Theodore Carellas Obituary (1926 – 2023) – Westfield, MA – The Republican

Theodore P. Carellas
1926 – 2023
Theodore P. “Ted” Carellas, 96, of Westfield, was called safely home on Sunday, April 30, 2023. He passed into Eternal Life at his home surrounded by the care and comfort of his loving family. He was a true people person with an infectious personality and smile who loved talking to and interacting with anybody and everybody. He had a gift for finding the good in a person. He was born in Springfield on August 4, 1926, a beloved son of the late Peter and Helen (Barlas) Carellas. He was raised on Chestnut Street in Springfield and spent his personal time at the Springfield Boys Club on Carew Street. In 1944, he graduated from Technical High School early and hitchhiked to Boston to enlist to fight in World War II at the age of 17.The Coast Guard was the only branch accepting recruits. He sailed from New Orleans in October 1944 on an Army freight and supply ship into the Pacific War. In February 1945, his ship was part of a convoy that engaged in battle with the Japanese when an onboard explosion caused him to go overboard. He was located and airlifted to Guadalcanal, Manila, Honolulu, Oakland and finally to Philadelphia, where his father, after being told he was Missing-In-Action, met him. He was awarded four military service medals for his efforts. He returned to Springfield after the conclusion of the war and attended American International College where he was a two-sport basketball and baseball athlete. He also played high-level softball and basketball for the Springfield Olympians representing his Greek church and was active in the Boys Club and the Melha Shriners. In 1959, he married and moved to Westfield, where he lived the remainder of his life. He and his new wife, Maria founded Carellas Insurance Agency in West Springfield. He enjoyed every aspect of the insurance business. Even after he officially retired and well into his later years, he looked forward to coming to the office, helping with the business and talking to his clients. He was a member of the American Legion Post 124, the Disabled American Veterans Post 68, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1847, the Civitan International and the AHEPA. He was active for decades at Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral as a board member, volunteer, youth baseball and basketball coach and mentor. He and Maria were honored with The Boston Diocese Laity Award in 1996. He was chair of his Tech Class of 1944 Reunion Committee. He was a passionate golfer and distinctly proud of his Greek heritage and his Coast Guard service. In 2019, he was one of 22 World War II honorees to participate in the Honor Flight CT inaugural flight to Washington, DC. He leaves his beloved wife and best friend, Maria (Dakis) Carellas. They were married on May 17, 1959 at Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral and were blessed with over 63 years of happiness together. He also leaves his three loving children, Peter Carellas and his wife Theodora of Winchester, William Carellas and his wife Debra of Westfield and Elaine Gravante and her husband Barry of Lynnfield; his five cherished grandchildren, Theodore Carellas, Jennifer and Sophia Carellas and Dominick and Michael Gravante. He is predeceased by his brother, Peter Carellas and his wife Victoria; his sister, Jennie Jeffes and her husband Christopher, and his sister, Constantina (Dena) Skeadas and her husband Nicholas. He leaves many dear nephews and nieces, extended family members and friends. His family will receive friends at the funeral home on Thursday, May 4, 2023 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the St. Pierre-Phaneuf Springfield Chapels, (413-737-1177), 7 Chapin Terrace, Springfield, MA 01107. His Funeral will be held on Friday, May 5, 2023 beginning at the funeral home at 8:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Service at 10 a.m. at Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 2320 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01107. His Burial with United States Coast Guard Military Honors will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery, 426 Bay Street, Springfield, MA 01109. Memorial donations may be made in his memory to the Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 22 Saint George Road, Springfield, MA 01104 or the Honor Flight CT, 27 Twin Oak Trail, Beacon Falls, CT 06403. For more details and to leave family condolence messages, please visit:

Published by The Republican from May 2 to May 3, 2023.

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