Nicholas George Chapekis, Sr.

Chapekis, Nicholas, Sr. photoAnn Arbor, Michigan

Age 87, passed away November 17, 2017. Born on June 3, 1930 in Marquette, MI to Greek immigrant parents George and Katina (Mesologites) Chapekis. The youngest of four siblings, Nick enjoyed an idyllic childhood in the UP, graduating from Graveraet High School in 1948.  Following service in the U.S. Air Force between WWII and the Korean War, he joined his parents and brother Ted in Ann Arbor, helping to found Capitol Cleaners.  He and his brother were fixtures in the Ann Arbor business community for over 40 years before retiring.  In 1960, as part of the tightly-knit Greek community, he was reluctantly set up for a blind date with U of M student Anna Malafouris after she was spotted at church by his mother. They became engaged just six weeks later and together raised two children who were the center of their lives.  A man of deep faith, Nick taught Sunday School at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church for 45 years and was a member of the parish council.  He had a passion for classic cars, attending dozens of car shows and swap meets over the years with his treasured 1959 Buick, which he purchased new and continued to maintain until his passing (and often credited for winning Anna’s heart).  He was a longtime member of Ann Arbor Fraternity Lodge #262, achieving the rank of 32nd degree Master Mason, Scottish rite.  He also served on the event team at the U-M athletic department for over 40 years, ushering football and basketball games among others. Following the passing of his beloved Anna in 2012 after 52 years of marriage, a different phase of life began when he moved to East Lansing to live with his daughter’s family. He became a docent at the Michigan Historical Museum and found new purpose in sharing his first-hand experiences of growing up during the Great Depression and World War II with hundreds of schoolchildren. However, it was above all his great joy and pride in his grandchildren, Athena Chapekis and Matthew and Alexander Sietsema, which truly sustained him.

He was predeceased by his parents, wife Anna, granddaughter Vasiliki “Bessie” Sietsema, and his sisters Angeline Sitarenios and Bess Douglas. He is survived by his son Nicholas Jr. (Theresa), daughter Katherine Sietsema (Fr. Mark), and brother Theodore (Bert) Chapekis. The family thanks Dr. Linda Terrell for her years of dedicated care.

The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 21, 2017, at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 3109 Scio Rd., Ann Arbor, with the Rev. Fr. Mark Sietsema and the Rev. Fr. Nicolaos Kotsis officiating.  Interment will follow in Bethlehem Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Nie Funeral Home, 3767 West Liberty Rd., Ann Arbor, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Monday, where the Trisagion will be held at 7:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Ann Arbor (Iconography) or Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Lansing. Arrangements by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.

Print Obituary

14 Messages to “Nicholas George Chapekis, Sr.

Print Messages
Toni Graphos
November 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm

So sorry to hear the news of Uncle Nick’s death. He was a treasure to everyone whose life he touched. Such humor and cheer, laughter and joy. The thought of him will forever bring a smile to my face. My condolences to his family.

John & Helen (Bartz) Daley
November 19, 2017 at 7:41 am

May His Memory Be Eternal

Skoutelas Athanasios,Glykeria
November 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Our condolences to the families.May his memory be eternal !

Patricia Willard
November 19, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Nick will be greatly missed by the Holy Trinity family in Lansing. There was never a time that I had a conversation with Nick that I didn’t walk away learning something new. He shared his wealth of knowledge and stories with sincerity, detail and always with a twist of humor.
Pat Willard
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Lansing, Michigan

Michele Abrams
November 19, 2017 at 3:10 pm

So sorry to hear of your loss. I had the privilege of meeting Nick as he proudly attended many band functions at East Lansing High School to watch Matthew and Alexander perform. There were many football games in recent years where he was in the front row watching and cheering them on. May God comfort you all during this time.

Leanne Stites
November 20, 2017 at 12:11 pm

I am grateful to have met and gotten to know Nick through his museum work…one of the most dedicated volunteers. I was thrilled by his one-word story to the school children…”liberty”. I have been inspired so much by him and will miss him greatly. Especially at Coffee Klatch where Kathy will always be welcome. So sorry for your loss.

Leland Scott
November 20, 2017 at 12:21 pm

My condolences and prayers to everyone. It was a great pleasure getting to know Nick at the Museum as a fellow Docent. He will be greatly missed.

Leland Scott

Paul and Barbara Toman
November 20, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Our hearts weep with the family at such a great loss. I love Nick like a beloved Father, always encouraging, kind and caring. Our times together were frequent, filled with laughter, museum children, and food. Knowing he was at the museum everyday has made us less homesick during our recent move south. But God, in His mercy towards us and in His providence, allowed us to arrive at the museum a full hour earlier than anticipated on October 19th to find Nick waiting for his ride. What a lovely ‘last’ conversation! Parting words…”eat a grilled cheese for me at Coffee Klatch,” As I hugged him. His response, “Always”. We waved as he left, smiling and happy. We are confident Nick was greeted with “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant”, and what a day it will be when we see him again! And sweet Kathy, you may check off the fifth commandment with joy! Thank you for your example of living love. Prayers for the entire family for comfort and peace as you say your earthly goodbyes.

Maribeth Fletcher
November 20, 2017 at 2:59 pm

I am saddened to hear the news of Nick. My husband Jim also was a classic car lover. Nick suggest edto me to put Jim’s cars in Gilmore C ar Museum when I was trying to sell them. What a warm personality he had!

Sara Gross & Michigan History Center staff
November 20, 2017 at 3:05 pm

All of us here at the Michigan History Center were saddened to hear of Nick’s passing…he will be greatly missed here. We are so grateful for the hundreds of hours of service he contributed to our organization and for his dedication to sharing Michigan’s stories. He made a difference in the lives of all the schoolchildren and visitors who passed through our doors while he was volunteering and never failed to bring a smile to our faces. Our thoughts and condolences are with your family…

Trudie Frick
November 20, 2017 at 5:58 pm

It am so honored to have worked with Nick as a docent. I loved to bring a group through and find Nick at his post in WWII. I knew I could rest a bit while he told the group a story. I am sorry for your loss. My prayers will be with your family as remember him through your memories.

Trudie Frick

Amber Micka
November 21, 2017 at 9:30 am

Our condolences to the Chapekis family at this sad time . May God give you strength and comfort in the days ahead. Acts 24:15

Gary Koelsch
November 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Judy and I had a nice conversation with Nick at the last Koffee Klatch. I showed him pictures of the bear near our cabin. He was pleased to learn of my grandson joining the Air Force soon.
Every time I look down at the WWII exhibit I will remember how much he loved telling the youngsters about the war. I will miss his smile and dedicated service to the docent guild. God will surely provide him with many blessings.

Bob McKerr
November 23, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Nick was one of my favorite docents. On Friday, I usually arrived on the third floor about 11:30. One of my first stops was the World War 2 gallery to talk with Nick. He had such a great sense of humor. We would trade stories about different times in our life. One time we were talking about cars and I indicated my first new car was a 1957 Chevrolet. Nick said his was a 1959 Buick convertible. He went on to say he thought it would improve his chances of getting dates with the ladies. His first date was with the woman he married. That was just one of many stories Nick and I exchanged.
I will miss him.


Please Sign The Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *