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Delecaris, Alexander

Delecaris, Alexander

May 25, 1930 — January 30, 2022

Alexander Delecaris, 91, passed away January 30, 2022.  Born in Canton, Ohio on May 25th, 1930, his parents were Kyriacos and Antigone Delecaris, who were Greek immigrants that left their homes in Ordou, Turkey and moved to Kavala, Greece. They made the voyage to New York City and settled in Canton in the early 1920s.

They moved again to Haverhill, Massachusetts when Alex was 2-3 years old.

He had an older sister, Helen, and an older brother, Tasso (Antonio). Alex learned how to speak Greek when he was 4 years old because his parents would only speak Greek in the house. He also learned how to speak Japanese when he was in the military while stationed in Japan in the late 1940s-early 1950s.

He enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1946, which officially became the Air Force in 1947. He was only 16 years old when he enlisted, lying about his age saying he was 18 years old. He was bored with high school and decided to enlist in the military.

After boot camp, he was sent to Japan and then to South Korea from 1946 until 1951, before being transferred back to the United States.

Alex was a cryptographer in the Air Force during the Korean War. He served in the 5th Air Force division that was led by General Douglas McArthur of the United Nations Command Forces. While stationed in Japan in the late 1940s, Alex was part of a select unit of military personnel that worked specifically for General McArthur.

Alex was awarded numerous commendation medals during his 20 years of service in the U.S. Air Force including several World War II medals and the Korean War Service medal. He served in the Air Force from 1946 until 1967, retiring with the rank of Technical Sergeant.

He married Diana Avgides in 1958 in Belleville, Illinois. He was stationed at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis in 1958, where his first son, Karl, was born in 1959. He was transferred to Honolulu, Hawaii where his second son, Frank, was born in 1962. He moved back to Illinois in 1963, where his daughter Maria was born in 1966 at Scott Air Force base, in the St. Louis area.

After he retired from the military, he was hired by Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in 1967 and worked for SWB for 20 years, retiring in 1987. He was a network manager and was credited with saving the company 40 million dollars in the mid 80s with a project that he directed and led his team. The project he spearheaded in his department was one of his proudest accomplishments in his life. He received an esteemed award from the CEO of the company at the time for his innovative marketing idea that was presented to him at a corporate awards ceremony in 1986.

Alex moved his family to Kansas City, Missouri in 1968 when the department he was involved in with SWB transferred him there. He was a 1974 graduate of Avila College in Kansas City, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. He was on the Avila Alumni Board of Directors in the late 70s and early 80s. He was a member of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in South Kansas City and served on the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Board as well.  Alex was also a Jackson County Election Board judge.

After his first wife, Diana, died in 1981, he remarried in 1983 to his second wife, Teddy, and divorced in 1987.

While in Hawaii for the Air Force, Alex met Elvis Presley, who was performing two shows in Honolulu to raise money for the Pearl Harbor memorial in 1961. Alex was in a staging crew of military personnel involved with setting up the concert in the auditorium that Elvis performed in and met him during a meet and greet event before the show. From then on, Elvis was his favorite music artist. Alex also liked rock and country music artists and bands.

Alex’s hobbies included photography, which he planned to do professionally if he was not hired by the SWB. He was a part-time NBA basketball scorekeeper at St. Louis Hawks games in the 1960s. He knew several of the Celtics basketball players and worked alongside the long-time radio announcer for the Boston Celtics, Johnny Most, who was a friend of his and got him the scorekeeper job when the Celtics played the Hawks in St. Louis.

Alex was a Boston Red Sox fan and Boston Celtics fan as well as a Kansas City Royals and Chiefs fan. Alex was an avid coin collector. He also had an extensive collection of movies. He enjoyed traveling extensively. He was very skilled at building cabinets, bookshelves, tables, desks, and other woodworking projects.

Later in life, Alex liked to tell amusing stories about his military past. He was extremely proud to have served in the military, particularly the U.S. Air Force. The last few years of his life, he would wear a U.S. Air Force ball cap everyday and liked to salute everyone he would see. He enjoyed being a family man and raising three kids along with his wife, Diana.

He is survived by his sons, Karl Delecaris of St. Louis, Frank Delecaris of Kansas City, and his daughter Maria of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Two grandchildren, Nick Delecaris of Indianapolis, IN and Diana Delecaris of St. Louis, MO. His niece Lynn Delecaris of St. Ignatius, MT, and his nephew Steven Dubanevich of Virginia Beach, VA. Two great grandchildren, Peter Delecaris and Sophia Delecaris of Indianapolis, IN.

Visitation in Kansas City will be from 2:30-4:30PM, with a Trisagion service at 2:30PM, followed by military honors on Saturday, February 5, 2022 at Park Lawn Funeral Home, 8251 Hillcrest Rd., Kansas City, Missouri.

Services in Illinois will be under the direction of Kassly Funeral Home. Visitation will be 11AM-12PM, Thursday, February 10 at Kassly Funeral Home, 9900 St. Claire Ave., Fairview Heights, Illinois, with funeral services to follow at 12:30PM, at St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 405 Huntwood Rd., Swansea, Illinois; burial in Mount Hope Cemetery, 9401 W. Main St. Belleville, Illinois.

Service Information

Visitation in Kansas City will be from 2:30-4:30PM, with a Trisagion service at 2:30PM, followed by military honors on Saturday, February 5, 2022 at Park Lawn Funeral Home, 8251 Hillcrest Rd., Kansas City, Missouri.

Services in Illinois will be under the direction of Kassly Funeral Home. Visitation will be 11AM-12PM, Thursday, February 10 at Kassly Funeral Home, 9900 St. Claire Ave., Fairview Heights, Illinois, with funeral services to follow at 12:30PM, at St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 405 Huntwood Rd., Swansea, Illinois; burial in Mount Hope Cemetery, 9401 W. Main St. Belleville, Illinois.

Delecaris, Alexander's Guestbook

I am so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. I always enjoyed seeing Alex when he came to the dental office. Very interesting man! My deepest sympathy to you all.

Glenna Reynolds

Oh uncle I sure do miss you more than you will ever know. You were the best uncle I ever had. Say hi to everyone for me. Love you. Lynn

Lynn Delecaris

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