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Basil George Chaltas
June 7, 1932 ~ October 4, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Basil “Bill” George Chaltas, Sr., 91, of Branford, CT, died October 4, 2023, at home by the marsh in Branford, CT, with his beloved wife and family by his side.
A true gentleman, mentor, and quiet leader, he exuded grace and dignity as a role model for all. Our family and community were so lucky to have had him in our lives. He had a voice that was kind, calm and supportive to all who knew him. A loving yet requiring father, grandfather, uncle and godfather, Bill was the consummate teacher through both his questioning and his example. His life found greatness without seeking external attention and focusing on the simple things that he valued most: throwing a ball in the backyard, getting on the ground to build sandcastles with his grandchildren, and enjoying vanilla ice cream served with freshly brewed decaf coffee.
Bill was born in New Haven in 1932 to Greek immigrants George Nicholas and Alexandra Tsalavouta Chaltas. After his mother died when he was a toddler, he was cared for by his aunt Fannie Chaltas Marr in Buffalo, NY. A proud Greek-American who spent most of his life in the New Haven area, he graduated from Hillhouse High, earned his bachelor’s degree at New Haven State Teachers College, masters from Columbia Teachers College and Sixth Year at the University of Bridgeport. He served in the U.S. Army in Louisville KY before settling into teaching elementary school in Branford. He became a principal in both Branford and Stratford and dedicated three decades of service to elementary education.
After retirement, Bill became a pillar of the community at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, where he spent many years on the Parish Council and the Building Interiors Committee. He was particularly passionate about enhancing the beauty of the liturgy through iconography, stained glass and the important little details that were made better by his eye and precision. Bill and Bobby were also instrumental in the creation of the St. Barbara Parish book and icon store that bears their family names. He loved classical music, art, architecture, New York sports and daily devouring of the New York Times.
He is survived by his lifetime love and wife of 68 years, E. Barbara “Bobby” Chaltas. He and Bobby met in high school and were inseparable for 74 years. A quote in their college yearbook said it all: “Bill without Bobby, never!” Throughout the years, he and Bobby raised and supported their children, grandchildren, godchildren, and so many members of his big Greek family. He is also survived by two sons, Basil Chaltas, Jr. and his wife Anne Abramson, of Chicago, IL, and Thano Chaltas and his wife Alison Hornsby Chaltas, of Providence, RI; his adoring grandchildren William and Katherine Chaltas who were his light and joy; his nephew Adam Perrelli and great nephew Andrew Perrelli; his godchildren Aleka Chaltas Munroe, Dennis Munroe and Dorothy Daniel Roddy; and so many wonderful nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his Aunt Fanny; his siblings Nick, Paul, Sophia, John and Mary; and his sister-in-law Demetra “Dede” Daniel Perrelli.
Family and friends are invited to gather to celebrate Bill’s life Monday, October 9 at 11:00 AM at St Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Orange CT, followed by burial at Beaverdale Memorial Park. Visiting hours will be at Celentano Funeral Home, 424 Elm Street, New Haven, Sunday October 8th , from 3:00– 6:00PM.
Contributions in his honor may be sent to the Chaltas Family Scholarship Fund at St Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 480 Racebrook Road, Orange CT 06477.