Hercules Kivotos Ypsilantis, 87,of Tarpon Springs, FL, passed away peacefully July 17, 2019. He was born on September 9, 1931 in Tarpon Springs, FL. to Kivotos Ypsilantis and Rousa Georgiou Ypsilantis who immigrated from Halki, Greece.
Hercules was lovingly referred to by family and friends as “Herc”. He graduated from Tarpon Springs High School in 1951 where he played football, ran track and was a cheerleader. Herc spent many evenings dancing at Sunset Beach Pier, winning first place in many dance contests.
In 1949, at the age of 17, he was blessed by retrieving the Epiphany cross. Herc said he always had a guardian angel watching over him after that day. This year was the 70th anniversary of his retrieval of the cross and he was honored at the Blessing of the Fleet as being the oldest living cross retriever in Tarpon Springs.
Herc enlisted in the United States Navy after high school and served during the Korean War. After his honorable discharge in 1954 he settled in California where he began his 30 year career as a Greyhound bus driver. During those years he drove over 3.8 million miles and was recognized for a perfect record with no accidents during his career.
He was a 50 year member of the Masonic Order and was a Master Mason. He was a Shriner, York Rite Freemason and Scottish Rite Freemason as well as a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. He was a member of the Elks, American Legion and AHEPA Tarpon Springs.
In 2014 he donated his fathers 1926 Chevrolet “jitney” bus to the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society. The jitney bus had been driven by his father to transport locals around Tarpon Springs and had been in storage since 1951. It has currently been restored and is showcased during special events and parades.
Herc enjoyed his time in Manila, Utah where he loved to fish and hunt. He was an avid bowler and was on the Greyhound Bus league for many years winning many trophies.
After retiring and moving back to Tarpon Springs he enjoyed many hours at the Sponge Docks reminiscing with friends and other locals.
Hercules was a man with strong faith. He was a member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Tarpon Springs, FL.
All who knew him loved his sense of humor and wonderful gift of story telling. He enjoyed weekly poker games with friends and spending time reading.
He will be missed immensely by his family, friends and all who knew him.
May his memory be eternal!
Preceded in death by his parents Kivotos and Rousa of Tarpon Springs FL, his sister Fannie Michaelides of Fort Lauderdale FL, nephew Leonard Linardos of Miami FL. and wife Marlene Nielson Ypsilantis of Salt Lake City, Utah. He is survived by his sister Stella Linardos of Royal Palm FL, daughters Helen Rose Arzimanoglou (Kosta) of Antioch CA, Stella Elizabeth Stafford (John) of Santa Rosa, CA and Cathy Lou Avallone (Jerry) of Rescue, CA. Eight grandchildren: Maria Eleni Mastorakos (Suli), Christina Lallas (Mathias), Michelle Arzimanoglou, Shamus Stafford, Michelle Stafford, Elizabeth Stafford, Kristyn Avallone, Garrett Avallone and great-grandson Stephen Mastorakos. Nephew John Michaelides (Kris) great-nephew Neil Michaelides, great-niece Taylor Michaelides. Nephew Kevin Linardos (Lisa), great-niece Megann Linardos, great-nephew Kevin Lawrence Linardos. Niece Roxanna Linardos, great-nephew Tristan Linardos. Cousins; Peter Angelis, Cimos Angelis, Jackie Angelis, Maryann Angelis and many more. Goddaughters Foula Vasilogiorgis and Stella Dunne