AHEPA is saddened by the passing of Past Supreme President A. Steve Betzelos at age 99, just a month before his centennial birthday.
He served in the Army Air Corp during World War II, achieving the rank of Major, U.S. Air Force, and receiving several medals and awards. After his military service, he worked in the family produce business and co-founded Sunset Enterprises, which included construction, realty, and insurance businesses. Stash was deeply committed to his Hellenic heritage, actively participating in community organizations such as the Masonic Hellenic Lodge, Medinah Shriners, and American Legion, where he played a vital role in building the American Hellenic Veterans Memorial at Elmwood Cemetery. He also had a passion for aviation, holding a Private Pilots License and using his plane to travel with his wife and friends across the U.S. For his continuous life-long services, Stash was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 1996 Stash received the highest layman award of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Known as “Mr. AHEPA,” Stash joined AHEPA in 1949. He held multiple district and national positions, earning election to the office of Supreme President in 1987. During his tenure as Supreme President, he was responsible for instituting the AHEPA Bone Marrow Registry, raising $100,000 for Cooley’s Anemia by hosting a telethon with his wife, Irene, and much more. He later became Chairman of the AHEPA Board of Trustees. Brother Steve was an active, life member of Lincolnwood Chapter 396 of Chicago.
As a “Centurion”, Stash led a life filled with rich experiences and community contributions. He touched the lives of many through his generosity and passion for life. Stash will be greatly missed.