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Tom Patsalis

(born December 6, 1921- died July 29, 2014)

PHOTO: M85 jumper Tom Patsalis cuts the rug with W65 race walker Jolene Steigerwalt.

M85 jumper Tom Patsalis cuts the rug with W65 race walker Jolene Steigerwalt.Tom Patsalis (born December 6, 1921- died July 29, 2014) is an American track and field athlete. He has set 26 World Records in his career, a career that was still active in his late 80's. He is the current World Record holder in the M60 Long Jump, set in 1982 thus a record he has held for more than three decades. To date, only one jumper has come within .2 m (0 ft 73⁄4 in). He is also the American record holder in the Long Jump for the M60 age division, has an as yet unrecognized mark that has been pending since 1977 (though recognized by the California Track News chief statistician at the time, Percy Knox) still 7 inches superior to the listed American record and is the American record holder in the Triple Jump in the M60 and M65 age divisions. He was selected to the Masters division of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2003.

Patsalis was originally from Detroit, Michigan but, after 50 years of marriage, he retired in Alhambra, California. He claims he has been participating in track and field since high school, 70 years in the sport. In addition to jumping, he also runs sprints and hurdled until he was 70. He was a member of the University of Southern California track team in 1949, a teammate of Olympian Mel Patton, graduating from the university in 1950, when he was 28 years old—his education delayed by World War II.

He was a pioneer in the early days of Masters athletics, winning three events at the 2nd ever World Association of Veteran Athletes Championships in 1977 in Gothenburg, Sweden. He's won at the World Championships many times since and is looking forward to the 2011 World Masters Athletics Championships in nearby Sacramento, California. In 1981, just 8 months before his 60th birthday, he long jumped over 20 feet and four months before that same birthday he triple jumped over 40 feet, the oldest person to achieve such milestones. In 1982, he was selected California Track and Running News "Masters Athlete of the Year" after setting the M60 World Record in both the long jump and triple jump the same day at the Southern California TAC Championships at California State University, Los Angeles.

Patsalis remained active until he suffered a stroke in May 2014. He died from complications two months later.



3-16-1924 to 9-6-2013


Cris passed away peacefully at home on September 6, 2013 at the age of 89. He was born to Panos & Stavroula Eliopulos in Lancaster, California on March 16, 1924.  Cris is survived by Anne Pappas Eliopulos his wife of 63 years. They have three children, Cristine & John DiBernardo (Johnny, Christina & Liliana DiBernardo, Christina & Kate North, and Anthony DiBernardo), Pete, Mary, Alyssa & Annamarie Eliopulos), Stephanie & Rev. James Powell (Cristopher, Amy, Jacob & Noah Powell, Nicholas Powell, Alexander & Kari Powell).  He also is survived by his loving sister-in-law Mary Fondas (Cathy Lund & Dennis Fondas), his brother-in law George & Joan Pappas and sister Angie Georggin. He also leaves behind many loving nieces, nephews, and devoted friends. Cris was preceded in death by brothers, George, Andy, Ted, Charley and sister Helen Rowe.  

 Cris was in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946.  He went to South Hampton, England and then to France where he was stationed until the end of the war. 

 Cris worked for the Southern California Edison Company for 38 years until he retired in 1982.

 Cris was active over the years in organizations including, President of the Native Sons of the Golden West, President of the American Legion in Lancaster, California, member of the American Legion, Leonidas Post # 285 in Los Angeles, California, Treasurer of the Victor Elementary Board and was an Honorary Life Member. He was the manager of the Little League Baseball Senators Team and made improvements in lights and mats for the Football Stadium at West High. Cris was active in PTA.  He was Chairman and Board Member for the City of Torrance Parks and Recreation Department.       

 Cris was active in his Greek Orthodox Church serving as camp Counselor at Catalina and President of the Mr. & Mrs. Club of St. Sophia. Cris was a founding member of St Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Redondo Beach.  He served on the Parish Counsel for many years and President for two terms.  He could also be seen trimming trees, checking on all the electrical, installing cabinets and doing whatever was needed. He was honored by St Katherine’s in 1992.  

 Cris served as a District Governor of The Order of AHEPA going through all offices, he was President of his Chapter and went through all of the offices there. He was Chairman or a committee person for many committees.  He served as Past District Governors Club Treasurer and as the El Camino Real AHEPA Scholarship Foundation Treasurer for many years.  The Daughters of Penelope, Anthos Chapter #395 honored Cris in 2009 for his tireless volunteering efforts and his Community involvement.

 Services for Cris will be a Trisagion at Rice Mortuary 5310 Torrance Blvd, Torrance CA 90503 at 6:30PM. The funeral will be at St Katherine Greek Orthodox Church 722 Knob Hill Ave Redondo Beach CA on September 11, 2013 at 10AM.  – May his memory be eternal.

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