Ann 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.