Chris Tomaras: A Great Hellene

This morning we’ve lost a truly great Hellene. Businessman, philanthropist, and Chairman of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation Chris Tomaras has passed away.

A Great Hellene

Chris Tomaras was a successful businessman, a well-known philanthropist, and an archon of the Order of St. Andrew. He was a man who was bestowed with many honors, and achieved much. But perhaps his greatest legacy is education — through his creation of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, or the countless individuals he mentored and inspired. He touched the lives of many, and each will remember him in their own special way.

The founder of Kronos Foods and Tomaras Investments, he put his wealth and knowledge to good use. Mr. Tomaras was civic-minded, and had great hope for our youth. He had a singular vision — to impact the future of Hellenism and the world through education. His PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation gave hundreds of young people the gift of education, and opportunities they may never have had.

Born in Piraeus with roots in Messinia, Chris Tomaras was fiercely proud of being Greek, and Orthodox. He worked with many organizations, like SAE and Leadership 100, to name a few, and contributed to many important causes. He was a shining example, as a person Greek descent, and someone who would channel his successes to give back. He was one of those people that if you didn’t know well, you wish you did. He had many lessons to teach, and the ones who were able to partake of his mentorship — and us — are far richer for it. When you saw him, you knew you were in the presence of greatness, though there was nothing pretentious or fake about him. He was very personable, and accessible. He will be remembered as a successful businessman, a generous philanthropist, but most of all, a kind, giving, and selfless man who wanted to bring out the best in his community, for the greater good. He leaves an incredible legacy, and a great example for us all.

Our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. May his memory be eternal.


 

The official statement from the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation

In Honor of a True Hellene – The Passing of Chris P. Tomaras

God chooses good people to do great things. Chris P. Tomaras has left a legacy of great things. Mr. Tomaras fell asleep in the Lord on October 14, 2015 at 6:15 am.

Chris Tomaras will be remembered for his love of Hellenism, entrepreneurial ingenuity, profound faith and never-ending generosity. His determination and perseverance led to a career as a successful businessman as owner of Kronos Foods and Tomaras Investments. Devoted to his family, friends and those in need, his many acts of kindness demonstrated his spirit of philanthropy and deep love for all. He was a devoted Greek Orthodox Christian, putting his faith into practice. Mr. Tomaras was a benefactor of many churches and Greek Orthodox institutions, including the Saint Iakovos Retreat Center of the Metropolis of Chicago. He was an active member of Leadership 100 and a dedicated Archon of the Order of Saint Andrew of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

 

 

Born in Piraeus, Greece, Chris Tomaras personified Hellenism, while embracing the ideals of his adopted home of America. As Vice President of the World Council of Hellenes in the Americas (SAE), he inspired Greek Americans of all ages to be proud of their culture and heritage, creating programs for Greek youth and sponsoring special cultural events. Mr. Tomaras’ generosity spanned across the Greek Diaspora, improving the lives of many Greeks.

It was his passion for education that led him to establish the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation (PHSF). Ever mindful of the importance of a college education, he founded the PHSF so that Greek American undergraduates would have the financial resources they needed to complete their education. His vision and generosity have made sure that more than 300 deserving students have received scholarships totaling over $2 million.
Mr. Tomaras has served as leader of a number of civic, community and business organizations, including President of the PanMessenian Federation of USA and Canada. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Anatolia College and the founding member of the American Foundation of Hellenic Studies at Georgia State University. Mr. Tomaras has received countless awards such as the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology.
The passing of Chris P. Tomaras leaves a great void in our hearts and in our community, yet it motivates us to continue his good deeds. We will lead by his example, mindful of his accomplishments and the words of wisdom he has shared with us. Our Lord welcomes this good and faithful servant into His Kingdom. We pray for his immortal soul. May the memory of Chris P. Tomaras be ever eternal.
Memorial and funeral information will be provided soon.

More about Chris Tomaras

 

Maria A. Karamitsos

Maria A. Karamitsos

Founder & Editor at WindyCity Greek
For 10 years, Maria served as the Associate Editor and Senior Writer for The Greek Star newspaper. Her work has been published in GreekCircle magazine, The National Herald, GreekReporter, HarlotsSauce Radio, Women.Who.Write, and more. Maria has contributed to three books: Greektown Chicago: Its History, Its Recipes; The Chicago Area Ethnic Handbook; and the inaugural Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal.
Maria A. Karamitsos

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