Emanuel Davatelis Profile Photo
1927 Emanuel 2023

Emanuel Davatelis

September 18, 1927 — April 24, 2023

Longwood

 

Emanuel “Manny” Davatelis, 95, beloved to so many, was called to his eternal resting place on April 24, 2023.  He was born on September 18, 1927 in Paterson, New Jersey, to Komnas and Evelyn Davatelis. He was preceded in passing by his parents and sister Mary and is survived by his wife of 60 years, Helen, sons Nicky and Ari, brother Tom, sister Dorothy, granddaughters Maija, Marina, and Natalia, daughter-in-law Svetlana and loving nieces, nephews and cousins. 

 

Manny was of the first generation born in the U.S. of Greek immigrants who arrived in 1917 with little money or education, armed only with faith in God and hope in the American dream.  Manny’s father Komnas labored long hours for little pay in the factories of Paterson to put enough food on the table and pay for a small attic apartment shared by the family.  Although there was not much to go around; the institutions of faith, family, love, and generosity were present and carried on in Manny.  He began working early in life and took odd jobs as a young teen to earn some money to improve things for himself and the family. In 1953, Manny joined and became an active member of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), which was founded in 1922 to fight for civil rights against discrimination, bigotry and hatred.

 

Manny entered the U.S. Army and served during the early occupation in Europe before receiving an honorable discharge in 1947.  He used the GI Bill to fund and earn a college degree and began a career in education, teaching and coaching wrestling in New Jersey and then teaching for a year at an international school in Venezuela.

 

Manny again entered U.S. government service in 1959.  This time as a Federal employee with the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) overseas program, where he taught history at schools on U.S. military bases.  His first assignment was in the United Kingdom where he spent the better part of two years before receiving orders for a follow-on assignment in Morocco.  However, at the last minute, he was redirected to report to a different assignment at a U.S. Air Force Base on the island of Crete in Greece.  His wife Helen relates the story that at the same time, she was back in her home in Crete after studying abroad in England, and had been praying for a good man to enter her life.  Soon after Manny arrived in Crete and met Helen, who was working at the clinic on the airbase. Manny and Helen were married within a year in 1963 and never looked back. 

 

The next DoDDS assignment for Manny was at Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, where he taught and coached wrestling for 32 years, until he retired from the Federal government with 37 years of service. Manny also was blessed to be a parish member who served in one of the only Orthodox Christian churches within the U.S. military community framework overseas, and was officially recognized for his service to this church community from 1963-1988, remaining involved until departing from Europe. 

 

Manny returned with Helen to the U.S. in 1994 to reside in Orlando, FL. He and Helen were again blessed to find a local Orthodox Christian church and community to build with as they embarked on their new journey.  Manny again became an active church member, always seeking ways to serve in and out of the church.  Manny still felt the desire to teach and remain connected to students, and continued to work as a substitute teacher in the local schools for another ten years, which surely helped him maintain his energy and youthful spirit.    Manny gave much of himself to family, friends and students but also received much from them in return, through the positive human interactions he enjoyed so much.   

 

Manny always had time for his family and friends and also used the classroom and the gym in his capacity as a teacher and coach to reach and positively influence and impact many students and athletes.  He genuinely cared about people and they in turn seemed to care about him. He touched many lives with his warmth, humor and passion for life and will be greatly missed but never forgotten.  May his memory be eternal!

 

On 3 May 2023, there will be a viewing from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. and a funeral service at 11:30 a.m. at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Maitland, Florida followed by the internment at the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Mims, Florida at 2:00 p.m.

 

In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made directly to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Maitland, Florida.

 

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Emanuel Davatelis, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Viewing

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

1217 Trinity Woods Ln, Maitland, FL 32751

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

1217 Trinity Woods Ln, Maitland, FL 32751

Livestream

Click to watch

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Graveside Service

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

2:00 - 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Cape Canaveral National Cemetery

5525 US-1, Mims, FL 32754

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