DANVILLE - Alexander "Lex" George Samaras, 96, of Danville, formerly of Hoopeston, passed away on Oct. 28, 2017, with his family by his side. Alexander was born on June 29, 1921, to George Argerios Samaras and Edna Margaret (Hullinger) Samaras. Alexander married Carolyn Jean Brown on Dec. 26, 1943, and she preceded him in death on July 3, 2014.
Survivors include two sons, David Samaras of Springfield, and Mark (Julie) Samaras of Waverly; one daughter, Nancy (Thomas) Fahey of Danville; one daughter-in-law, Anne Samaras of Poway, Calif.; one sister, Helen (Samaras) Coukoulis of San Diego, Calif.; one brother, William G. (Patsy) Samaras of Columbus, Miss.; 10 grandchildren, Trace (Sarah) Johnson, Catherine (Kyle) Neumann, Georgianna Samaras, Christopher Samaras, Rebecca LaPiana, Jennifer (Rich) Famiglietti, Christianne (John Wood) Samaras, Alexander D. Samaras, Alexander P. Samaras and Carolyn (Mike) Austin; eight great-grandchildren, Freddie Famiglietti, Sammy Famiglietti, Alexa LaPiana, Paige Wood, Kaleb Neumann, Kamryn Neumann, Zoe Austin and Jacob Austin.
Alexander was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Paul A. Samaras; one sister, Pauline (Samaras) Hughes; and one brother-in-law, Gus Coukoulis.
Alexander graduated from John Greer High School in Hoopeston, and Illinois State University with a Bachelor's in Music. He lettered in varsity tennis at Illinois State University. Alexander was a veteran of the United States Navy, serving in World War II at the invasion of Normandy (D-Day) on June 6, 1944, as a Commanding Officer of Landing Craft Tank (LCT 709) at Utah Beach, Executive Officer of the Landing Craft Support (LCS 81) at the invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, and the occupation of Japan upon the end of World War II. Upon returning to the United States, Alexander studied music at Juilliard in New York, N.Y., and completed his Masters in Music at Columbia University, New York, N.Y. Alexander taught music (band and choral) in Illinois at Princeville High School, Fairbury High School, Highland Park High School, Hoopeston High School, Milford Township High School and Schlarman High School. Alexander was also involved in the restaurant business as the owner of the Ritz in Hoopeston with his father George, who also made homemade candies, the Ritz in Watseka, and the Coach House in Elkhorn, Wis. Alexander also served actively in several organizations: Hoopeston School Board member, Hoopeston Chamber of Commerce member, Hoopeston American Legion Post 384 member, Danville VFW 3510 member and Commander, 32nd Degree Mason, and Danville Masonic Men's Choir director. Later in life, he served as a Bailiff at the Vermilion County Courthouse.
A Celebration of Alexander's Life will be held at The Church of The Holy Trinity at 308 N. Vermilion St. Danville, IL, on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, at 10 a.m. with Father Richard Lewis officiating. Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, at Sunset Funeral Home at 3940 N. Vermilion Street Danville, IL. Cremation Rites were accorded, and inurnment will be in Danville National Cemetery with Military Rites accorded by American Legion Post 210. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to either the VFW Post 3510 or to the Church of the Holy Trinity. The family would also like to give profound thanks to the staff at Presence United Samaritans Hospital in Danville, Dr. Halloran, and the V.A. Hospital in Danville.
Please join Alexander's family in sharing memories, video, and pictures on his wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.
Published on October 30, 2017