Tuesday, April 29, 2014

James G. Cretekos

Wellsville, NY - James G. Cretekos, age 86, died on April 27, 2014 at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester.  He was a lifelong resident of Wellsville who was born on January 6, 1928, the son of George J. and Anastasia Paraskavopoulos Cretekos. On August 22, 1954 in Wellsville he married Ann Forman who predeceased him on December 30, 2003.

Jim was an Army veteran, earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of Buffalo and his Masters Degree from St. Bonaventure University.  He was a professor of Chemistry at SUNY Alfred and active in the United University Professions for many years before his retirement.

Jim was very proud of his Greek heritage and visited the birthplace of his father in Sykia, Greece many times over the years with his family.  He was a founding organizer of the Greek Open Golf Tournament in Wellsville, later named the Hellenic Invitational Golf Tournament held in Coudersport, Pennsylvania.  He was fiercely loyal to his family and friends and a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party.

His previous community contributions include election commissioner for Allegany County, Trustee of Jones Memorial Hospital, member of the Allegany County Legislature, Supervisor of the Town of Wellsville, Mayor of the Village of Wellsville, and an active member and past Exalted Ruler of the Wellsville BPOE.

Jim is survived by his five children, Stacey Cretekos , Cynthia (Doug) Young, George (Jolene) Cretekos, Greg Cretekos (Lydia Yawney), Karen Cretekos (Mark Buchalter) and ten grandchildren;  Kyla, Niko and Lily Cretekos-Gross of Congers, NY, Jimmy Young of Troy, NY, Andy (Heidi) Young of North Greece, NY, Emily Young of Saratoga Springs, NY, Jimmy Cretekos of Rochester, NY, Terry Cretekos of Chicago, IL,  Louis and Benjamin Buchalter of Seattle, WA., as well as Several nieces and nephews.

Jim was predeceased by his parents, his wife Ann, a sister Katherine Toporas, 3 brothers, Jack Cretekos, Dr. Constantine "Gus" Cretekos and Stephen Cretekos, a son in law, Michael Gross.

Friends are invited to call on Thursday, May 1, 2014, from 2-4 and 7-9 pm at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Wellsville. A Greek Orthodox funeral service with Father George Zervos presiding will be held at 11:30 am on Friday at the St. John's Episcopal Church on Main Street in Wellsville. Burial will take place in Woodlawn Cemetery and donations in Jim's name can be made to a Wellsville based organization of your choice. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome .com.


  1. I was proud to be a member of the democratic committee when Jim was there. He gave me some good advice while i was secretary of the group. He will be missed by so many....god bless and my condolences to the family

  2. I was one of Jim's students at Alfred State College and was later fortunate enough to become one of his teaching colleagues. He was a dedicated teacher who enhanced the lives of countless students and they will remember him with affection for decades to come.

  3. Jim worked with my mom, he taught me to swim and he educated me on politics. I am a better person because of him

  4. Liked the man an awful lot, Jim always had time for me and never forgot my name ever.