Feedback   |   Contact Us

A Farewell Celebration for Gus Pantazi …

A Farewell Celebration for Gus Pantazi …

This year, as it's been for many years, the traditional Gus Pantazi birthday celebration included Greek food, wine, and good company.

Beginning in January, through all of February, and then extending into March, CPO (Chief Party Organizer) Daria Wightman and Gus worked together at selecting the appropriate date. As usual, it wasn't important that the celebration occur on Gus's actual birth date, as he always felt that one could celebrate a birthday anytime within a few months of the actual date and still have it count.

In keeping with tradition, Gus insisted on having his party at Alexis, a well known Portland Greek restaurant owned and operated by Gus's good friend Jerry. Although Gus could not get around as well as last year, he wanted to keep with the tradition of celebrating with Greek food and was willing to endure the climb up the long stairs to the party room. Gus turned 89 on February 16th.

The party was set for Friday, April 23rd, and word spread. Sadly, Gus passed away from pneumonia on Sunday, April 4th. He was talking about his upcoming birthday party and was looking forward to it with his usual exuberance. In keeping with that spirit, Daria decided that the party should go on…no sense in disappointing Gus. A number of former coworkers came to celebrate, in addition to Gus's daughter-in-law and two of his good neighbors.

Celebrating Gus's life, front & center: Gus Pantazi, still holding a dollar for the dancer. Front row L to R: Carmen Kasrawi, Susanna Pai, Daria Wightman, Sue Townsen, Alexis owner Jerry, & Gus's neighbor Elena Peterson. Second row: Nofal Kasrawi, Mike Wert, Diane Pantazi, Donna Merseth, Gordon Merseth, & Gus's neighbor Mark Peterson. Back row: Bob Fuller, Daria's husband Paul Krahn, Brad Phelps, Luc Normandin, & Paula Ryan

Celebrating Gus's life, front & center: Gus Pantazi, still holding a dollar for the dancer. Front row L to R: Carmen Kasrawi, Susanna Pai, Daria Wightman, Sue Townsen, Alexis owner Jerry, & Gus's neighbor Elena Peterson. Second row: Nofal Kasrawi, Mike Wert, Diane Pantazi, Donna Merseth, Gordon Merseth, & Gus's neighbor Mark Peterson. Back row: Bob Fuller, Daria's husband Paul Krahn, Brad Phelps, Luc Normandin, & Paula Ryan.

Sadly, Gus passed away from pneumonia on Sunday, April 4th. He was talking about his upcoming birthday party and was looking forward to it with his usual exuberance. In keeping with that spirit, Daria decided that the party should go on…no sense in disappointing Gus. A number of former coworkers came to celebrate, in addition to Gus's daughter-in-law and two of his good neighbors.

Celebrating Gus's life, front & center: Gus Pantazi, still holding a dollar for the dancer. Front row L to R: Carmen Kasrawi, Susanna Pai, Daria Wightman, Sue Townsen, Alexis owner Jerry, & Gus's neighbor Elena Peterson. Second row: Nofal Kasrawi, Mike Wert, Diane Pantazi, Donna Merseth, Gordon Merseth, & Gus's neighbor Mark Peterson. Back row: Bob Fuller, Daria's husband Paul Krahn, Brad Phelps, Luc Normandin, & Paula Ryan.

Jerry served an excellent meal topped off with complementary ouzo, toasts to Gus, and good stories. In addition to attending in spirit, Gus was present in the form of a life-sized photo, complete with a dollar pinned to his hand - waiting for the belly dancer to appear. The Greek dancer got a few dollars in Gus's memory.

Gus Pantazi joined CH2M HILL in 1972 as PDX RAM, and then served as CH2M HILL International's first District Administrative Manager. Gus will be missed but his influence won't be far away. There is talk of continuing the party next year as a testimonial to the many good relationships formed at CH2M HILL.

Contributed by Gordon Merseth and Daria Wightman, July, 2010




<< Back