Stelios G. Bitsakis, 79, of Shrewsbury

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Stelios G. Bitsakis, 79, of ShrewsburyShrewsbury – Stelios G. Bitsakis, 79, of Shrewsbury died Tuesday, April 30th at UMass Memorial Medical Center – University Campus surrounded by his loving family.

He leaves his wife, Mary Koutroulis Bitsakis; his son, George Bitsakis and his wife, Melissa Miller of Charlton; his mother-in-law Chrisanthe Koutroulis, three sisters and their families, Lilly Bitsakis, Eftixia Milonaki, and Mirka Bitsakis all of Greece.

Born in the city of Chania, Crete, Greece, Stelios grew up around the family pharmacy, fishing the Mediterranean, racing motorcycles through the alleyways, discussing philosophy on the walls of the old port with friends, and sneaking away from his mother to study the trumpet.

He immigrated to the United States in 1971, sharing vows with his wife shortly thereafter. Settling in Worcester and eventually making his home in Shrewsbury, he dedicated three decades of his life to a career with Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, retiring in 2008.

Stelios’ natural mechanical skills and big heart kept him busy beyond his professional duties. He would routinely be found in his garage or someone else’s tinkering away at something. He had a profound interest in history, philosophy, and politics and spent countless hours studying. His friends would be anxious to hear of the most recent geo-political happenings which he would enthusiastically talk about at their Sunday coffee gatherings.

More often than not, Stelios would be next to his beloved wife of 53 years, Mary. The two were inseparable, taking road trips to visit friends, riding their motorcycles together through the New England countryside, or discovering natural wonders here in the states and abroad. There was nothing he wanted to do without her.

Stelios’ genuine spirit illuminated the world around him, leaving it richer for having known him. He was truly loved and will be deeply missed.

A celebration of his life will be held Thursday, May 9th from 9:30 until 10:30 a.m. in O’CONNOR BROTHERS FUNERAL HOME, 529 Park Avenue, Worcester followed by his funeral service at 11:00 a.m. in St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 102 Russell Street, Worcester. Burial will be at Hope Cemetery, 119 Webster Street, Worcester.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Stelios Bitsakis to the Massachusetts General Hospital for the benefit of the Stem Cell Transplant Discovery Fund. Checks can be made payable to “Massachusetts General Hospital” and mailed to: Attn: Lauren Dello Russo, Massachusetts General Hospital, Development Office, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114.

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