Sunday, February 2, 2014


Technology is a wonderful tool for preserving family history but I have found every time I start this project, my computer or the external hard drive crashes!  So I will make one more attempt at writing my parents history, but will this time preserve it online.

This history begins with my parents, Julian Don Stevens and Athena Spetsas and their families.

My mother Athena met my father known to those close to him as Don in Salt Lake City, Utah.  My mothers sister, Helen Spetsas had been dating Don.  Mom being the older and wiser sister tried to warn Helen about Don that maybe she might want to be careful while dating him.

Later it turned out that Athena and Don ended up getting married.  They were married 13 August 1951 in Reno, Washoe County, Nevada.  The lived in both California and Utah depending on where work could be found.

Right after the marriage took place my mother realized that she had made a mistake and went to her father George D. Spetsas (A.K.A. Thymaras) who was from Greece and possessed the old country ways.  She told him of her realization and he told her she should return home and stay with her husband.  So she followed her fathers advise and returned home.

It was not to be a long marriage.  After four children and six years later they finally divorced.

To give some back ground on both of these people in this marriage, Don was born in Ogde, Utah to Sydney Wright Stevens and Genevieve Hariet Gallegos on 5 Nov 1932.

Athena was born on 17 July 1930 to Pearl Jane Gritton and George Demitriou Spetsas in Copperfield, Utah.  She was born at home at eight a.m. and delivered by a mid-wife.

Don's father was from Henefer Utah.  His name was Sydney Wight Stevens who was born to John Paskett Stevens and Gertrude Wright.  John was born in Henefer and Gertrude in England.

Athena's father was born in Spetses, Greece.  His real sir name was Thymaras but upon immigration to the United States it was changed to Spetsas after the name of the island he was from.  Family legend by older family members states that George's grandfather fled Crete, Greece going to Spetses Island where he changed his name from Chriskatis to Thymaras.  (Our George D. Spetsas is not to be confused with the George Karikos Spetsas from the East coast in the United States who also immigrated about the same time.)  George's parents were Dimitri Thymaras and Stamata Harami.

Pearl was born in Salt Lake City to William Thomas Gritton and Mary Jane or Mae Kirkham.  Pearls story has just as many twists and turns as Georges' does.  She married George under the alias name of Grey and not Gritton.  Family legend on this also states that she did not want her father to know that she had married.  It was also a time when it was not considered good form to marry an immigrant.