George Kazakos Obituary, Death – We are saddened to inform you of the demise of our beloved hero and superstar brother George Kazakos. His father, who was also his instructor, started him playing soccer when he was very little in Greece. He was an outstanding athlete in EVERY sport, but notably baseball and soccer. It was then that a Sports Star, a jock, was born… Washington Junior High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was the place where he got his start on a successful life. The newspaper attention he received was incredible as a result of his sportsmanship as well as his exceptional achievements in athletics. It was at Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1963, where he earned the nickname “The Golden Greek.” He was a strong hitter.
That was amazing to us! He was a proud Vietnam Veteran when, in 1966, he decided to put his dream of playing soccer at the semi-professional level in Brooklyn on hold. He was a member of the United States Army Baseball team, and after serving his country honorably as a sergeant, he came back to us… It seemed a foregone conclusion that George would pursue a career in physical education. After turning down an offer to attend Moravian College, he went to East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, where he earned the nickname “Crazy Legs Kazakos” and met the woman who would become his wife, Linda. He was honored with a great deal of praise as well as trophies and awards.
Additionally, he was referred to as the “Greek Pele,” both he and our forefathers’ idol. His first and only job was in the Bethlehem Area School District, where he served as a teacher, male and female soccer coach, a sports advocate, and a mentor for thousands of students at East Hills Middle School and Freedom High School. His tenure in the Bethlehem Area School District spanned over three decades. Because of his ardent coaching, Freedom won its FIRST Pennsylvania State championship in 1983, an accomplishment that took an absurdly short length of time. Always placing the needs of the pupils ahead of his own, he took delight in the successes achieved jointly with them. Because of his unparalleled contributions to the community, he was honored with the “Key to the City of Bethlehem” upon his retirement, and June 4 was designated as “George Kazakos Day.”
Following a successful career as a player, he moved on to refereeing in the state of Pennsylvania. It was impossible for him to leave the field… Multitalented… Our Mothers’ greatest source of pride and delight…. Yes… he was our family’s “Prince,” and we couldn’t have asked for it any other way; when he was around, we couldn’t help but be filled with pride. We attended his games, coached him, and he was adored, revered, and held in the utmost esteem… we his cheerleaders… The hopes and goals that our immigrant father had for his children have come true… Memory Eternal to a dedicated oldest brother of four sisters, (I’m the baby), father of Teddy and Joy, and Jamie, husband to his wife Linda, grandfather to his cherished grandson Mason, and loving son and uncle. He had an impact on many All of this information was provided by a child from Hrisaugi, Greece, who was 11 years old.
To Linda & the Kazakos Family, please accept our sincere condolences on George’s passing. Got to know him over the years through his soccer family in the Poconos. What a great guy, always good for a laugh. Always enjoyed our conversations at the Snyder Picnics & at the Kutztown Produce auction. He was certainly one of a kind & will be deeply missed. Our thoughts & prayers are with you & your family.