St. Demetrios Citizens of the Year 2023

 

 

St Demetrios Recognition

Please join in congratulating the following parishioners for their significant contributions to St Demetrios

2023 Citizens of the Year

Bassam Bayouk - Citizen of the Year 2023

It is with great pleasure that we offer the nomination of Bassam Bayouk for the St. Demetrios Citizen of the Year Award 2023. Bassam has been a dedicated volunteer at St. Demetrios for many years. He has been involved as a Parish Council member, Sunday School teacher, altar assistant, and festival volunteer. In 2019, he served as the Parish Council President. In this position, Bassam was an effective leader who always took time to listen to parishioner’s concerns while remaining unflappable and approachable. He was a very visible President who, with his humble demeanor, dedicated many hours of assistance to church ministries. 

Currently, Bassam serves as the St. Demetrios Youth Protection Administrator. In this role, he ensures that adult parishioners who work with the youth of our parish are in compliance with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America requirements for youth protection. On a personal note, Bassam is a very kind and caring individual with a strong Orthodox faith who exemplifies the characteristics of a citizen of the year.

Stephanie Deliganis - Citizen of the Year 2023

Stephanie Deliganis passed from this life on June 20, 2023.  In her short 43 years on this earth, Stephanie’s life exemplified true, unwavering Christian love. Despite years of personal pain and suffering due to unknown causes and a variety of medical misdiagnoses, she turned repeatedly to her faith and love of Christ to strengthen her. As a young woman, she served St. Demetrios as a Sunday School teacher and a bookstore volunteer. It was in her last year of life, after finally receiving a devasting diagnosis of extremely advanced and aggressive appendiceal cancer, that she re-dedicated herself to our Church in earnest. St. Demetrios had been without a chanter and without a choir for several months in late 2022 and the first part of 2023.  Our two priests had to tag team serving in the altar and chanting.  It was less than ideal situation for them as well as for the worshippers. What did Stephanie do?  As compromised as her health was, she nevertheless stepped forward to organize a choir and selflessly led others to raise their voices in praise to our Lord. No self-pity for Stephanie. She led the choir until she could no longer do so. Her example of service is truly an inspiration to all of us, and for this reason I posthumously nominate her for the 2023 St. Demetrios Citizen of the Year Award.  May her memory be eternal.

 

 Barbara Trehearne-Leadership Achievement Award

The leadership Achievement Award is given periodically to a parishioner who over many years has made significant contributions to the St Demetrios Community. This year Barbara Trehearne receives this award. 

Barbara was born in Middletown, Ohio to two first generation Greek Americans, Tony and Nina Ellis. She was the middle sibling to oldest sister Mary Ann, brother Stephen, and younger sisters Nikki and Delores. Her father Tony owned a carpet store in Dayton and her mother Nina, a nurse, cared for their five children and home. Barbara was raised humbly, sharing a room with her three sisters. She was a crafty and clever negotiator from the start, paying her sisters Nikki and Delores a quarter to make her bed, clean her room, and do the dishes for her. She attended West Carrolton High School where she was a cheerleader and played on the softball team. She was married in 1973 and moved to Seattle in 1978, 8 months pregnant with her first of two daughters, Nicole. 

Following in the footsteps of her mother, Barbara also pursued an education in nursing. She graduated from Riverside Hospital White Cross School of Nursing in 1969 and went on to receive her Bachelor of Science (1971) and Master Degree in Nursing (1975). In 2000, working full-time and caring for her two daughters, she went on to achieve her Doctorate of Philosophy in Healthcare Administration and Women’s Studies from the Union Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio. Her doctoral dissertation was well received as it examined perceptions of the role of nurse executives in the healthcare industry. 

Barbara was an inspirational leader and visionary in the nursing community for over 30 years. She served as the Vice President of Clinical Excellence, Quality, and Nursing for Group Health, now Kaiser, and as the Chief Nurse for over 1300 RNs, LPNs and Medical Assistants. She was a steadfast advocate for the continued development of nursing leaders and the advancement of nursing professions throughout the country. As a patient, undergoing her own medical care, she encountered many of the nurses she advocated for.  Her reputation preceded her, as many knew and respected her. A recent nurse caring for her said “I never worried with Barbara as the Chief Nurse. I always knew she had our backs.” She fought for the rights of nurses, spending long hours, days, and weeks in negotiations to make sure they were treated justly. She was a tireless local and national advocate for the value nursing brings to patient care.

