Life Story for Lazarus Stylianos "Laz" Politakis
Lazarus Politakis “Laz” was born at Tacoma General Hospital on December 21, 1927 and died Easter morning, April 16, 2017. He was the son of Stylianos and Eleni Politakis. His parents immigrated from the Greek Island of Marmara. He grew up on the hilltop in Tacoma playing with his younger brother Eleftherios (Lefty) at Ferry Park. Greek was the language at home and he did not learn English until he attended elementary school. When Laz was nine, his Mother contracted tuberculosis and lived at the sanitarium in Lakewood prior to her death in 1939. Laz and his brother were passed around to friends and relatives while his father commercial fished and worked in the sawmills to support the family. Laz graduated from Stadium High School in 1946 and joined the Marine Corps. He attended Pacific Lutheran University, and was able to graduate in 3 1/2 years with a degree in Business Administration while working nights and weekends at Peerless laundry. Laz believed in the power of education and was very grateful to his college and the GI bill.
In 1954 Laz started his banking career at Puget Sound National Bank. As he progressed in his career, he attended Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington where he graduated with honors. Laz had found his niche and excelled as a Banker. Through the years he was fortunate to work with many talented and wonderful people. He retired from Puget Sound Bank in 1992 as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer.
In 1958 he married Martha Rose Stowell and they made their home in the north end of Tacoma with her son Victor Martineau. Their sons Steve and Chris were born in the 1960's. The family enjoyed a full and rich life.
Laz loved the outdoors and sports. He enjoyed working in his yard, fishing at Westport and Pattison Lake and playing handball at the Tacoma Elks. He was also one heck of a Greek dancer and would often draw a crowd as he danced at events and weddings.
Laz was proud of his family and Greek heritage yet he was humble and never wanted to be the center of attention. He was frugal yet extremely generous with his time and resources. He was unassuming yet filled the room with his presence. Laz would say that "Life is not always fair" yet he would strive to be fair and do what was right. He was a good man and lived a full life. His brother Elefthiros preceded him in death. Laz is survived by his wife, Martha, his sons, Steve (Kathleen) and Chris and his stepson Vic. He is also survived by his grandchild, Christopher Lazarus Politakis.
Laz was a devoted and lifelong member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The Trisagion will be held Sunday, April 23, 7:00 PM at Piper Morley with Oakwood Hill funeral home on 5436 S. Puget Sound Ave, Tacoma.
The funeral will be Monday, April 24, 11:00 at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 1523 S. Yakima Ave, Tacoma, followed by a luncheon in the Church hall. The burial will take place at the old Tacoma Cemetery on 4801 S. Tacoma Way. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church building fund or Pacific Lutheran University. While you're here on the website, please sign guest book.