The family of Christos Beloyeannis Bell, 89, is saddened to announce the loss of our loving husband, father and grandfather on October 1.
Christos Beloyeannis Bell was born in the Greek mountain village of Tsipiana, Elias in 1926, the youngest child of Leonidas and Christina Beloyeannis. He came of age in Greece in the midst of the ravages of the Great Depression, the German occupation of the country during World War II and the terrible civil war that followed in the war’s wake. After serving in the Greek Army, he left his home and family in Tsipiana and emigrated to America. He returned to Greece in 1960 to marry Aristea Tula Anagnostopoulou, who was to be his devoted and loving companion through 55 years of marriage.
Christos and Tula struggled together to build a new life far from their families and homes in Greece. Through perseverance in the face of hardship, he was able to start up several successful businesses. He first owned the “Economy Sweets” diner in Worcester, Massachusetts, with his brother John. He subsequently opened his own successful restaurant, “Bell’s Pizza,” in Amherst, Massachusetts. In the 1970s, he moved to East Lansing, Michigan, and founded “Bell’s Greek Pizza.” Over the years he established additional “Bell’s Greek Pizza” restaurants in East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Detroit, and Pennsylvania.
Christos was fiercely committed to his family. He insisted on putting his four sons through college and provided financial support to his family in Greece. He raised his children to take pride in their Greek heritage and reinforced this through regular visits to his homeland and extended family.
He was a generous and loving man in all aspects of his life. He was particularly known for his mischievous sense of humor, and his presence in the company of family and friends always led quickly to cheer and laughter.
He was an avid reader and admirer of the ancient Greek writers, whom he read in the original ancient Greek. He was particularly drawn to Xenophon’s “Anabasis,” which recounted the long, perilous struggle of Xenophon and his army to return to their Greek homeland, relying only on their wits, bravery and determination to overcome great odds. He was drawn to this particular work because in many ways Xenophon’s struggles and ultimate success paralleled his own life’s trajectory.
Christos Bell was preceded in death by his brothers Peter, Pavlos and John and by his sisters Georgia, Vassiliki and Sofia. He is survived by his wife Tula, from who he was inseparable during their 55-year marriage, his sons Leonidas, Theodore, Panayiotis and Nikos, his daughters-in-law Jennifer and Michelle, and his grandchildren Christos, Aristea, Antonios, Zoe, Katerina and Sebastien.
Christos was beloved to us all and to his extended family members in Greece. His loss is a hard blow and his absence will be keenly felt. He will live on in our hearts and in our memories.
The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 5, 2015, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1701 E. Saginaw, Lansing. Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery. His family will receive friends from 4-8 p.m. on Sunday at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, where a Trisagion service will be held at 7:00 p.m. In lieu of sending flowers, the family of Christos Beloyeannis Bell asks that donations be made in his memory to SOLIDARITY NOW (???????????), a relief organization that provides humanitarian aid, including health and legal services, to families most in need due to the economic crisis in Greece. Donations can be made via donation envelopes that will be provided at the memorial and funeral services or through Solidarity Now’s website at www.solidaritynow.org. Online condolences may be left for his family at www.EstesLeadley.com