Leonidas "Leon" P.'s Story

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Leonidas “Leon” P. Chetsas, 88, of Newburyport, passed away Saturday, April 15, 2017. He was born in Newburyport and was the son of the late Peter and Evdokea (Elboras) Chetsas.
Leon graduated from Newburyport High School, Class of 1946. He was awarded the Class of 1898 Honor Medal, was the starting center on the NHS Football Team, and excelled in track. He was also a graduate of McIntosh College.
After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1950 to 1952, the U.S. Reserves from 1953 to 1957, and attained the rank of Personnel Sergeant-Major of the 393rd Ordinance Battalion, 6th Army. In August of 1951, he was one of the first troops involved in an atomic bomb test at Camp Desert Rock, Nevada.
Leon’s father, Peter, started a variety store in 1918. Later, Leon and his brother, Dom, opened Chetsas & Sons TV and Appliance Company, which they operated for many years.
Leon served on the Newburyport Housing Authority board for 18 years and three terms as chairman, was president and treasurer of the Griffin Home, an incorporator of the Five Cents Savings Bank, served as Sealer of Weights and Measures for the city of Newburyport, member and past president of the Newburyport Rotary Club, lifelong member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Newburyport, and served as president of the church council for five terms.
He and former Mayor Byron Matthews co-chaired the restoration of the historic 1800 Lord Timothy Dexter bell, which was reinstalled in the church steeple in 2006.
Leon had an avid love and interest in early Newburyport memorabilia, political campaign items, antiques and other historical items.
He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was thankful for the tremendous joy his wonderful family brought him.
His family would like to thank the staff at Country Center for their amazing care and love they showed to Leon and his entire family.
Leon was predeceased by his siblings, Deomides Chetsas, Leona Geanakos, Madeline Christopher and Bessie Christopher.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Anna (Garand) Chetsas; his children, Peter Chetsas and his wife, Susan of Newburyport, Diana Uttley and her husband, Will of Newburyport, Christopher Chetsas of Kensington, N.H., and his companion, Jeannie Asoian of Andover, Leon Chetsas of Colorado, Stephen Chetsas and his wife, Tonya of North Carolina and Reverend Alexander Chetsas and his wife, Brandy of Millis. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Christen Cotter, William and Michael Uttley, Alexandra Byron, Nicole Chetsas, Phoebe, Abraham and Roman Chetsas; great-grandchildren, Max, Cade, Anais, Aubrey; and many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at Twomey, LeBlanc & Conte Funeral Home, 193 High St., Newburyport. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Harris Street, Newburyport. The family request that those attending the church service on Thursday to please meet at the church. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery, Newburyport. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church or St. Jude Children’s Hospital www.stjude.org.
Published on  April 17, 2017
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