A Legacy of a man’s life of dedication to serve

From a poor, tough beginning, he grew his young nerve

With a strong, Greek mother, small yet mighty

Teaching him lessons of love, faith and integrity

As a Greek immigrant youth growing up on the Philadelphia streets

Jim overcame many obstacles, discrimination having to beat

He found a love of Track & Field, which made him a star in high school

President of his graduating class, now he was the one who was ‘cool’

Scary years lay ahead for him, as he enlisted in the Army for WWII

A sniper and Platoon Leader, a decorated soldier with medals his due

But serving his country would be just the beginning of his unbelievable story

Wharton School was next, playing football and track, his ultimate glory

Then off to George Washington Law School, Washington DC he lived

But dreams of returning to his Philadelphia family, his calling he believed

Once back in his hometown, Jim became President of everything

The Hellenic Federation, AHEPA chapters, Parish Councils he was leading

So, his goal focused on serving the Greek community, his family in tact

He knew in his heart that with all his blessings, he must give back

Chairman of the Building Committee of St. Demetrios Church, he was indeed

Meeting our mother, love at first site, a lifetime of a special love for him ahead

The Greek Heritage to make great, his vision was very clear

Speeches and speeches he gave eloquently, expressed passionately with no fear

After years of leadership and community service

Jim had a dream, an Olympic Track Meet with all the fanfare, it did entice

The Hellenic Youth would compete for glory and Church

Jim’s vision of ancient times brought to present, with a bright burning torch

The Olympic Theme, laurel wreaths, and a Mayor’s Declaration, he made sure

This track meet would be his legacy, the Gods did concur!

Wearing his University of Penn cap with a winged-foot gold pin, he did decorate

Seeing the spirit of Ancient Greece all around, the crowds did celebrate

But in 1994, the unthinkable happened

Our father passed away, so sudden, he was taken

No words, just tears, the Greek Community was shaken

In 2016, AHEPA inducted him into their Athletic Hall of Fame, we did toast

They will remember our father’s love of the Greek people, we will always boast

The memories from those of us who participated, we can still see them so clear

James D. Tanos Pan Hellenic Track & Field Games celebrating its 44th year     

As Father’s Day 2020 approaches, the 26th reminder without him here

Oh, my darling dear daughter, I can hear him lovingly say so clear

For you are your father’s daughter, the Tanos name, in history it will remain

My spirit will be with you always and forever, until we meet again…