Sunday, January 10, 2021
"I Had Some Other Plans"

From Nick's last letter, among his "last words" to us:
"I had some other plans".

That could go on his tomb stone, if he were to have one. I suppose one could have a funerary urn inscribed with those words, though.....

All of our prior discussions on what we were or weren't going to do for Christmas suddenly became moot, while Nick waited for Covid test results. The sad results became available before Christmas, and then...oh, so quickly, in a few short days....

Nick went to hospital, and Shirley was hoping, if he was "able and willing, to have him home tomorrow" on December 30, 2020.

Nick did eventually come home, but it was for hospice on Monday, January, 4, 2021. On the 5th, in the morning, Julia and I visited for a very short while with Shirley outside on their porch, everyone masked and sitting distant. We looked into the front door screen, to see Nick on the hospital bed, with the mask bringing oxygen, and said our hellos (goodbyes). He wasn't very conscious, but he knew he was at home. Occasionally, he'd grunt, and Shirley would coo back to re assure him.

Later on Tuesday afternoon, Shirley called to tell us he'd passed. At least he was at home, where it was peaceful.

I miss him so much. Where ever he was, we'd always keep in constant touch with emails.

Julia, Laura and I met Nick and Shirley shortly after we moved to Yuma, in 2002. Laura was interested in chess, and Nick ran a chess club which had meetings at the Barnes and Nobles.

I'm so glad Nick and Shirley got to meet Laura, as she passed later in July of 2002.

I'm hunting in old photo archives for the earliest photos. I know there were earlier ones than these, but...

...I see a Christmas gathering at Nick and Shirley's house in 2010 got commemorated with the camera.

Shirley got behind the camera while Nick and our friend Scotty joined us in front of it

Here, I was the one with the camera....

Here, a year earlier in 2009, I was the one with the camera when we all went to the balloon festival...

Dinner with Nick and Shirley at River City Grill, 2011. Nick made 'Napolean' pose while Shirley clicked us both.

I kind of like this 'in the sunrise' photo I took at the 2009 balloon festival © Joan Lansberry 2009

January 25, 2021 Edit: Addition of our most recent photo of Nick:

The last photo we have of Nick was from Thanksgiving, 2020
Shirley grabbed their camera and snapped us before our socially distanced, outdoor meal on their porch.

Then Nick took the camera and photographed Shirley with us.

When he sent me the photo originals, he said, "Thanksgiving with Covid issues is a bit difficult. If you make them better please send me the results." Which I did, replying, "Yes, I think I've got them better. I lessened the areas of extreme contrast and made us all more visible. These are cropped for 8x6."

Then I added, "We have good documentation of this strange era!"

I wish, of course, I'd have taken more photos. But I'm grateful for the ones we do have.

Obituary for Nicolas Kordellas, 5-1-1935 to 1-5-2021
(Written by Shirley, with some memory help by Phil, Nick's son)

Photo of Nick 2011

Nick was born 1 May 1935 in Athens, Greece. Nick always felt all Europe celebrated his birthday as May Day.

Nick was an only child raised in Athens, just below the Northern side of the Acropolis. The family spent the summers on their farm at Krea Varsi on Eubia. The farm during the WW2 was their base all year, from which they sent food to relatives in Athens, who were starving.

From an early age he was always interested in making childhood inventions, ranging from tinkering with tractors and bikes to training farm animals on their farm.

On finishing Grade 12, Nick received a Physics scholarship to study abroad. He was about 18 when he arrived in Ottawa to improve his English at Carleton College (1953). Nick then entered University of Toronto in Engineering, where obtained his degree. He was doing his Masters at George Washington University. Nick worked at many jobs, some were in Wellington and Montreal such as Union Carbide, SNC Lavalin in Montreal and Edmonton.

Nick married Mary Allan, a registered nurse, in 1962. They had a son, Philip, born in 1965 In Montreal. Due to the Quebec desire for separation, Nick and Mary acquired a cabin in Alexandria, Ontario. Nick was at a Party with Andre Leveque Who told Nick “You are a nice guy but you are not Quebecois and you have no place here”. Mary died in her sleep from a subdural hematoma in 1970. She is buried in Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal. Nick was in a state of shock and took a year to get his and Phil’s lives back on an even keel.

In 1972 Nick moved to Fort MacMurray, AB for GC West (Suncor). He enjoyed the whole northern experience. In 1976 there were some company adjustments. Nick and Phil moved to Sherwood Park where they remained. Nick’s jobs over the years were at Eldorado Nuclear, Labatts and the Genesee project. In 1982 Nick met and married Shirley Tripp, a registered nurse. Nick permanently retired from Hospital District 24 in 1991. He became adept with computers through the Edmonton Computer Club.

From 1997 to 2010 Shirley and Nick became snowbirds in Yuma, AZ. Shirley worked as a seasonal RN at Yuma Regional Hospital. Nick resumed playing Chess and managing the home. They continued to enjoy retirement with snow birding from 2010 to present.

Nick was a dedicated employee, working to improve the job he was in. He was well liked and retained long term friends from his jobs. Nick always pushed to improve the world we live in and the people in it. He was environmentally friendly, believing the world could always be made a better place, a Liberal in Politics and a Unitarian Universalist in belief.

In 2014 Nick and Shirley created the Kordellas Tripp foundation at the U of T to help students in Nursing and Engineering. This was done to honor the U of T and the wonderful life he has had since his graduation. He believed in Giving Back to help others.

Nick contracted COVID on 20-Dec-20, was hospitalized on 29-Dec. Nick was transferred home on Hospice on 4-Jan-21. On 5-Jan-21 Nick died in his home from COVID respiratory failure. He is being cremated per his wishes.

Printable version here

On March 17, 2021, Shirley added these words to her facebook post with the obituary:
"After a life well lived the words to describe Nick are a good person, dutiful, hardworking, social, curious, and generous. Nick loved being with people and travelling, chess, spaghetti, Greek food and cheese (“My Mouse”). And Nick is loved and missed."

He is most definitely missed!

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