Spiro John Beletsis

Celebrate the extraordinary life of Spiro John Beletsis, 1924-2013.

After more than 30 years of valiant effort, Spiro finally succumbed to cancer on April 13 at his home.

Visiting hours will be held at Horton-Mathie Funeral Home, 735 First St., Greenport, NY, Tuesday, April 16, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral will take place Wednesday, April 17, at 11 a.m. at Sts. Anargyroi, Taxiarchis & Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Church, 762 Main St., Greenport.

Spiro was defined by his humility, optimism, humor, wisdom and the love of his cherished family, friends and neighbors. He made his peace with God and led a rich, spiritual life, helping others along the way. Spiro’s most extraordinary achievement was just how ordinary a life he led. His only regret was leaving behind his beloved wife of 62 years, Joan.

After retiring to East Marion, Spiro reinvented himself; he became a master gardener and immersed himself in his community. Spiro was active in Alcoholics Anonymous, the Greenport Greek church, the Masons and an exclusive club, CRS. With his indomitable spirit and sense of humor, Spiro faced his adversities head-on, even embracing them. When Spiro became vision-impaired he sought out the Guide Dog Foundation of Smithtown, where he worked with and bonded with his loving guide dog Joe, his faithful companion and helper.

Even while struggling with his blindness, Spiro could not be deterred. Throughout the rigorous training at the Guide Dog Foundation, Spiro rallied his classmates, transforming a tense and strenuous course into one filled with laughter and friendship. In appreciation, his classmates named him the honorary “Chief” of the fictitious [Where the?] Fugawe Tribe. It was one of his proudest achievements.

Most of his friends were unaware that he had worked alongside giants like Enrico Fermi on the Manhattan Project, having been secreted undercover as a “faculty member” at Columbia University. With World War II won, Spiro went on to legitimately complete his studies, majoring in business at City College in New York. Spiro made his career as a manufacturer’s representative in the heating and cooling industry.

Spiro is survived by his loving wife, Joan; his children: Spiro C., Stamy and her husband, Robert Coscia, Cleo, John and his wife, Andrea; and his special “child,” guide dog Joe. Spiro leaves two granddaughters, Nicole and Jeanette; his brother, John, of Palo Alto, Calif.; and many wonderful neighbors, friends and loving relatives. His family will be ever grateful to cousins Anthea, Danny, George and Joan and, most of all, to Bill, an honorary Beletsis.

This is a paid notice.