me say that you two were the light of his life, and the joy in his heart. He loved his wife, the venerable Mrs. Anastassiou, so dearly and in a way people who haven´t been married young and for life probably cannot fully appreciate; I´m sure I can only begin to imagine. Mr. A was always an educator and a mentor for me. Half of my memories of him are about things he was interested in, and interested in you knowing too. The first time we met, he told me about the marble floors (concrete with marble chips, chips because they were decorative and good value filler) that were used back when the old house was built. In the following decades, I learned much about Greek culture (but nothing about Windex!), how rosemary is easy to grow, how fava beans should be enjoyed, the proper way to grill steaks for 50 people, you name it. At his funeral at St. Sophia´s, I found myself at one point gazing at this amazing cathedral and wondering what the Greek meant, who the various depicted saints were, why there were animals next to them, etc. And for a moment I was overcome, it occurred to me that it would have been Mr. A who would have enjoyed telling me all those details, and me fascinated to learn. We have lost a husband, father, grandfather, an uncle and so many other titles he wore with aplomb. To this I add mentor and friend. I will miss his essence, the twinkle in his eye, his wit, and his opinions on everything from drinking water (unnecessary except when thirsty) to USC football (necessary, obviously!). I must admit that amidst my sorry, I find myself happy for having known him, happy at the amazing 102 year run he had from a youth (born on the isle of Lesbos) to a decorated member of the Greatest Generation, to (somehow) courting Mrs. A and building a life, raising 3 stalwart sons, meeting his grandchildren, and enjoying the Southern California sunshine. God bless you Mr. A and God bless your family. You are home again, rejoined with Mrs. A in heaven. I celebrate you and your life; you were a lion of a man, I adored you and respected you more than words can convey. I love you.
Sanjay Garg
Friend
September 21, 2021
I first met Tom at South Gate HIgh School in 1955. He was my salesmanship teacher; he soon became both a mentor and friend. In 1956 he became the Attendance Officer Director at SGHS, and asked me to work in the office one period a day. At that time, I had been selected as the "big sister" to the AFS foreign exchange student from Athens. From there, is was an introduction to Saint Sophia's Greek Orthodox Church, and our attendance there (my "little sister" became a doctor and returned to Athens, and married an attorney there). After college, I married and moved to Palos Verdes Estates, and lived quite near Tom. He and I remained in contact until shortly after his wife died. About five years ago, I saw a man at a PVE City Council meeting that looked almost exactly like the teacher I had had in high school, and I knew he had to be an Anastassiou; he was. I asked if I could please visit Tom, but that visit never happened. He was quite a man. I have far too many memories to share here.
Marsha Davis
September 16, 2021
What a wonderful life for a wonderful man. The fact that he won the Bronze Star speaks of his dedication to his Country. My regards and best wishes to the family of this giant of a man. May he Rest In Peace. Tom Higgins.
Tom Higgins
Family
September 13, 2021
Condolences to the Family, May Almighty God in the heavens take care of you during this very difficult time. May he give you calm of heart and his peace to cope with your precious loss. May he support you with his strength as he carries your load of your grief, Psalm 68:19
BRY
September 13, 2021
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