Obituary for Jon George Asselanis
January 5, 1959 – April 29, 2021
Resident of Alameda, California
Jon was not only a good man, he was a person we should all strive to be like. Fervently dedicated to his family and friends, he was easy to rely on and happy to help. He had a big heart and many friends. Jon was incredibly humble; he was never one to brag, nor blame any of his misfortune on others. He was one of a few experts in his field, but he did not carry himself with so much pride. His work ethic was astonishing. Jon was still working hard, up until he could no longer manage. A devout Greek Orthodox, he was a regular at church and gave much of his time to help that community. He Loved God and was always kind to all of God’s children. He was thrifty, yet never cheap when it came to others. He was a student of both history and philosophy, which greatly inspired his son. He was loving, especially of his wife, Tula, whom he was married to for almost 34, incredibly happy years. So much so that even though he loved fishing and eating his catches, he would not bring his hobby into the house, so as to not upset his wife. Jon also loved his country but was not afraid to criticize it. He also has his rough edges, but he was human after all.
Jon was born in West Palm Beach, Florida to George and Peggy Asselanis. He was the youngest of three; the baby brother to Kosta and Kara. Since George was in the newly established Air force, the family moved a lot. They lived in Georgia, Arizona, Missouri, Utah, and then California making friends wherever he went. He went to both Torrance high school and Nevada Union, playing football and running track.
Jon was both a Lumberjack and a Bear, attending Humboldt State and Cal Berkeley. He studied Geology and then Engineering, and made lifelong friends like Mark Klaver and Jeff and Bannon Fielder. Jon also played ultimate frisbee and lived in a party house: the infamous Pink House. All the same, he was a smart man but not a great student. He could go on for hours about rocks, geology, concrete, and most things engineering related. This was at the time that plate tectonics was a new scientific theory, and Jon made sure to educate his father, a fellow geology major, on this new theory. He would even make sure to constantly educate his son on these topics. An endeavor that they both enjoyed, despite what the other would tell you.
It was at his cousin’s wedding in Memphis, Tennessee that he would meet the love of his life, Tula Athena Chagaris, with whom he would spend the rest of his life. They had their first kiss in front of Graceland. When he asked her father, Peter, if he could marry his daughter, all Peter could say was; “My daughter?!” clearly he thought the world of Jon. He was going to propose at Stratford-upon-Avon in England but had to make do with Brighton beach thanks to a particularly intrusive storm. His nephews, Jason and George Asselanis, were ringbearers at their wedding on July 25, 1987. For a modest man, he married a complicated woman (her words, not mine) and supported every one of her wild concepts and ideas. Whether it was dressing up as an island witch doctor for the Alameda hospital ad, or staying up every other night helping Tula edit her movie. Jon was willing to go the distance for the woman he loved.
March of 1997 must have been a strange year for Jon. On the ides of March his son, Peter Jon George Patrick Asselanis was born, then he lost his brother, Kosta Asselanis in an unfortunate plane accident. He tried his best to be there for his brother’s children. He was a fantastic father who always loved his son and taught him how to be a proper man. No one who knows his son ever claims that he was not raised right. Jon would spend countless hours in deep conversation with his son. In that time they would discuss things like Stoic Philosophy, Theology, history ancient, medieval, and modern, and most annoying to his wife, Politics.
He moved to Alameda where he met fantastic neighbors and lived in a place where people took care of each other. He made an effort to befriend all his neighbors, even if he had a hard time communicating with them. He was also a popular guy at his church, the Ascension Cathedral in Oakland. There he made many more friends like Dean and Dena Valavantis. He adopted a Great Dane and joined yet another group of lifelong friends and drinking buddies. With all this, Jon was happy and content. When he got sick they all did their part in caring for him, because he would do the same. He is survived by his wife Tula, son Peter, sister Kara, nephews, extended family, neighbors, and friends. He was loved, and he will be missed dearly. May his memory be eternal.
Trisagion Service, Thursday May 6, 2021, 6pm and Funeral Service Friday May 7, 11am at the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 4700 Lincoln Ave., Oakland, CA, Interment Lone Tree Cemetery, Hayward, CA. For further information please call, Harry W. Greer, Funeral Director (FDR-745). Alameda Funeral and Cremation Services, Alameda, 510-522-6020
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