Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Demo Christopoulos was a humble and kindhearted man who touched the lives of so many. As a lifelong resident of the community he loved, he was the sort of person who never met a stranger. A more loving and devoted husband and father would be hard to find, but Demo just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandfather and great-grandfather later in life. Life will never be the same without him here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
It was great to be an American during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. Ballroom dancing, jazz music, and motion pictures in both color and sound all colored the cultural fabric during this decade. Prosperity was largely felt nationwide, and innovation was rapidly bringing about countless conveniences that transformed daily life. This time also brought great excitement in the lives of Christ George and Sophia (Kitsoupoulos) Christopoulos as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the beauty of fall colored the landscape of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in October of 1925. Their wait was over on October 18th when the baby boy they named Demo Christ drew his first breath. He was one of four as he was raised in the family home alongside his siblings, George, Amelia, and Frances to whom he was very close. To support their family Demo’s father was a restaurant and bar owner while his mother had more than enough to keep her busy at home.
In many ways Demo experienced an upbringing that was fairly typical for the young people of his generation. As was a Greek tradition in their family, Demo’s family celebrated their “name” days with extended family members. As a boy he liked to fish and play baseball, and he was a member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. As a student he attended local schools, but as a student at Union High School Demo was moved to take action after hearing that Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. A young man of 17, Demo entered the military and was sent to boot camp at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. Brave and courageous, he crossed the Danube River under fire and was awarded with two bronze stars. Demo was always so proud to have served, and his medals were among his most prized possessions. He was a lifetime member of VFW Post 830 and liked to walk with a rifle in the Grand Rapids Veterans Day Parade.
New and exciting changes were in store for Demo when he met the woman who would forever hold the key to his heart. Her name was Wilma Smith, and though they had met in high school, they ran into each other at the Silver Cloud night club. Sparks soon flew, and after dating for two years the sweethearts were married on December 19, 1964. Their blended family included Demo's three children, Linda, Demo, and Deborah, as well as Wilma's daughter, Cindy. Their family lived on the West Side, and Demo was a family man through and through. He was part-owner of their family restaurant, the White Eagle, and he also owned a laundromat business. As a family they enjoyed trips to Ft Myers Beach as they had a home there. Demo and his family also enjoyed their trailer at Big Bend Park near Hardy Dam for years. He loved his wife’s cooking, and it has been said that she made the best Greek salad with dressing that was unmatched. Demo liked other traditional Greek foods and restaurants, but he also enjoyed a Wendy’s double cheeseburger with bacon. Even peanut butter and jelly on toast and oatmeal were favorites.
Over the years Demo was a man of many interests. He played softball at John Ball Park with a large softball and no gloves. Demo II was in charge of manning the cooler as a kid during the games. Demo liked fishing and gardening as well as big band music and books on WWII. He loved fishing in Canada with his son, Demo II, and for 33 years in a row they went with many friends and family. As a sports fan, Demo followed the Detroit Tigers and the University of Michigan. In fact, he could often be found listening to Tigers games on the radio while smoking a cigar. While wintering in Florida, Demo enjoyed playing tennis and volleyball. During their retirement years he and Wilma traveled a bit more extensively including trips to Mexico and Greece. In addition to his WWII medals, Demo was proud of his hunting guns.
All who knew Demo Christopoulos would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He worked hard in everything he did, but he took the time to enjoy life along the way, too. Kind and generous, Demo was always available to lend a hand in ways both great and small. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.
CHRISTOPOULOS – Mr. Demo C. Christopoulos age 96, of Grand Rapids, passed away on December 10, 2021. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma; and brother, George Christopoulos. Demo is survived by his children, Linda Christopoulos, Demo (Susan) Christopoulos II, Deborah (Charles) Kirt and Cynthia Soltysiak; 11 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; sisters, Frances Zervos and Amelia Botsis and several nieces and nephews. Demo served in the U.S. Army during WWII. A memorial service will take place at 4 PM on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook online.