Our View: Family was always first for Alex Spanos
Celebrated businessman, generous philanthropist and respected NFL owner have been some of the words used to describe Alex G. Spanos, who died Tuesday morning at age 95.
Yet none of those probably best describe what the son of Greek immigrants would use to describe himself: husband, father, grandfather and friend.
Yes, he took pride in his business accomplishments, but his family was his greatest joy.
He and his wife, Faye, who died just two months ago, were married nearly 70 years.
They would have four children — Dean, Dea, Alexis and Michael. And in turn 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. And those were the true loves of his life.
Alex Spanos’ work ethic was born out of working in his father’s bakery before and after school.
He and Faye married and set about working and building. They built a family, a life, a business.
It is easy to see parts of the Spanos business empire locally. There is the iconic A.G. Spanos building on Trinity Parkway, Spanos Park homes and The Reserve at Spanos Park golf course.
There also are signs of their philanthropy.
The A.G. Spanos Center and Faye Spanos Concert Hall at University of the Pacific. And the Fox California Theatre, which Alex Spanos contributed to the renovation and was named after his good friend, comedian Bob Hope.
Nationally, there are apartment complexes and real estate holdings. For football fans, it was the now Los Angeles Chargers, purchased by Spanos in 1984.
And throughout this time, Stockton remained home. When many others with success in their pocket would have elected to put this San Joaquin County town in their rearview mirror, it remained home for him and his family.
Why? Simple: The Spanoses loved it here.
The Alex Spanos journey to success was a true Horatio Alger story. It was hard work, determination, courage and honesty that enabled him to summit the mountain, while keeping his family in sight.
He believed in family first and they remained in that position in his heart, regardless of his success in business.
We will remember him for his contributions to the community, whether it be to Lincoln Unified School District, the Bob Hope Theatre, hospitals, scholarship funds, churches or youth programs he supported.
Others will remember him as Dad, Grandpa, Uncle and, of course, friend.
Condolences to them all for their loss.