Freddie’s Corner

Remembering John Litsios

From: “Aliki Perroti” <alikiperroti@yahoo.com>
Date: Mar 17, 2018 10:53 AM
Subject: Remembering John Litsios — for his book of remembrance
To: <Hmattera@lajf.org>, <thealitsios@gmail.com>
Cc: <Board@lajf.org>, <timothyconners@gmail.com>, <save.our.crs@gmail.com>, <irn2001@med.cornell.edu>, <mbeil@mcguirewoods.com>

John Litsios’ eye saw into the heart of things.
His heart reached out to things of the heart.
He was kind, generous and a warm and
steady guide to all fortunate to have known him.
He was a stalwart family man to those named
Litsios and to the greater, world-wide family of
CRS. If you punched in “giving” on the keyboard
it came out Litsios.

When I came on board CRS in 1948, John was
already a CRS icon, a former camper for several
years in the 1930’s, including the legendary year
of 1938, with the Mascia brothers. I was privileged
to meet them then and to bond with them over
future years, although Fritz Mascia sadly left us that
summer, departing from Camp.

John was an integral member of the CRS Community,
constantly in attendance at functions and events in
Red Hook and New York City, with his lovely wife
Thekla at Christmas Reunions and other social occasions.
John was a source of strength and confidence in the structure
and operation of CRS, contributing from the deep well of his
character that never ran dry. With his technical background
and experience he knew the nuts and bolts of things and
served to maintain the buildings and grounds of Camp
over the years.

I remember a rustic off-season weekend at Camp with
John and others, which added an enhancing dimension
to the CRS experience and fortified the truth that Camp
was for life, if you wished it to be. In time, I had the
privilege of serving on the Board of LAJF with John
under the Chairmanship of George Ames and Mandy
Mascia and I hosted in my law office the historic meeting
of the Board where the establishment of a Girls Camp
was authorized in 1988. In those days the governance of
LAJF was ecumenical and harmonious. Willing Alums were
not excluded from participation and contribution and for the
first time we reached out and brought on to the Board
people who were not CRS Alums, including women. It was
a sunny time, which somehow later became eclipsed.
John expanded his efforts to supervise the infrastructure of
the Girls Camp at Clinton.

I remember a delightful journey with John from Fairfield County
in Connecticut, where John lived and I spent weekends, to Red
Hook for a Board meeting. I marveled at John’s vigor and longevity
and was pleased to sit with my Greek companion Aliki next to
John at the Harvard Club at the dinner honoring Libby Mascia.
That was, unfortunately, the last time I saw John in person. But I
continued to keep up with him. There never was a more devoted
CRS Alum and friend than John. He will always be remembered
and his example and spirit will live on as a joy and inspiration.

In memory of John I will contribute to the George E. Jonas Scholarship
Fund to name a scholarship in John’s honor to be awarded to a CRS
Alum who is or planning to pursue polytechnic, scientific or engineering
studies in college or university.

Fairwell, John, my fine and loyal friend for 70 years.

Seth Frank ’48 & ’49

French blog containing interesting historical insights and photos of Freddie and his business
Returning Camper Manifesto, 1947
Maurice Richter's “Camp Rising Sun, 1929-2013”
Remarks by George E. Jonas at Hamilton Award Dinner, 1977
Essay by George E. Jonas, 1964