George John Ghikas, 87, of Sheridan, WY passed away Tuesday December 21, 2010. George will be missed by his family and friends.
George was born January 19, 1923 in New York, New York. He was the son of John and Catherine (Trumphire) Ghikas. George as a youth worked with his father in the family restaurant and coffee shop in Washington, D.C. George was trained as an astronomer at the Academy of Science in Baltimore, Maryland where he also served on the faculty.
George meet his wife Aphrodite “Venus” Matthews at his father’s coffee shop. George and Venus were married on December 9, 1942. On December 14, 1942 George entered the United States Navy. During WW II George served as a boatswain mate on the U.S.S. Valencia (AKA 81) and the U.S.S. Alshain (AKA 55) in the Pacific and Marianas. He received the WW II Victory Mental.
Upon discharge from the Navy, George moved to Sheridan, Wyoming to be with his wife Venus and daughter Marie. George was a colorful person and operated the Fern Café, the Palace Café and the Sheridan Coin Shop. George’s prize treasure is a Hall’s Safe &Lock Co. safe used by an early bank in Sheridan, Wyoming.
George enjoyed deer and elk hunting with his friends. George continued his love of astronomy and interest in western lore. George would go to schools to lecture on astronomy and often invited students to view the comets and other celestial bodies through a telescope at his home. George donated the Sheridan College Mohn’s Center telescope. Look to the sky and you will see George’s gaze.
George was involved in forming a small Greek Orthodox congregation in Sheridan. Although the small church did not survive, George continued his long support and love of the Greek Orthodox religion. George held a long friendship with Reverend Ray Clark and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
George was a member of the Sheridan Masonic Lodge, Order of Eastern Star, Scottish Rite, Kalif Shrine, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Sheridan Elks Lodge. George enjoyed traveling Wyoming as a Wyoming Eastern Star grand lodge escort with his wife Venus.
George was preceded in death by his parents, his brother John, and his wife Venus. He is survived by his daughter Maria Herman (Larry), grandson George Carter, PhD, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be 10:30am Wednesday (Dec. 29th) from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church with the Reverend John Meyer officiating. Interment will be in the Masonic #8 Section of Sheridan Municipal Cemetery with graveside rites by the officers of the lodge. Military rites are by the Wyoming National Guard and the American Legions.
Memorials may benefit the Kalif Shrine Children’s Travel Fund, P.O. Box K, Sheridan, or St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.