On September 25, 2014, Theodore G. Spyropoulos passed away in his home in Chicago. Theodore, known to his friends and thousands of people as Ted, was a force of nature. Everyone who met him felt they had the privilege to come across one of those rare human beings who made a difference. Ted was a successful businessman, but more importantly he was a philanthropist who supported the Greek community in Chicago, the Greek Community in the United States and Hellenic causes around the world.
Ted was born in Kalavryta, Greece and went to Sweden where he studied Political Science in Stockholm, and where he met the love of his life, Erika Knickman, who became his spouse, partner and friend. Erica and Ted became proud parents when their daughter, Mariyana, was born in 1962. After serving in the Hellenic Navy Ted immigrated to Chicago in 1964.
In America, Ted found success and established T.G.S. National Wholesalers, an automotive wholesaler that operates in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, A & T Oil Company, T.G.S. Petroleum Co., Inc., and Can2 International Manufacturing and Marketing.
Ted loved his country of origin and loved the ideals of Hellenism. Toward these ends he gave of himself and his wealth to his community and to Hellenic causes and institutions. He held several volunteer posts and was a leader in the Greek-American community and the world. He served as the U.S. Regional Coordinator of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (S.A.E.). He was the President of “Plant Your Roots in Greece, Inc.,” an organization devoted to raising awareness of the environment and the reforestation of Greece. Ted was the first elected president of the “Hellenic American National Council USA” (HANC), and used this position to advocate Hellenic issues in Washington and prioritized Hellenic “Paideia.” As an enthusiast of Hellenic “Paideia,” he supported numerous university programs, parochial and charter schools, scholarships for exchange programs, as well as the Greek-American Teacher’s Association. To these ends he organized conventions in promoting Hellenic ideals and education regionally, nationally, and internationally.
He financially promoted Greek-American, as well as Phil-Hellenic politicians, community organizations, and media. Ted’s goal was to create a Hellenic collective community fund and motivate the Greek-American youth to participate in Hellenic issues. His contribution and generosity to the Hellenic American society has been remarkable and his spirit of volunteerism mirrored his intense dedication to Hellenism.
Ted accomplished a great deal in his life, more than most people, but his greatest contribution was his humanity, his love of life and an innate ability to always embrace optimism. Ted is a Greek giant who leaves an indelible mark on the world.