In addition to her professional career, Barbara was very active in her church, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Seattle, Washington.  She held the role of Parish Council President once in 2008 and was in the 6thyear of her second term from 2020 until the time of her passing. With the support of Father Photios Dumont and many others, she navigated through Covid as the Head of the Reopening Committee and acted as Chairwoman for the first ever Strategic Plan, securing the future health and prosperity of the church.  She was devout in her faith which served as a guiding light to her in many times of darkness as well as times of joy. 

 

Special Recognition to Tedros Habte, honoring his 40 years of service to St Demetrios

   TEDROS HABTE-MEZENGI                                    10/26/23

 

Born in Asmara – the Capital of Eritrea and lived there until he was 9 years of age - his father was a locomotive train engineer.

Fun Fact:  Tedros had 2 grandfathers –both of whom were Orthodox priests in Eritrean villages.

At age 9 he was sent to live in neighboring Ethiopia with his uncle who operated a bakery – where Tedros found work with that uncle while eventually completing high school.

Ethiopia in the early 1980’s was plagued with civil unrest and shootings as a result of guerilla warfare.  Unfortunately, part of daily life there. Tedros was arrested with 6 other men and jailed because he was Eritrean and assumed to be anti-Ethiopian despite his many years of residency. Because of a close friend in the Ethiopian army – one day he alone was rescued from the jail – but unfortunately the 6 other men who had been held with him were tragically executed the very next day. Tedros escaped to Ethiopia - then soon after left Asmara with 3 others for an over 400-mile journey by camel – all 3 having paid a smuggler to do so. After 9 days on his way to Khartoum in the Sudan and sleeping under the stars, he contracted malaria.

Once in Khartoum, where he recovered from malaria he applied for asylum and six months later it was granted. Having been sponsored by former St Demetrios parishioner Ezra Teshome, Tedros flew from Khartoum with plane changes in Athens and Washington, DC he finally landed in Seattle in September of 1983.

Coincidentally, just four days later was the first day of that year’s St Demetrios festival - and Tedros found himself as part of the working crew.

It did not go unnoticed that weekend by Fr Homer that Tedros was always hard working – and that he did not take breaks – no smoke or rest breaks and hardly took time to eat.

At the time, the Parish was transitioning from its then custodian John Vardakas and thus in need of a replacement, and Fr Homer asked Tedros to stay on.  

Within just a matter of a very few weeks, Tedros had moved into the house immediately next door and began full time work – or full time PLUS work for us – while attending Seattle Community College where he took classes to improve his English and thus became part of the St Demetrios Family.

Everyone here has witnessed Tedros work ethic, maintaining an entire complex including the Church, large and small halls, restrooms, 12 classrooms, offices, and library, not to mention parking lot, sidewalks etc.

While Tedros technically reports to the Clergy and the Parish Council, we all know (and most of us are guilty) of being some of the 200-300 or more “bosses” that have given him direction – more likely orders! – over the last 4 decades.

Tedros has completed 40 years of work with competence and with diplomacy; always ready to help anyone with anything, day or night. After a full day of work – when at home with his family – he still responds to security efforts – to be sure the Church is secure; gates locked and alarm turned on – whether it is 9, 10 or 11 pm.

It is unrealistic to think that Tedros could have an actual job description – as it would simply say “do everything”.

Besides his DAILY routine – there is the entire Festival – a week to prepare for the 3-day event and at least a week to restore the entire complex to its normal condition.

Add to those the multiple hall rentals for wedding receptions, auctions for area high school parent groups, and large wine tasting events & community meetings. Couple that with our own fundraisers, dinners and dances, events lasting to midnight and sometimes after – and then – as if by magic – the dishes are washed and put away - the hall is cleaned and ready for Sunday morning coffee hour, without a hint that there were 200 -300 people or more here the night before.

To say that we have the best of the best is an understatement. And we have had him for 40 years! The children and teenagers he found when he arrived have become parents and even grandparents. We’ve had over 18 different Parish Council presidents since his arrival.

Thus – on a day we honor individual citizens who have given much service to St Demetrios – and honor Barbara Trehearne for her many leadership contributions - WE truly honor and appreciate one of the hardest working and most beloved members of the St Demetrios family – Tedros Habte-Mezengi.

Online Chapel

Third Saturday of Lent

Visit the Online Chapel for more daily readings, hymns, a monthly calendar of saints and feasts, and more.