The Life of James J. Vartelas
James John Vartelas, 97, of Ansonia, died on May 17, 2014, in Kinnellon, New Jersey. He is predeceased by his wife Jeanne Barbour Vartelas. Jim was a kind, caring, compassionate man, and considerate of all, in fact, a gentleman, by its best definition. He offered an understanding but welcome contrast to the balance of his large and oversized extended family. But his impact within his family was profound and significant. He was beloved for his willing smile and easy manner, but most for his profound interest in the doings of his family and many life long friends. His late parents, John and Pareskeve (Vonetes) Vartelas were Greek immigrants who settled in Ansonia early in the twentieth century and raised a large, active family. Jim was born on October 26, 1916, in the family homestead on Maple Street, the site where the family business The Family Food Grocery Store stood for over fifty years until it was taken by the Great Flood of 1955. That site is now Vartelas Park, commemorating the resiliency of the Valley residents in recovering from that devastating tragedy. Jim cherished his service to his country as a paratrooper in the Air Force 13th Airborne Division in World War II, one of the four Vartelas brothers to serve their country. He worked at Anaconda American Brass in Ansonia until his retirement. A graduate of the Ansonia High School, member of the Norwood A.C. and was Checker champion with the late Dr. Fred Haddad in West Haven. He was extremely proud of his Greek heritage and was a lifelong member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Ansonia, for which his father, John Vartelas, laid the cornerstone in 1919. Jim was predeceased by his wife, Jeanne (Barbour) Vartelas and son, John. He is survived by his daughter Judith Vartelas Hricko, and her husband, Karl and their children, Alyssa and Spencer, and his son, James and his children, James and Matthew, and was so supportive of all their accomplishments and goals, be it academics, on the sports fields, or in their civic pursuits. Also, he is survived by brother Theodore Vartelas, brother-in-law Peter Stamos, sisters-in-law, Tekla and Helen Vartelas, and many cousins in Greece. Jim adored his nieces and nephews, who equally adored him; Ioanna Madigosky, John Vartelas, Alan Vartelas, Larissa Cristiano, Paul Vartelas, Chris Vartelas, Greg Stamos, Paul Stamos, Lisa Stamos Heerdt, Paris Heath, Pam Alessio, Robin Reilly, and Jonathan Vartelas, as well as, numerous great nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, his spouse, and son, he was predeceased by brothers, Constantine, George, Paul and Jeremiah Vartelas; sisters, Eleni Vartelas, Alfreda Asproulis and Mary Stamos; uncles Polychronis and his favorite, Elias (“Uncle Louie”) Vonetes and his special friend Shirley Doyle. Calling hours will be held on Wednesday from 4-7pm in The Bennett Funeral Home, 91 N. Cliff St., Ansonia, CT. Funeral service will be held on Thursday, May 22, 2014, at 10:30 am at Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 480 Racebrook Road, Orange, CT. Burial with full military honors will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Ansonia, CT. In lieu of flowers, Jim’s family kindly requests that any donations be made to “Agape” Fund at the Valley Community Foundation, 253 A Elizabeth St., Derby, CT 06418.