Obituary: Paul Davliakos / Westinghouse engineer was proud of his Greek heritage
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Paul Davliakos was proud of his heritage, and grew up speaking Greek and English. As an adult he worked to ensure that Greek-American students could get academic credit for speaking the language of their ancestors.
Mr. Davliakos of Wilkins, a World War II veteran and retired Westinghouse employee, died Friday at HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital, from complications following a stroke. He was 86.
The only child of Greek parents who emigrated from Turkey, Mr. Davliakos was born and raised in East Pittsburgh. He graduated from Turtle Creek High School and attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University. Though he did not complete his degree, he took evening courses in electrical engineering that were offered by his employer, Westinghouse, said his wife of 55 years, Peggy Roumanas Davliakos.
A World War II veteran, he served in France, were he was an air traffic controller in the Army Air Forces, said his wife, who met him after the war.
Peggy Roumanas was born in Greece and earned a teaching degree there. She was sponsored and brought to the United States by the Socrates Greek American Day School in Chicago. She taught Greek and Latin there until her brother, a priest, moved to Pittsburgh and she came with him. She met her future husband at the Greek Orthodox church in East Pittsburgh.
"He was a good father" she said, to the four children they raised in Wilkins. All four are working in the health field: George of Butler is a medical doctor; John P. of Annapolis, Md., is a dentist; Connie Davliakos of Erie, Pa., is a pharmacist; and James P. of Wilkins is a nurse.
Their sons and daughter all "understand Greek" and can speak it to varying degrees, Mrs. Davliakos.
In the 1980s, she said, her husband "was responsible for having the Greek language accredited for high school and college students in Pennsylvania. He knew the secretary of education and worked on this." Students take a proficiency test in Greek and can get credit if they score high enough, she said.
Mr. Davliakos worked 35 years as an electrical engineer, retiring in 1985 when the Westinghouse plant in East Pittsburgh closed.
In the 1970s he was a Cub scoutmaster in Wilkins and Churchill, when his children were involved in scouting. He was a member of the American Legion and a supporter of the American Heart Association.
In his retirement years he loved fishing, horseback riding, woodworking and playing with his six grandchildren, his wife said.
He was a longtime member, and former board member of Ypapanti -- Presentation of Christ Greek Orthodox Church. His funeral service will be at 11 a.m. today in the church, 1672 Electric Ave., East Pittsburgh. There will be a final viewing in the church one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at the Nativity of Theotokos Monastery in Butler County.
Memorial donations can be made to Ypapanti, P.O. Box J, East Pittsburgh 15112, or Nativity of the Theotokos Monastery, 121 St. Elias Way, Saxonburg, PA 16056.
First Published March 18, 2013 12:00 am