Dean Anastas Obituary, Death – A retired priest and former dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix, Fr. Theo Anastas, who was 79 years old when he passed away on November 2, had endured various health challenges in recent years. After serving in the Lord’s vineyard with unwavering devotion for 54 years, Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco declared that Father Theo had merited the reward of eternal life as a result of his service.
During the course of his illuminating career, he was a devoted priest who left an indelible mark on the lives of a great number of people. The love that Fr. Theo shared with his family and all of those to whom he ministered will live on in their hearts forever. It is my earnest prayer that the Lord grant him eternal rest and give Presvytera Helen and their children, Maria and Chris, the strength and peace they need.
Fr. Theo Anastasakis was brought into this world on November 11th, 1936 in the city of Orlando, Florida, to parents named George and Maria Anastasakis. As a young man, Fr. Theo came to the realization that he was meant to serve in the priesthood. During those three years, he spent his time on the island of Patmos, the homeland of his family, and it was there that he came under the spiritual guidance of the monk-priest Amphilochios of the monastery of St. John the Theologian. The saintliness and sanctity of Amphilochios left a deep impression on him. While he was still residing on the island, he attended classes at the Patmian Ecclesiastical School. He went on to complete his secondary school at the Catholic High School in Montgomery, Alabama.
Immediately after graduating from high school, Father Theo enrolled in the seminary program at Holy Cross, which at the time provided a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology that could be completed in a span of six years. The affection and direction that he received from his spiritual father, Bishop Gerasimos of Abydos, whom he first encountered in 1957, had a significant impact on him.
On July 31, 1961, he tied the knot with Helen Gekas. On August 12, 1961, he was consecrated to the Holy Diaconate, and on August 13, 1961, he was consecrated to the Holy Priesthood. His initial position was at Holy Trinity Church, which is located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. In 1966, he was given the opportunity to establish a new parish in the city of North Royalton, which is located in the state of Ohio. During his nineteen years as pastor at St. Paul Church, he oversaw the growth of the congregation from its initial membership of fifty people to its current size of over five hundred and fifty. During this time, he also oversaw the construction of a new church building and the establishment of a variety of lay ministries.
During the same period of time, he attended Ashland Seminary and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland to receive a Master of Divinity degree in pastoral counseling and psychology. In addition to this, he managed to find time to be active in the Church on both the diocese and archdiocese levels. He held the position of youth director for the Pittsburgh Diocese and was a member of the National Presbyters’ Council.
He served as the chaplain at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Cleveland, as president of the North Royalton Ministerial Association, and as head of the Greater Cleveland Council of Orthodox Clergy. He was also involved in the city of Cleveland in other capacities.
After serving for 19 years at St. Paul, Father Theo moved on to a new job at Holy Trinity Church in Clearwater, where he remained for seven years. After that, he moved to Phoenix to become the dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral, which he did from 1991 to the year 2002, when he retired. Those that survived him include his wife, Presvytera Helen, as well as their children Maria and Chris.