A beloved Husband, Father, Pappou, Brother and Uncle, Nick Spiros Kotsovos, passed away on the afternoon of July 6, 2020 in the presence of his family. He was 89 years old.
Born in Kapsia, Greece on May 14, 1931 to Spiros and Athena Kotsovos, he was the oldest son of 4 children and is survived by his brother George and sisters Dimitra and Vasiliki "Bessie." His generation lived through many of history’s most challenging times. As a young child he lived through World War II, the German occupation of Greece, and the Greek Civil war. This part of his life greatly impacted his view of the world, like it did for all young men and women of his generation. He was a stoic man, as he had bore witness to much tragedy as a young boy. Nick attended Junior High School in Tripoli, where he was an exceptional student and recognized early on as having a brilliant mind for math and science. Like most students at the time, he rented a room and had to cook and manage on his own at a very young age.
As the oldest surviving son and an academic, Nick had the opportunity to immigrate to the United States where he would join his Uncle John Kotsovos in Utah. In May of 1951 he left Greece to start a new life. Alone, penniless, and without a grasp of the English language, the journey from Kapsia to Salt Lake City was a struggle every step of the way. As he did throughout his life, Nick made friends along the way who helped him arrive safely to his destination. Nick worked very hard once he arrived in Utah. He immediately enrolled in classes to learn English and complete his high school degree. Shortly thereafter he proudly served in the United States Army where he was stationed in Germany from 1953 to 1955. Upon completion of his service, Nick attended the University of Utah where he earned his degree in Mathematics. Nick moved to California in the 60s where he started his career as an engineer working for Lockheed Martin. His time in Utah and California had a great impact on his life and he fondly told stories of wild parties, fast cars and old friends until the day he died.
In 1971 Nick visited his family in Greece. During that trip he met Georgia Markopoulos and it was love at first sight... for Nick. It did not take long for him to sweep her off her feet and they were married just weeks later. Earlier that year, based on his military experience and academic excellence, Nick was offered a job at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana. A new chapter in his life had begun.
Nick and Georgia started their lives together in Carmel, Indiana where he built the home his family would live in for the next 40 years. They had two children together, Athena and Spiros, who quickly became the pride and joy of his life. Education was always a priority for Nick; he knew it was a key to a better life, which he stressed to his kids every day. He successfully put both Athena and Spiros through college at Indiana University, in Bloomington. Nick, Georgia, and the kids made countless friends who became family in the Indianapolis Greek Community through Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. The life he built for his family was second to none. He loved taking road trips throughout the United States and Canada. He also loved taking his children to Greece, where they could spend time with their extended family, and experience the rich history and culture of his homeland. He passed his love for adventure on to his children who both moved to California upon graduating from Indiana.
Between his military service and his career at Fort Harrison, Nick served the country he loved for 30 years. In 2008, he decided that he was ready for another adventure. Nick and Georgia moved out west to Phoenix, AZ to be closer to their children with the hope that grandchildren would be coming soon. Spiros and his wife Krista lived close by in Scottsdale, AZ. Athena and her husband Ted lived a short road trip away in Los Angeles, CA where he would travel often. Over the years, they would welcome six gorgeous grandchildren into the world. Ever the charmer, Nick again made fast friends within the Phoenix Greek community in Arizona and even re-acquainted with old friends from his childhood in Kapsia, Greece. Nick adored attending Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Scottsdale and playing marathon poker games with his friends every Tuesday.
Nick was young at heart, stubborn, smart, & fiercely independent until the very end. He was steadfast in his love for his family. He had a flirtatious personality and loved to tell stories and keep company with people of all ages. Nick's entire family would call him for advice on school, work, and life. He was an excellent mentor and always provided the best counsel. He loved watching basketball and cheering for his Utah Utes. At home you would often find him playing on his computer, tracking the stock market or watching old westerns. He loved debating any topic you would bring up and made friends everywhere he went.
Nick had a lot of stories to tell and his mind was sharp as a tack until the end, which is exactly how he will be remembered. Nick is now in the company of his grandson and namesake, Nicolas Spiros Kotsovos. Nick is survived by his wife, Georgia, daughter Athena Fleming, son Spiros Kotsovos, son-in-law, Ted Fleming; daughter-in-law, Krista Kotsovos, grandchildren Larkin, Sophia & Olivia Fleming, John and Zoe Kotsovos and many nieces, nephews and friends that he adored.
Nick would want to be remembered as someone with tenacity and vigor for life’s every challenge and joy. He would tell you to never give up and always try your best. “Never complain, because no-one will listen. Love your family, as they are the most important treasures in the world.” Nick will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on through his family and all those that knew and love him. May his memory be eternal!
Due to COVID-19 protocols, a private funeral will be held on Friday morning. The Funeral will be Live Streamed on the Facebook Page for Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, AZ on July 10th at 10am PST.
Flowers can be arranged through tatumflowers.com. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to his beloved church’s building fund at assumptionaz.org
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nick Spiros Kotsovos, please visit our floral store.