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Bill Stakias, supermarket manager and Lion leader, dies at age 92

Bill Stakias Bill Stakias

William “Bill” Stakias, a longtime well-liked supermarket manager who was active in the Lions Club, Masonic Lodge and veterans groups, died peacefully at his home in Laurel Park home on March 3 at age 92.


Born on Jan. 6, 1929, in Monessen, Pennsylvania, he was one of seven children of the Alexander Demetrius Stakias and Bonnie Davis Stakias.
The family moved to Asheville when he was 3 years old. He graduated in 1948 from Lee H. Edwards High School, now Asheville High School, as did his wife,
Janet Hodges Stakias, who died in February 2019. Bill and Jan were married for almost 66 years. Both remained active with their high school alumni class until their deaths.
Bill attended Asheville-Biltmore College (now UNC-Asheville) before joining the U.S. Navy in October 1950. He saw action aboard the carrier USS Bataan during the Korean War before he was honorably discharged in August 1954.

After working in Asheville for four years, Stakias and his wife and daughters moved to Hendersonville, NC, where Bill continued his employment in the grocery business. He managed A&P supermarkets from 1954 to 1976, including Hendersonville stores on North Main Street, Asheville Highway and at South Center on Greenville Highway. From 1977 to 1980, he was employed by Britt-Clary Food Distributors as a special representative to Ingles stores.
He became the manager of the Ingles supermarket on Spartanburg Highway in Hendersonville when it opened in 1980 and remained until his retirement in 1994. Well-liked by his employees and by customers who “traded” with him through the years, he earned a reputation for extraordinary customer service and an exemplary work ethic.

 

Stakias was a member of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville and a member of the Jim Dishner/Dr. George A. Jones Sunday School Class, serving as class president for many years.

Community involvement and service were hallmarks of his life. He was a member of the Hendersonville Lions Club for more than 50 years, and was recently recognized as a member of the Half Century Club. He received many awards including being named as a Melvin Jones Fellow and a Jack Stickley Fellow, the highest honor presented to a member. He served as chairman of the Lions Club Apple Festival breakfast fundraiser and of the Lions Club broom sales for more than 20 years. He was also recognized for recruiting almost 50 new members to the club and was chosen by the Lions to ride in the 2019 Apple Festival parade in recognition of his many years of service to the club.

Bill joined the Kedron Masonic Lodge #387 in Hendersonville in 1986, and is a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason of the Valley of Asheville and a Noble of the Oasis Shrine in Charlotte. He was also a member of the VFW and the American Legion.

Surviving are daughters Malissa Booth of West Palm Beach, Florida, and Susan Walters of Matthews; granddaughters Allison Walters Davey and Kendal Walters (Ryan Lukens), both of Charlotte; and great-grandsons Knox Davey and Jett Davey, who loved their Papa Bill. He is also survived by a sister, Mary Stakias Spaanbroek, of Cary, and sister-in-law Faye Stakias (Mrs. Nick Stakias) of Greensboro, as well as many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by brothers James “Jim” Stakias, George “Corky” Stakias, and Nicholas “Nick” Stakias; and sisters Margaret Stakias Drollinger and Barbara “Nene” Stakias McClain. He was also preceded in death by his beloved mother-in-law, Lucile Mackey Hodges.

Memorials may be made to either the Shriners Hospital for Children (950 W. Faris Rd. Greenville, SC 29605) or to Blue Ridge Honor Flight (P.O. Box 18057, Asheville, N.C. 28814). Stakias considered himself fortunate to have traveled with other Korean War veterans to Washington, D.C., on an Honor Air Flight in September 2016, and enthusiastically promoted the Honor Air program until his death. Memories and condolences may be shared on the Tribute Wall of the obituary for William “Bill” Stakias on the andersrice.com website.