Anthony Stathoplos, 88, of West Hartford CT, died in his home on December 13, 2017, surrounded by his family. Tony was born in Manchester, NH and was the son of the late Christos and Joanna (Pappadopolous) Stathoplos.
Tony graduated as salutatorian of Manchester Central High School, NH class of 1947. Tony received his Bachelor’s (1951) and Master’s degree (1952) in Chemical Engineering from MIT, then completed post-graduate work at the Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology (TN) in 1953.
He began his career at United Nuclear Corp. of America (1953 – 1966), where he designed nuclear reactors and was awarded several patents. Tony then served as Technical Director and President of Nuclear Technology Corp. (1966-1970), an engineering consulting firm in White Plains, NY. He finished his career at Combustion Engineering in Windsor Locks, CT (1970 – 1989) as Director of Nuclear Safety, Director of CE’s Kreisinger Development Lab, and Director of Research in the Fossil Power Systems Division, overseeing research on cleaner ways to burn coal.
His cultural touchstones were diverse. He loved the humor of Johnny Carson, the music of Luciano Pavarotti, Henry Mancini, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Tony and Sybil held season tickets to The Hartford Stage Company as well as the Hartford Whalers. As a youngster, he played in a Drum and Bugle Corps in Manchester, NH and competed in an elocution contest, reading “The Biff Perkins Toboggan Slide.” Later, Tony played in the Newcastle Recreation Commission Men’s Slow-Break Basketball league with the Loved Ones, winning the 1966 Championship. He never missed an opportunity to swim in the Atlantic Ocean, and in later years enjoyed defeating tennis opponents decades younger. Tony traveled widely, visiting all seven continents over the course of his lifetime.
Tony was devoted to his wife, Billie, going so far as to marry her twice (first in the Methodist Church, and again a day later in the Greek Orthodox Church). They agreed when they married that she would never have to take out the trash and he would never have to wash the dishes.
During their long successful marriage, they skied, played tennis, engaged in lively debates, played bridge, and took long walks around the West Hartford Reservoir together. For decades they hosted large extended family gatherings that often involved Retsina wine and multiple turkeys. In later years, Tony and Billie would sit on the back porch singing and blowing kisses to each other. As her health declined, he took on all of the domestic chores needed to keep her comfortable—even the dishes.
Tony passed along to his daughters his love of logic, swimming, science, and family. When his grandchildren were young, he entertained them with the “throw the invisible ball into the bag” trick, teaching them how to build card houses, and playing the part of “The Wizard.” At least one granddaughter was impressed to find his complex handwritten calculations in book margins to verify the author’s assertions – he never took anything he read at face value. By their teenage years, Tony—or “Papou” as they called him—would periodically sit his grandchildren down to discuss the stock market and particle physics. He loved spending time with his extended family in Manchester, NH and Wells, ME, where he would inject his dry humor into the cacophony. Until the very end, Tony appreciated a good cup of coffee and a fresh loaf of crusty Italian bread. We will miss him very much.
Tony is survived by his wife of sixty-one years, Sybil Ruth (Chatham) Stathoplos of West Hartford, CT and his three daughters and their husbands: Susan Stathoplos and Daniel Stoll of Newton, MA, Linda Stathoplos and John Lee Lillibridge III of Bethesda, MD and Amy Stathoplos Carow and Mark Carow of Wellfleet, MA. He is also survived by his sisters, Diana Little of Hyattsville, MD and Antigone Evangelou and her husband Jesse Evangelou of Wells, ME; sister-in-law Julie Stathoplos of Wells, ME; and his five grandchildren, Samantha Carow, Emily Carow Meade, Judy Lillibridge, John Lee Lillibridge IV, and Alex Stoll, as well as many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins. Tony was predeceased by his elder brother Aristides Stathoplos and younger sister Demetra Stathoplos.
There will be no services. In lieu of flowers, you may send a donation in his memory to Laudholm Trust, P.O. Box 1007, Wells, ME 04090 (wellsreserve.org). Professional service of comfort provided by the Paul A. Shaker Funeral Home, 764 Farmington Ave., New Britain, CT. To extend condolences to the Stathoplos family or to share a memory of Tony, please visit shakerfuneralhome.com.