Tribute to Strato Nicholas Xenelis
December 10, 1921 â April 19, 2020
Loving Husband, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Uncle and Friend
Strato N. Xenelis, a long time resident of Cranford, NJ passed away peacefully at the age of 98 on Sunday, April 19, 2020. He is predeceased by his wife, Alice to whom he was married for sixty seven years.
Strato was born in Eressos, a village on the island of Lesvos in Greece and came to the United States at the age of 12. A quick learner, he excelled in school and was a member of the National Honor Society at Middletown High School in Middletown, CT. During his school years, he worked in the family business started by his father, the Middlesex Fruitery. Following high school he attended Wesleyan University and the University of Connecticut.
During World II Strato enlisted in the US Army Air Force and rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. He was stationed in England and flew thirty four missions over Western Europe as a B-17 navigator. He always spoke of wearing his lucky shoes whenever he flew out on a mission.
In 1958 he joined Prudential Insurance Company, where he was a successful agent for nearly thirty years, consistently winning sales awards and citations.
He was an active member of the American Legion Hellenic Post 440 and served as their chaplain. He was also a member of the AHEPA and was honored with a plaque for being man of the year.
While retired he and his wife Alice enjoyed many trips and cruises abroad. One of his hobbies was tending to his tomato garden. He also was an avid opera aficionado and listened to the Saturday afternoon opera performances on the radio. Strato looked forward to family social gatherings and he would frequently sing songs in English, Italian or Greek. He enjoyed a good game of poker and those Friday night games with his friends and relatives. He had a zest for life and his positive outlook contributed to his long life.
Strato is survived by his daughter Helen X. Hamilton and his son-in-law James. He was the proud grandfather to Allison Hamilton Vonk along with her husband Dean, as well as being a great grandfather to Madelyn and Benjamin Vonk. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Doris Andrews.
A memorial service celebrating Strato's life will be held at a future date.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in his memory to Cranford Family Care, 61 Myrtle Ave., Cranford, NJ 07016 or St. Joseph's Indian School, P.O.Box 100, Chamberlain, SD 57325.