Obituary of William A. Athens, Sr

Athens, Dr. William A. Sr., age 91, November 30, 2015 of Grosse Ile. Beloved husband of Angelina. Loving father of Ellen (Tom Lasky) Athens, Andrew (Vicki) Athens, Laura (Nick Panas) Athens and William Jr. (Lisa) Athens. Also survived by his grandchildren Andrew, Alexandra, Christian, Nicolas, Alex, Alyssa and Max; his sister Tula Georgeson; his niece Pamela (Mark Decco) Georgeson.

Dr. Athens was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1924 to parents Archie and Nancy Athens who emigrated from Greece. He served in the United States Air Force during World War II and then began his studies at the University of Illinois, Roosevelt University and obtained his medical degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. In 1953, he interned at Detroit Osteopathic Hospital.

William wed his wife Angie on September 16, 1951 when he was a junior in college. They have been married over 64 years. They have four children Ellen, Andy, Laura and Bill, Jr. Three of the children followed in his footsteps becoming osteopathic physicians. Laura is an attorney.

William practiced medicine for over 60 years at Athens Clinic in Taylor. When his medical practice began, Dr. Athens was a country doctor making house calls, often being paid in vegetables and poultry. He was on the hospital staff of Riverside Osteopathic and Seaway hospitals. Later, Ellen and Andy joined the family medicine practice and son Bill became an orthopedic surgeon.

Dr. Athens has received numerous awards and honors for his professional, patriotic and religious contributions. He served for 25 years as a member of the House of Delegates to the Michigan Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons. As Chairman of the Association Council of Public Education on Health, Dr. Athens received the Presidential Citation for Meritorious Services. An active alumnus of Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (now Midwestern University), he is a Life Member of the Chicago Society.

As a long time generous supporter of the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Athens served as an associate clinical professor of family medicine and was a member of MSU's President's Club. MSU/COM bestowed the Walter F. Patenge Medal of Public Service on Dr. Athens for his commitment to osteopathic medicine, health care, education and public service.

In the Greek Orthodox Church, he was honored for his service with the title of "archon" of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle. He was also named a member of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund established to advance Orthodoxy and Hellenism. In 2000, Dr. Athens received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor during ceremonies held at Ellis Island in New York Harbor. He was nominated for his tireless work on behalf of his church and community.

William was a wonderful role model to his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Inspired by his enthusiasm for medicine, several of his nephews and nieces became physicians.

He worked very hard through the years, but also believed in playing hard. He remained an avid boater and gardener and enjoyed swimming, skiing and playing tennis. He will be missed terribly and remembered fondly by so many who loved him.

Contributions in memory of Dr. Athens' life may be made to
Karmanos Cancer Institute

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox National Shrine at Ground Zero or the
American Heart Association

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