Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis
BIOS: Anna

Anna's Family (Written 20 May 2006) (click to read)

Sterge Demetriades (click to read)

Sterge Demetriades Publications (click to read)


Anna's Family. (Written 20 May 2006)
Anna is a D. A. R., Daughter of the American Revolution. Anna's mother Catherine, born Moseley, also D. A. R., Daughter of the American Revolution (through Maude Alston, a descendant of Col. Philip Alston of the War of lndependence, with family traceable to the Plantagenets and the Magna Carta) was as close to U.S. aristocracy as they come. The Moseley clan also is or was an important Southern clan. To the best of my recollection there was at least one famous military man with that name, probably in the war between the N and S. The Texas Moseleys came from Virginia. I could not find a reference to them in the Britannica of '58 or '76. A Joseph Alston from S. Carolina (c. 1779-1816) is mentioned in the Britannica of 1958. There are several with the name spelled Allston. She was also D. R. T. (Texas; Alamo connection).

Conversely, there are 15 men related to Anna's father referenced in the Greek Encyclopedia "PYRSOS", 1932 Edition, belonging to the Petmeza or Petimeza clan, ancestors of Anna's father, Demetrios (Mimi-Jimmy-James) Kokkalis or Kokalis, Anna's father's Greek name. The Petmeza family of notable and even famous warlords (under Ottoman occupation) originally came from Epirus but settled in Elia (Ilia), the NW Peloponese, around Patras and East to Kalavrita. The latter town is where the Greek war of independence started; all were prominent in the Greek war of independence
and/or Greek politics and/or the effort to get rid of king Otto, imposed on the Greeks by the West, just after liberation.

Panayiotes Petmezas (sometimes confused with Anagnostes or the other way around) had a daughter Demetra who married Christos Kokalis (or Kokkalis). They had a boy, Christos Christou (of Christos) Kokalis, in modern usage. Christos Kokalis Jr., married Eleni (Helen) Lambropoulos,
daughter of Nikita Lambropoulos and Hariclea Vahas, to produce a daughter, Efterpi, then a son Demetrios (born 30 Sept. 1893), then another son Basil, then another son "William" (have not found his Greek name yet), then another son Haralambos (uncle Harry, born 28 Dec. 1896 old calendar or 11 Jan. 1897, new calendar; entered U. S. 11 Sept. 1915), and finally a daughter Anastasia. They were all baptized in a church called "Pantanassa" in Patras but it is possible that all or some were baptized at a church in Kalavrita, where Christos (Sr.) was mayor at one time. According to uncle Harry and father James, he fell off his horse en route to Patras and was found dead on the road. Christos Jr. died of a heart attack at a ripe old age after a dinner. We have a photograph of him with his wife and two sons who remained in Greece. According to uncle Harry he was the first telegraphist
(telegraph operator) in Patras. Allowing 25 years for each generation, Panayiotes must have been born ca 1800.

Father James Miller, born September 30, 1893 by the new calendar (whose name "Miller", according to what he told me, was chosen for him by the American immigration officials since "Kokalis sounded un-American", either at "the port of entry" or by the judge making him a citizen) entered the
U. S. at Ellis island on 3 Aug 1910. He died 7 Nov 1971 while our family was in Greece. Your mother Anna and father Sterge flew back to see him at the Dallas hospital where he was dying of cancer of the prostate. He died while your mother was holding his hand. When we flew back to Pasadena for a few days we had dinner at the Dr. Shrifter residence in San Marino and we saw the movie "M. A. S. H.". Then I had an ugly call from Dr. Samaras who was my AFOSR contract monitor to stop going to Greece! It turned out he wanted my contracts in Greece for himself.

According to what he told me up in our "den" over the carport at 2065 Vista around the time of the first landing on the moon, while his son Maj. Chris Miller was also visiting, Demetrios Kok(k)alis left Greece at 17 in order "not to serve under the king". Military service was mandatory in Greece at
that time. I can testify that he was a convinced democrat like many others from that part of Greece (e.g. Papandreou). Petmezas family instrumental getting rid of King Otto, imposed on Greeks by Western Powers following independence. Since the family in Greece, by no means poor or very wealthy, seemed nevertheless to possess sufficient means (a civil servant, such as a telegraphist probably was in Greece, had a job and a pension for life) I found it difficult to understand why they, the two boys, emigrated. Escaping the draft was a good enough reason. (Father Miller was an
independent thinker and certainly not a coward.) Those that remained in Greece owned coffee shops and other properties. I did not check to see if they served in the Greek Army.

Nevertheless, according to his daughter June, father Miller had flat feet and curvature of the spine. Either or both would have probably exempted him from the U. S. draft but not necessarily from the Greek draft, even if he knew about these conditions at that early age. Again according to June, he had retained the name Kokkalis through 1920 (she checked the census) and had settled in California where the Millers had friends or relatives (cousins) by the name of Cooyas. (Youngest daughter alive; Rena Elliott, Westchester, 310-641-4917). This family came to my wedding with Anna. Father Miller married Catherine Moseley (when she was 17 years old) on 2 Sept 1924 and had the name James Miller at that time. (Geraldine@626-799-5879; husband Kelly Stumpus@441-3944; son John.) The story goes that he had become a Brinks guard on the Western trains and then met and married a mature lady by the name of Laura who persuaded him to help her find a lost (Spanish?) treasure in the high country of Texas. According to uncle Harry's daughter Geraldine (2006) the location was found but the treasure was gone. They divorced soon after. Also according to Gerry, it was through this connection that uncle Harry met his wife Dora, of German Texas high country (Clyde) stock.

Haralambos settled in Aransas Pass where he became mayor, owned a restaurant and real estate and made enough money in the oil business to retire before or shortly after WWII. He told me he got tips on buying oil leases and/or land from the oil crews eating at his restaurant. He wound up in Altadena and eventually Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena where he had a mansion next to the exclusive Valley Hunt Club before buying the apartment house farther south on the same street (@ 1155) where he settled in the penthouse in his early seventies till his death at 98 and one half (5 July 1995)! I went to his funeral. Mother was on a cruise. He had two daughters, Helen (first husb. AirCorps or USAF navigator lost in Korea, second divorced her - Nick Makoulis, Greek from my parents town in Bulgaria) and Geraldine Stumpus. From first husband Helen had a daughter, Cheryl Lee, born Skinner; and a son named Preston David Skinner.

Demetrios spent most of his life in Dallas, Texas, as a builder, restaurant owner and real estate developer. He built the Greek church where his funeral was held. Catherine and he produced Judy (Hopkins, three boys), June (Bristol originally, two boys and a girl), Chris (Miller, a boy and a girl)
and Anna (Demetriades, two boys and a girl). He built many residential homes and apartment buildings which he owned and rented. He was a Mason. He was very successful by my standards. His wife Catherine was a DAR, DRT (Texas ancestor died at Alamo? What do initials stand for?), Magna
Carta Dames, Eastern Star, Daughters of Penelope and very active in her church of 58 years - Northway Christian Church of Dallas. She died Dec 1998. How I met Anna is another story.

I found the baptismal records of Harry (Haralambos) and James (Demetrios) at the church of Pantanassa in Patras (in 1971?) but have since misplaced or lost them. Pantanassa is the seat and name of one of the nine, if I remember correctly, parishes into which the port city of Patras (NW Peloponese) is divided. The name Pantanassa is one of the hundreds of different names given to churches dedicated to the holy Mary, mother of Jesus, in Orthodox Christendom. Panayia is more common. You really cannot improve on your mother's noble ancestry-descent. (21 May 2006)
Copyright © 2006 S. T. Demetriades

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