Advertisement

Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at tampabay.com/coronavirus. Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Two Greek immigrants had some parallels in their lives

The two men would have enjoyed simply sitting together and talking, a daughter says.

Anastasia Kerry Smith thinks her father would have liked Kostas "Gus" Miliotis.

Miliotis, 63, ran across a lengthy and whimsical inscription that Smith's father wrote in wet concrete when a gutter was poured in New Athens City decades ago. The inscription describes the philosopher Diogenes' tongue-in-cheek search for an honest man. Fascinated, Miliotis devoted a section of his Web site on Greek issues to the histories of Diogenes and the other ancient Greeks memorialized in New Athens City.

There are some parallels in the lives of the two men, both Greek immigrants. Arthur Kerry, who died in 1970, came to the United States and was helped by a night school teacher. Miliotis came as the guest of a couple he cured of food poisoning in Greece. A young assistant pharmacist, he gave them a mixture of belladonna and laudanum with syrup added to mask the bitterness.

Both men made their fortunes here, Kerry in real estate, and Miliotis as a financial consultant. Miliotis retired at 46 and now divides his time between homes in East Lake and St. Louis.

And both men have daughters who were adopted. Kerry brought over his niece's daughter _ Smith _ from Greece when she was 8, in 1961.

A year-and-a-half ago, Miliotis married Diane Touliatos, director of the Center for the Humanities and professor of music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who has an adopted daughter, 12-year-old Maryann.

Maryann's story is itself dramatic. Born in a Paraguayan jungle to a teenager who died alone during the birth, she was found by a passing tribe who heard her cries _ and used a machete to cut the umbilical cord that still attached her to her mother. Touring Paraguay at the time, Touliatos happened to be in the same hospital as the baby the next day, learned about her and started the process of adopting her.

Miliotis is often heard commenting, often in Greek, on politics and current events on WPSO-1500 AM and WXYB-1520 AM, and has devoted much of his retirement to scholarly pursuits.

Which is why Smith thinks "my daddy and he would probably have hit it off." A humble man who loved people and admired education, her father "would have loved just sitting with (Miliotis) for hours and hours."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement