Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis
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Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis


Family History

Anna, born 1936 in Dallas, TX, to James Miller (born 1891 Dimitrios Kokkalis in Patras, Greece, naturalized James Miller, died 1971) of the Kokkalis-Petimeza families noted for their leadership in the Greek War of independence from the Ottoman Turks and their efforts to get rid of "royals" imposed on Greeks by foreign powers, and Catherine Moseley, DAR and DRT, (born 1907 died 1998) of the earliest settlers in Virginia and North Calorolina tracking their ancestry to the Magna Carta and the Plantagenets. Anna is an experienced business manager, has degrees in Education and is a certified schoolteacher.  
Sterge, born 1928 in Athens, Greece, to Theodore Demetriades (born 1893, died 1973) and Vassiliki Tsafka, (born 1903, died 1999) refugees from Stenimahos (now Asenovgrad), Phillipoupolis (now Plovdiv) in Bulgaria and Constantinople. Families in native towns prominent in water mills, groceries, wine-making and silk cocoon breeding, Both grandparents victims of ethnic cleansing. Maternal grandfather Theodore (Tsafkas in Bulgaria, Apostolidis in Constantinople) murdered on 24 January 1927 (when he went back to native Stenimahos to sell his businesses after settling the women in Athens; his brother was beaten to death in 1922 in the vicinity of Adana). Sterge, a scholarship student at Bowdoin, M.I.T. and Caltech, abandoned his efforts to obtain Doctorate at Caltech after unprovoked attack by Turkish student while eating breakfast at Caltech cafeteria (The Greasy) in the fall of 1955. Bystanders, including Prof. Jack Kerrebrock, jumped to restrain the Turk. Sterge resisted recommendation by Officer Newton to report incident to police but made efforts to ascertain reason for unprovoked attack by Turkish student through Caltech Student Relations/Public Relations (Prof. Donald S. Clark) so that Sterge would avoid any further attacks and not have to worry working alone late in his lab. Unfortunately, he failed to obtain any feedback from Prof. Clark who, in May of 1956, threatened him with expulsion if he persisted in his quest. Sterge chose to keep the matter confidential because he had his clearance to worry about and because he found it difficult to publicize that he, a Greek, was intimidated by a Turk. Sterge's letters to DuBridge and subsequent presidents seeking an answer were finally answered by Dr. Baltimore on 19 Nov. 1998 through a letter by Christopher E. Brennen, Vice President for Student Affairs.

Anna and Sterge (paternal grandfather's name 'Sterios from Asterios) went on to produce three children, James Theodore, Aliki Catherine and Alexander Anthony Sterge with at least ten grandchildren and made a living by founding three successful small corporations that specialized in energy conversion research, software, national R&D planning and city planning. Sterge was elected Fellow of the AIAA in 1985 abd received the AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers award in 2010.


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Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis