Published March 1, 2019
MELROSE — Chris I. Pappas, 85, of Melrose, passed away Monday, February 18, 2019 at his home surrounded by his loving family. Chris was born on May 7, 1933 in Gary, Indiana. He was the son of the late Isadore and Katherine (Kallas) Pappas and brother of the late Asimina Tournis, whose roots stemmed from Chios, Greece. Chris is survived by his beloved wife Bess of 60 years, his daughter Catherine Christina and husband Bill, his son Lee Pappas and Lisa, many loving nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews and an abundance of friends.
Chris attended Indiana University and Valparaiso University Law School, where he played one of his favorite sports of football, and made his family proud of his educational accomplishments. In 1960, Chris began his lifetime career as a highly respected attorney who put ethics above all, later establishing his law firm of Pappas & Pappas with his daughter Catherine. Chris was a dedicated and faithful steward of The Annunciation Cathedral of New England, serving on the board for many years and various committees that benefited causes such as the historic restoration and preservation of the church. He was also the beloved coach of the Cathedral basketball team and was involved in many other youth and community activities. He deeply loved his church and Greek heritage. Chris was hard working and had a special gusto that he put into everything he did.
Charity was Chris’s life, not a pastime. His most valued rewards in life came from his charitable work and the children’s lives he touched. Chris, with his cherished wife Bess, founded The Hellenic Cardiac Fund for Children at the Boston Children’s Hospital over 40 years ago. They established this vital volunteer program to help children who suffered from severe and life threatening illnesses and it has grown and spread its reach of the gift of health and life to many corners of the world. It became Chris and Bess’s life mission that has changed over 1,400 children’s lives and will continue to save so many more because of their special seed of love that will grow forever.
When he wasn’t volunteering, he was being everything to everyone around him. Chris was truly a hero and angel on earth who had no limits to his compassion, generosity and kindness. His greatest joy was giving his love, time, his humor and his smiles, and, most of all, his heart to those around him. He kept nothing for himself, but the joy of giving. In doing so, he enriched the lives of everyone he touched… those he knew, as well as strangers that crossed his path. He was as modest as he was giving, a rare combination of virtues. He, himself, was a rare gift.
Chris’s sentimental ways, fun loving nature, vibrant story telling, sense of humor, zest to surprise and make you smile created unforgettable memories for all. Chris was young at heart, lived life to the fullest and was all about celebrating life, his family and friends. He left a permanent imprint on your heart, whether you were someone he knew for a lifetime or just met. Anyone who knew Chris knew what he would say if you asked him how he was. Right up to the end, he would say “I’m alright. The world is all wrong.” But he was certainly so much more than alright, he was truly amazing and a special blessing to all those who were fortunate enough to have him in their lives.
Visitation was held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster Street, Melrose, on Friday, February 22. Funeral service was held at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 514 Parker Street, Boston, on Saturday, February 23, followed by a burial at Wyoming Cemetery in Melrose. Relatives and friends were respectfully invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Chris’s name to The Hellenic Cardiac Fund for Children at Boston Children’s Hospital, Attn: Volunteer Department, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. To send a message of condolence please visit www.gatelyfh.com