Couples mark marriage milestones
By TIMES STAFF
Published July 4, 2007
Peter and Bessie Kostakis of Tarpon Springs met at a church picnic in New Jersey. Two years later, the couple tied the knot on May 12, 1957, at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Newark, N.J.
To celebrate 50 years of marriage, the couple spent a few days in San Diego at the end of March, then embarked on an eight-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera.
May 12, the Kostakises' son and daughter treated them to a family dinner at Landry's Seafood House in Tampa.
Peter worked for General Electric as a major appliance repairman and eventually started his own repair business in New Jersey. He is also an Army veteran.
Bessie worked for Prudential Insurance Co., but stopped working to raise a family and became a bookkeeper and secretary to help Peter with the business
The couple came to Tarpon Springs in August of 1983, and Peter worked for the local cable company.
The Kostakis' are members of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs.
They have a son, Dr. George Kostakis, a daughter, Cindy Davis, and four grandchildren, Peter Kostakis, Nicholas Kostakis and Evan Kostakis and Karina Davis, all of Palm Harbor.
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Bill and Effie Lampathakis of Clearwater Beach were married on Aug. 26, 1956, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Toledo, Ohio. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on April 13 with a dinner reception at Carlouel Yacht Club on Clearwater Beach.
Bill received bachelor's degrees in science and business administration from the University of Toledo and worked 17 years as a chemist. He began a career as a Realtor when the couple came to Clearwater Beach in 1977 from Toledo.
With a master's degree in arts and sciences from the University of Akron, Effie taught English back in Ohio. She, too, became a Realtor upon arriving here with Bill. Together, they sold real estate for 25 years in the Tampa Bay area.
The couple are members of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Clearwater and the Orange Blossom Chapter of the Pan Cretan Association of America.
There are three Lampathakis children, James D., Tere Irmen and Stella Galaris, and four grandchildren, Christina Irmen, Dana Irmen, Justice Galaris and Jared Galaris.
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The Gederses of Safety Harbor renewed their vows and celebrated 60 years of marriage with a party on May 19 at East Lake Woodlands Country Club.
Art and Rosemary Geders were married on May 17, 1947, at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Kirkwood, Mo., and moved to this area 10 years later.
Both worked in sales, Art for AT&T and Rosemary in real estate. Rosemary also worked in the financial aid department of the former St. Petersburg Junior College, now St. Petersburg College.
Art is a Past Grand Knight-third degree and Past Faithful Navigator-fourth degree, of the Knights of Columbus, and coordinator of Briar Creek Mobile Home Park travel club, of which Rosemary is a member.
The couple are members of St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Clearwater.
They have six children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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Eugene and Gloria Patzner of Palm Harbor met on a blind date that blossomed into a happy half-century together. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary recently among family and friends at Via 9 Nove Restaurant in Fishkill, N.Y. Also in attendance was Gloria's sister and maid of honor, Jacqueline Westover of Largo. The party was be hosted by the Patzners' five children.
The Patzners were married on May 30, 1957, at Sacred Heart Church in Amesbury, Mass. The couple came to Palm Harbor in 1995 from Hopewell Junction, N.Y.
Eugene began his career as an engineer when silicon technology was in its infancy and worked 29 years for IBM. He patented many inventions that helped advance the semiconductor industry.
Gloria retired from Sears as a service contracts manager.
The Patzners are members of St. Luke's Catholic Church in Palm Harbor.
Eugene likes to run races and enters many, along with his son, Edward, and grandson, Joshua, both of Tampa. He also enjoys fishing, boating and golfing.
Gloria is a homemaker and amateur interior designer. She stays active by participating in bocce, water aerobics and other club activities at Highland Lakes.
Along with their five children, the Patzners have 18 grandchildren.
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Steve Costa Tsataros retired May 2 after 25 years with the Tarpon Springs Police Department. A retirement ceremony was held in his honor at the Police Department, where he received a plaque for a quarter-century of service.
The son of local residents Costa and Stamatia Tsataros, he grew up in Tarpon Springs, where he graduated from high school and began his career with the department on April 12, 1982. His dedication to the community earned him Officer of the Year status in 1993 and 2003, and he received the Medal of Valor, one of the highest honors a police officer can achieve.
"He disarmed a machete-wielding assailant, " said Tarpon Springs police Capt. Jeff Young, a 14-year coworker and friend of Tsataros'.
For the past seven years, Tsataros has served as the school resource officer at Tarpon Springs Middle School.
What will he do with all his free time?
"He told me he wants to spend more time on his boat, " Young said.
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Vice Captain Don Hoge, Commander Steve Rea and Materials Officer Nick Nelson from the Dunedin Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-10 received the city of Dunedin's Proclamation for National Safe Boating Week, which was May 19-25.
The auxiliary works closely with the active duty Coast Guard in bringing on-the-water safety messages to the boating public. Team Coast Guard is involved in this effort year round but places increased emphasis on boating safety education during this special week. This year, the message of wearing a life jacket while on the water was emphasized.
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The city of Clearwater's Solid Waste Department trashed the competition at the 25th anniversary of the Solid Waste Association of North America Sunshine Chapter Road-e-o.
The two-day event was held May 11-12 in Lake County and featured 200 solid waste employees from the public and private sectors. The competition highlights the skills of professional solid waste drivers, equipment operators and mechanics from across Florida.
Seven city of Clearwater employees participated and won in several categories: Mark Beery, front-end loader, first place; Tony Hadley, rear-end loader, first place; Mike Stephenson, side loader, second place; Andy Wihr, roll off, second place; and Randy Higgins, tractor-semitrailer, third place. Bob Lillico was the team coach and Paul Wassen served as a judge. Mark Beery and Tony Hadley will advance to compete at the international event, held in September in Atlantic City.