Source: Orthodox Christian Laity
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is with a sense of shock that I must relay to you that our devoted Orthodox Christian Laity board member Evan Alevizatos Chriss fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday Morning, April 28, 2015, while he was exercising in the gym of his residence. Evan was active until the last moments of his life. He was frail in body these past years, but he did all he could to keep his body, mind and soul together. The Lord took him in the way we all remember Evan – actively perusing perfection. Evan’s life is an example of excellence in the finest sense of his Hellenic heritage. He insisted on the truth. He told it the way he saw it. He was tenacious and opinionated. He loved discourse. He was an outstanding attorney, family man and citizen. Happiness for Evan was fully using his powers along the lines of excellence – just as Aristotle stated.
But we at OCL will remember Evan for the example he set for us as a devoted and passionate Churchman. He loved the Orthodox Christian Church and served his parish, Diocese and Archdiocese for his entire adult life. He was baptized at the Annunciation Cathedral in Baltimore. He attended the Divine Liturgy there, and he wanted to be buried there as a member of that parish community. He truly personified the role of Church Elder. He would write letters to the clergy and parish council to express his ideas of how to make our Church more inclusive, more missionary, and more friendly to youth. In his elder years, he also attended Holy Cross Orthodox Church, Linthicum, MD and came to love the Liturgy offered and chanted in English, because he could feel it in its entirety. He was always searching and learning. It should be noted that Evan Chriss served on the Archdiocesan Council during the tenure of Archbishop Iakovos. Evan Chriss, Mr Peter Kourides – legal counsel for the Archdiocese for 60 years, Mr George Chimples and Basil Foussianes were advisors and confidants of Archbishop Iakovos and helped build up the Archdiocese. May their Memories Be Eternal! He brought all these life experiences to us on the OCL Board, and we welcomed his guidance. He was also our best editor.
The love of his life was his wife Ceres. She always called him “the boss” when I called their home. But I knew that this wonderful, charming, upbeat helpmate made Evan the special person he was. We express our sincere love to his family – especially his grandchildren. He was always concerned about their well-being.
On a personal note, I must say that I have been enriched by knowing Evan; and I know that our entire board found his counsel wise and forward-looking. I will miss knowing he was there to call or email me to keep me in balance. His burial in this Season of Pascha will be Friday, May 1. May His Memory Be Eternal!
George Matsoukas, Executive Director
Orthodox Christian Laity
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CHRIST IS RISEN!
Over the years I have forwarded hundreds of emails concerning Church matters from the email address: [email protected] .. to many of my friends. Those emails were sent by Evan Alevizatos Chriss a Baltimore attorney. Evan was a devoted Orthodox Christian who served the Church his entire life at all levels. He was one of the co-drafters of the 1979 Charter of our Archdiocese, having participated in negotiations of the provisions of that Charter with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on behalf of the Archdiocese. He was a distinguished attorney. As a long-time member of the Archdiocesan Council and confidant of the late Archbishop Iakovos, he knew and loved the Church. Even into his nineties Evan never lost his missionary zeal and his Sunday-School teacher enthusiasm for educating those he met in person and then later, online. Evan was thoughtful, always measured in speech and in the positions he espoused. He was an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Shortly after OCL was formed I was in Baltimore visiting Peter Marudas , who had organized a meeting in a local church to discuss this new movement. He invited Evan to have breakfast with us, but Evan was not sure he wanted to be seen with “someone from OCL”. After several years assessing the mission and goals of OCL he became a Board member and its most respected senior advisor. Years later Roula and I were having lunch in New York City with Evan and Edward Gaffney, a professor of Constitutional law at Valparaiso University Law School. Ed had studied to be a priest in a Roman Catholic Seminary. He was familiar with Orthodoxy and the differences between Orthodox and Roman Catholic ecclesiology. He asked about how Clergy-Laity Congresses are run and I related several stories, including one of being a delegate and having my microphone turned off by the Chairman of the Committee I was addressing. As this was not an isolated incident, I had no recollection of who the Chairman was. Evan delighted in telling everyone that it was he who had pulled the plug! Evan is resting in the bosom of Abraham. The earthly Church in America has lost a wise and vibrant voice. I mourn the loss of a dear friend. I am sorry that I will no longer be forwarding KEFFALENIA’s emails to you. May his memory be eternal.