Costandinos “Gus” Alexandros Flangas, 83, died this past Saturday after battling various health problems.
An Ely, Nevada, native, he was born November 24, 1929, to Alexander and Fotene Flangas. His youth was passed in Ely with a close-knit family and friends. He served in the army before moving to Reno, Nevada, to study engineering at UNR. In 1969, he married Adrienne Bustos, also from Ely. They had three children: Alexandros (“Alec”), Camille, and Ted. His years in Reno spanned over sixty years until his death.
Flangas was an ambitious creator; he studied engineering at UNR, and later worked on many buildings throughout his life (varying from families’ homes, to company buildings both small and large, up to and including Reno’s Lawlor Events Center, where he was employed as a foreman) in numerous aspects: from the smaller steps, such as gathering materials and pounding nails, all the way to larger considerations – like securing the structures’ funding, and even designing the final interior and exterior architecture on many of the houses and smaller businesses. His expertise in carpentry and finishing showed in Ely at the quaint Idle Inn, as well as the elegantly remodeled Alec Place on the corner of Aultman St. and 4th St. He came a long way from his days working on the railroad as a twelve-year-old.
Gus continually instilled the notions of “honest work for honest pay” and “treating others as you would like to be treated” in his children’s minds. His sons and daughter loved when he would lift them high in the air after he got home from work when they were little. Memories of him rubbing his cheek and jaw, complete with 5 o’clock shadow, long ago against their young and delicate faces are cherished, too. His sense of humor amused those he met. Also of note, for such a rugged man (who survived both a rollover—3.5 revolutions—and a head-on crash as a passenger when he was in his thirties), he could whistle amazingly well, making the notes appropriately and easily flutter with the tune playing on the radio, or simply from his mind.
Flangas also possessed a sharp mind: he had a deep knowledge of politics and science, as well as an affinity for crosswords. Born left-handed, he could throw remarkably well with either hand. Athletic as a boy, he could walk the narrow rail of the Northern Railway for over a mile. His favorite professional teams were those in the Bay Area; he enjoyed traveling down to watch ball games in his younger days.
He was preceded in death by his son, Alec (22), and his hometown sweetheart/wife of 30 years, Adrienne (58).
He is survived by son Ted Flangas, daughter Camille (Mike) Martin, grandchildren Kashmir, Robert, and Jenna Martin, brother John (Carmen) Flangas, all of Reno; brother Bill (Marilyn) Flangas of Las Vegas; brother Ernest Flangas of Ely; and several nephews and nieces.
Father Stephen Karcher will lead services in Ely, Nevada. A Trisagion service for Gus will be held Friday, June 14, 2013, 7:00 p.m. at the Mountain Vista Chapel, with a funeral in St. Alexios Greek Orthodox Church on Saturday, June 15, 2013, at 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Alexios Orthodox Church in Ely.
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