BINGHAMTON, NY – The AHEPA Leonidas Chapter 77 of Binghamton, NY suffered a great loss as past president Eustratios (Steve) Anastos passed away on October 15 surrounded by his loving family. He was 84 years old.
Born in 1938 in Dafnion, Greece, Anastos first immigrated to Ottawa, Canada, and then later moved to New York City in search of the American Dream.
In 1974, he moved to Endwell, NY, and one year later was initiated into the AHEPA brotherhood on April 20, 1975 where he was a pivotal member of the Leonidas Chapter 77. His commitment to serving his family, community, church and fellow brothers was unmatched. The entire Leonidas Chapter mourns the loss of a true leader in the Greek community. May his memory truly be eternal.
Anastos worked as a waiter and a cook before opening his music school Do Re Mi Music School in New York City. He had his own Greek Radio show on WHBI and WVOX and produced and directed the first ‘Greek Festival’, bringing dance and music talents from Greece. Among the many events and festivals he directed, the most successful was at the famous Carnegie Hall.
Anastos met the love of his life Vasiliki (Bessie) Koutsaris and married in 1967. Bessie loved and stood by Steve for their full life together of 54 years.
Anastos opened his first restaurant Three Brothers Restaurant in the Bronx in 1969 with his two brothers. He had three sons Leonidas, Yianni, and Dimitri. In 1974, he moved to Endwell, NY, and opened Spartan Deli in Endicott in 1979 with his brother George. In 1989, he started a wholesale food business, Anastos Foods.
After a few rough economic years, he lost all his businesses and properties except his home. He then rebuilt an empire beginning with real estate properties with his three sons. Zorba’s Cafe opened in 1996 and then The Broadway Diner in 1999. Anastos did it all. He was the chef, the baker, the host, and the cashier. He loved having his coffee at the end of the counter, giving customers stock tips and telling his life-time stories. You would catch him doing Sudoku while socializing with his numerous loyal customers. Anastos loved his customers, his employees and especially his longtime waitstaff. He solidified the Broadway Diner as a true staple of Endwell, NY.
Anastos’ roots ran deep within the community, both his church community as well as the Endwell community. Over the past four decades, he proudly served as Parish Council President of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, President of the local Greek School, President of AHEPA Leonidas Chapter 77, Chairman of the Sunday School, Chairman of the Greek Orthodox Youth Association, Chairman of the Greek Festival which he served as Master of Ceremonies. Anastos directed the Greek dance group which he passionately participated in. You could always find Steve entertaining the crowd by dancing, clapping, and yelling “OPA!”
In his spare time, while running his businesses he also hosted the Sunday morning weekly Greek Radio Program on WKOP, WNBF and WENE. He also DJ’d numerous special events including weddings and baptisms. He was even the preferred local travel agent for Greek Travel and Tourism.
After making numerous contributions to the local community, his proudest achievement was the construction of the King Leonidas statue, which was built and proudly stands in front of Maine Endwell High School. The King Leonidas Scholarship Fund was created to present a scholarship award annually to a male and female student who excels in leadership skills.
When Anastos first came to America he settled in Riverdale, a section of the Bronx. It was this location which inspired him to name his final business venture, The Riverdale Banquet Hall in Endwell, NY.
Anastos was predeceased by his parents Leonidas and Anastasia, and his brothers Panayiotis and George.
He is survived by his wife, Vasiliki (Bessie Koutsaris); sisters Olga (Ted) Gritziotis, Ottawa, Canada, Stavroula (John) Nakopoulos, Sparti, Greece; sister-in-laws Panayiota, Sparti, Greece; Evan, Endicott, New York; Children Leonidas (Louisa), Yianni (Eleni), Dimitri (Kristen); and grandchildren Efstratios, Vasiliki, Vasilia, Nikoleta, Nikolaos, Panayiota, Stratos, Strati, Zoi, and Stefanos. He is also survived by numerous in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews from Greece, Canada, the U.S, and Australia that he remained close with and truly loved and adored.
As noted in his obituary: “Steve was a true patriarch, a pillar of the community, a big dreamer and a true leader in every sense. He always moved forward with a happy positive attitude and never looked back. Whatever Steve did he did with love and for his family. Steve’s greatest triumph and goal was to inspire and prepare his grandchildren for their future success. He supported and loved attending all his grandchildren’s school functions and sporting events. He proudly supported the Maine Endwell Spartans. Whatever Steve did he did it passionately and with love. His faith in God was unwavering and was his driving partner in everything he did.”
Among this favorite quotes: “Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” and “Yiasas kai hara sas kai O Steve Anastos panta konta sas.”
The visitation and Trisagion service were held at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, 4121 O’Hara Drive, Vestal, NY 13850 on October 20. The funeral service was held at the church on October 21. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in memory of Steve Anastos.