Fr. Arthur Kontinos
Born: January 30, 1930
Died: November 29, 2009
The Very Reverend Arthur Kontinos passed away peacefully at home on Nov. 29, 2009, at the age of 79.
In 1976 when Page Field was considered outside of town and the intersection of Cypress Lake Drive and US 41 was governed by a lone stop sign, Fr. Arthur came to Fort Myers to establish the only Greek Orthodox parish on the southwest coast. Under his guidance and labors, the church grew from holding services in temporary quarters, the acquisition of land on 8210 Cypress Lake Drive, to the building of a house of worship and community center To his leadership credit was the building and furnishing of the church and social hall, the burning of two mortgages, the addition of modular classrooms, and the purchase of additional land adjoining the parish grounds.
Fr Arthur was born January 30, 1930 in Keene, NH to Constantine and Athanasia Kontinos, both Greek immigrants. He graduated Keene High School where he was named to the All-State Football Team. Fr. Arthur attended the Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, MA obtaining a degree in theology. He married the former Aspasia Kaplanes June 28, 1953. He was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on August 23, 1953. His first assignment was to the pastorate of Woburn, MA where in his 2½ years of service he founded the building fund committee for a new church. He then served the parish of Aliquippa, PA. While there, he served on the board of Directors of the Beaver Valley Mental Health Society, an officer of the Beaver Valley Orthodox Priest Association, and President of the 6th Diocesan District Clergyman's Brotherhood. Under his supervision property was purchased, a building fund instituted, a new church and parish house constructed, and ultimately the retirement of the mortgage. In 1966, Fr Arthur was assigned to the Saint Athanasius Greek Orthodox Church of Arlington, MA. He established the parish organizations, excelling in youth programs. He served as President of the Arlington Ecumenical Clergyman's Association. He was instrumental in the formation of the Arlington Ecumenical Thanksgiving Day Services, the Week of Prayer of Christian Unity, and many other endeavors of Christian stewardship. In 1976 he came to Fort Myers, FL with a proven record of building parish communities. The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church on Cypress Lake Drive is the product of his leadership. In 1997 the Parish Council and parishioners honored him by naming the social hall "The Very Reverend Farther Arthur K. Kontinos Community Center".
Fr Arthur was an avid and accomplished golfer, shooting his age several times in his early 70's on his home course of Cypress Lake Golf and Country Club.
Fr Arthur is survived by his wife Aspasia; daughter Athanasia Kontinos and husband John Drolshagen of Weston, FL; son Thomas Kontinos and wife Laura of Fort Myers, FL; son Dean Kontinos and wife Shannon of Sunnyvale, CA; grandchildren Michael Dillon, Lukas Arthur, Moriah Grace, Athanasios Constantine, and Sophia Walker; brother John Kontinos of Ft. Myers, FL; sister Elaine Kalaris of Robertsdale, AL; brother Nick Kontinos of Estero, FL; and sister Eugenia Loughney of Fort Myers, FL.