Our country and family lost one of the world’s proudest veterans on July 8, 2017. Nicholas Sophocles Cotsis Sr. passed peacefully in his sleep in Simi Valley, California where he had been living and entertaining other seniors with World War II stories and Greek traditions. “Nick The Greek,” as he was known to many, graduated from Biddeford High School, married Mary Ann Zook, and left for Detroit to work for Hudson Motor Car and start a family. Throughout his life, Nick enjoyed the love and support from his mother Eugenia and father Sophocles as well as his 7 siblings who pre-deceased him: Sophia Karey, Callie Peacock, Antonia Kretsepes, Soterios, Constantine, and Helen Cotsis. He is survived by his brother Charles Cotsis of Saco, Maine; three children, Nicholas Jr. and Sylvia Cotsis of Simi Valley, California, Virginia Cotsis of Ventura, California, John and Lori Cotsis of Palmdale, and two grandsons, Jason Cotsis of Simi Valley, California and Nicholas Mohney of San Francisco, California.
In 1945, the United States Army honorably discharged him from his service in Central Europe from which he earned the American Theatre Campaign Ribbon, Victory Medal, European African Middle Eastern Theatre Campaign Ribbon, and Good Conduct Medal.
He was equally proud of his commitment to family and frequently returned to Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts to visit his siblings, many nephews, nieces as well as his Biddeford, Saco, and Old Orchard Beach friends. He was also proud of his “California” life and welcomed many to his homes in Glendale, Palm Springs, Altadena, and La Conchita, California. He took great pride in his many home improvement projects, not the least of which was adding three bedrooms to his Glendale home to accommodate his growing family, countless celebrations, and holiday parties. Wherever he lived, he was always ready to roll up his sleeves to build a fence, mow a lawn, or paint a fence to the tune of one his favorite Greek songs blaring in the background. One of his favorite ways to relax was a day at the beach- soaking up the California sunshine, devouring one of his wife’s famous Italian sandwiches, and boogie boarding well into his seventies.
Nick Cotsis was a man who enjoyed life’s simple pleasures and created many memories. Although Emily Dickinson was one of his favorite poets, he may well agree with Robert Louis Stevenson who said, “ That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.”
Visiting hours will be 4 pm- 7pm on Friday, July 14 at Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm St., Biddeford, ME 04005. Funeral will be on Saturday, 7/15 at 11am at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Cemetery Chapel in Biddeford. To share condolences online, please visit www.hopememorial.com.