Constantine “Dean” G. Christelis of Cranston, RI, aged 90, died on November 10, 2020 in Wayland, Massachusetts of natural causes. He passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his three children.
The son of George and Helen Christelis who emigrated to Rhode Island from Imbros, Greece, he was born in Providence, RI, June 17, 1930, and is predeceased by his two sisters, Mary (Christelis) Oskoian of Warwick, RI and Evelyn (Christelis) Rae of Warwick, RI. From a very young age, he maintained a strong commitment to church and charity as an altar boy, an active member of the Greek Orthodox Youth of America organization, and a Boy Scout, eventually becoming an Eagle Scout as well as the first Greek Orthodox boy to be awarded the Boy Scout’s God and Country award.
Following graduation from Hope High School in Providence, RI, he enlisted in the US Navy where he served for four years at sea during the Korean War. Returning to RI, he graduated from Bryant College and then married Effie Tavlas of Worcester, MA. He founded Boulevard Insurance Agency and went on to acquire Kagan & Shawcross and several other insurance agencies over his career, ultimately forming IMSCO, one of the largest groups of independent insurance agencies in Rhode Island. After selling his business, he served as a consultant to AIM/Affiliated Insurance Managersand volunteered his time as a business mentor with the RI SCORE organization.
In addition to his many business accomplishments, he was involved withmany professional insurance and fraternal associations, but was most devoted to the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Cranston, RI. He was instrumental in its move from Providence to Cranston, served as parish council president, chaired many committees and events over the years, and together with his wife, Effie, received the church’s Laity Award in 2012. They also established an endowment fund at their church in memory of their parents to award annual college scholarships to Greek Orthodox youth.
His greatest joys in life were traveling, boating, reading on the beach, and spending time with his family. An avid boater throughout his life, he was very active with the Edgewood Yacht Club, the Rhode Island Yacht Club, and the East Greenwich Yacht Club, cruising around New England waters with his family on their boat “Calypso”. Dean’s warm smile, generous heart, boundless energy, and positive attitude inspired all he met.
He is predeceased by his loving wife, Effie Christelis. He is survived by his daughter Elaine (Christelis) Sardella and her husband Dr. Peter Sardella, of Cranston, RI, his son Gary Christelis and his wife Doris (Constantinides) Christelis of Sudbury, MA, his daughter Deena (Christelis) Ethridge of Dover, MA, and eight loving grandchildren. In addition, he leaves grieving nieces, nephews, and other relatives in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Washington, DC., Greece, and South Africa, all of whom he loved.
Due to Covid restrictions, the church ceremony and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Dean’s memory to The Church of the Annunciation, with a note in the memo line, “CHRISTELIS GOYA FUND”, and sent to the church at 175 Oaklawn Ave, Cranston, RI 02920.
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Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation
175 Oaklawn Avenue, Cranston RI 02920