Louis G. Stark passed away on June 15, 2017, but lives on in the hearts and lives of his family and friends. Born and raised in Syracuse, NY, he was the son of Gus and Kiratca Stark, owners of Stark's Bakery on Washington St. for 35 years. He attended Central High, Vocational High School, and graduated from Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL and then The Manlius School for a post-graduate year. He played football, basketball and baseball throughout and after Manlius he matriculated to Syracuse University on a basketball scholarship. He served in the US Army in the 1st Chemical Company for six years during the Cold War rising to the rank of Sergeant and where he was named to the All-USEUR basketball team.
His desire to coach and to teach Physical Education lead him to SU after serving in the Army where he obtained his undergraduate degree, Master's Degree and Certificate of Advance Study. He credited these accomplishments to the love and persistence of his wife, Sandy, his life-long companion. They were married for 60 years and he declared her the best thing that ever happened to him.
He deepened his roots in Syracuse where he taught Physical Education, coached and was Athletic Director with the Syracuse City School District for 32 years. He was beloved by his students, athletes and their families. He positively impacted countless lives in the community through academics and athletics over the years and he enjoyed learning about students' careers and families later on in their adult years. He derived enormous satisfaction and pleasure from working with the talented academic and athletic staff through the years and he maintained lasting friendships with many of them. He also worked for Syracuse Parks and Recreation Department in the summer months for 38 years.
His many accomplishments, endeavors and enjoyments included co-hosting the initial New York State Junior Greek Olympics in Syracuse for 10 years starting in 1977. Since then the program has grown in popularity and scope throughout the state. He was a life member of Phi Epsilon Kappa Physical Education fraternity, the SU Varsity Club, The American Legion, a SYAC member at the YMCA where he exercised and played handball with friends for years, and a communicant of St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Church where he was a member of Sons of Pericles. He was among the first to be inducted into the Syracuse Urban Sports Hall of Fame, a proud accomplishment for him. He was an avid reader of US History, particularly the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and his interests took him on two tours to Normandy where he marveled at the feats of the Greatest Generation. His hobbies included winemaking and sharing it with others, and fishing with his children and grandchildren. Although he lead by example through his strong character and work ethic, he had a special knack for storytelling and taught his children and grandchildren many lessons and positive messages about life and family through his stories. He was an avid SU and NY Yankees fan and his greatest enjoyment was watching his grandchildren's games and careers as they grew up.
He was predeceased by his sisters, Theopesty Vangellow and Athen Copanas, and is survived by his wife Sandra, brothers Mike and Pat, his children Stephanie, Dean, Lisa (Harry) Comninellis and Ann Marie (Tim) Brooks, and grandchildren Anastasia, Avery, Alexandra, Eustratios, Elias, Anastacia and great grandson Joseph ("The Great").
Relatives and friends may call Monday, June 19 at Burns Garfield Funeral Home from 1-3pm and 5-7 pm. Funeral services will be performed at St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Church, 325 Waring Rd., Tuesday at 10:30am, followed by interment at Woodlawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Louis' memory to Say Yes to Education Syracuse http://sayyessyracuse.org/ or St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Church.