ELLSWORTH - Charles George Katsiaficas died Jan. 20, 2009, cared for by the family that he loved. He was born Jan. 30, 1926, in Lowell, Mass., the son of George A. and Athanasia (Psirras) Katsiaficas. He attended schools in New York City and graduated from high school in Nashua, N.H. He was a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and earned his master's degree from Springfield College. While in college, he was an outstanding athlete and especially loved and excelled in basketball. He also served in the Army Air Corps and was a Merchant Marine. It was his love of basketball that led him to Ellsworth, because of the new gymnasium, which at that time was the largest high school gym in Maine. He accepted a position as physical education teacher and varsity basketball coach at Ellsworth High School. During his tenure as coach, the Ellsworth Eagles had an unprecedented win/loss record; winning two state titles and going undefeated for two years until they reached the New Englands played at Boston Garden. More than 50 years later, his "boys" had kept in touch with him and honored him three years ago with a banquet and reunion. After leaving teaching and coaching, he stayed involved in basketball as a much sought after official, for many years. He began a successful career as district manager with Equitable Insurance Co. He founded The Katsiaficas Insurance Agency in 1963 and soon after added Katsiaficas Real Estate and Travel Agency. He had many additional business ventures during the years including a motel in Florida, development of commercial as well as residential real estate, Ellsworth Self Storage and The Eagles Lodge Motel. He was an active member of many community organizations, with a strong belief in positive local involvement. One favorite saying which he had printed and mounted on his many office walls throughout the years was, "If you keep taking the good out of a community without giving anything back, there will soon be nothing left to take." He lived that belief throughout his life. He was a member of Ellsworth Jaycees, Ellsworth Lions Club, the executive committee of Maine Basketball Association, Masonic Lodge No. 40 AF & AM, Anah Shrine, The Governor's Education Committee, past member of Maine Coast Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, Abanaki Yacht Club, Maine Basketball Officials, The New England/National Insurance Association, Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce and Hancock/Washington County Board of Realtors. He founded a youth summer camp at Toddy Pond, naming it Camp Sparta in honor of his Greek heritage. In December 2006, Charlie was proud to have the Ellsworth High School gymnasium named in his honor. In June 2008, he was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. He was proud of his Greek heritage and spent his life feeling fortunate that he lived in America. He spent his life instilling this pride in his children. One of the last "projects" he completed was having the American flag mounted in granite on the shores of Leonard Lake, which he admired daily. He is survived by his wife of nearly 55 years, Lily Sargent Katsiaficas; his five children and their families: daughter, Athanasia Katsiaficas Joy, her husband, Steven and granddaughter, Rebecca; daughter, Vasilike "Kiki" Katsiaficas, her fiance, Richard Zerrien and grandchildren, Nicholas, Anna and Thomas Sawyer; son, Raymond C. Katsiaficas, his wife, Jyl and grandchildren, Courtney and Demetrios; son, Charles C. Katsiaficas, his wife, Jennifer and grandchildren, Charles and Lily; and daughter, Mary Katsiaficas Libby, her husband, Christopher and grandchildren, Maria and Charles. He also is survived by many nieces and nephews; and his sister-in-law, Mary Katsiaficas. He was predeceased by his parents; sisters, Rena Zahos and Vasilike "Bessie" Theros; and brothers, Nicholas G. Katsiaficas and Anthony G. Katsiaficas. Charlie spent his final years battling Alzheimer's disease, but as with all challenges he had throughout his life, he faced it with dignity, continuing to live life to the fullest, enjoying each day and always finding something positive to focus on. Charlie and his family are grateful to the staff and friends at Robert and Mary's Place. Visiting hours will be 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, at Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth. A funeral service will be held 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26, at First Congregational Church, Ellsworth, with the Rev. Emily Taylor and Father Adam Metropolis of St. George Greek Orthodox, participating. In lieu of flowers, if people would like to make a contribution in his memory, please donate to Robert and Mary's Place, care of Building Fund, P.O. Box 5288, Ellsworth, ME 04605 or Charles G. Katsiaficas Memorial Basketball Scholarship Fund, care of Steven Joy, 125 Main St., Ellsworth, ME 04605. Condolences may be expressed online at www.jordanfernald.com.
Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home
113 Franklin Street
Ellsworth, ME 04605
Published in BDN Maine from Jan. 21 to Jan. 22, 2009