A Quintessential Greek American Couple Succumb to COVID-19

by on 1 May 2020

They met the summer of 1976 as camp counselors at a Greek American camp for at-risk children in New York City and would spend the rest of their lives together.

Now, George and Kaliope will be together for all eternity as the couple died four days apart in a New York hospital from COVID-19.

George Papazicos and Kaliope Kentrotas were the quintessential Greek American couple in New York City— both born to Greek immigrant parents and raised in the close-knit Greek Orthodox community.

George and Kaliope Papazicos died four days apart on April 4 and April 8, respectively. They are among the hundreds of Greek Americans who have succumbed to the coronavirus from coast to coast. He was 64. She was 62.

According to an obituary in Newsday, the couple were devoted to their church, Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul, in Long Island. Both held leadership roles in parish councils and the various auxiliary groups. George had served as a former parish council president and Callie had served as president of the parish Philoptochos chapter, a national women’s philanthropic society of the church.

In a beautiful tribute on Facebook, Christine Papazicos Sabato shared her thoughts about her parents.

The COVID-19 virus has consumed our lives, and, as many of you are aware, unfortunately the news that you see every day has become reality for me and my family – one we never could have imagined. Last Saturday we sadly lost my father due to complications of the COVID-19 virus, and 4 days later on Wednesday, my mom also lost her battle with the virus. It had been 2 weeks of uncertainty for my family, and even now, we are still processing this new reality. It has been difficult to remain isolated, not having been able to visit my parents in the hospital, and now not even being able to see or hug my loved ones during the most difficult time of my life.

My family and I cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of support that you have showed us during this very unbelievable time. It has made these last few days a bit more bearable.

To those asking, due to the existing social distancing restrictions, only a private graveside service will take place. We plan to have a memorial once we can all gather as a group.

All I can say is what our family is going through, we wouldn’t want anyone else to experience, and the only way to do that is to listen to the warnings, stay at home, and be sensible. Above all else, please continue to keep your loved ones close and never miss the chance to tell them you love them. Live each day with kindness and passion, as my parents did.