Ernest A. Chletcos was born on April 26, 1917, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Today St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and its parking lot sit on the site where Ernie was born.
As a young boy, he was taught to give of himself and became very involved in many activities including School, Church, Sons of Pericles and the Boy Scouts. He served as an altar boy for the Evangelismos Church in Philadelphia for many years and attended Greek School.
During his Boy Scout years, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout as well as receiving ten additional merit badges. Upon graduating from grammar school, he was awarded the American Legion honor medal. Ernie enjoyed sports becoming the manager of his school’s wrestling team and an avid swimmer. He learned to play the violin at the age of 14 and also has the unique talent of playing the piano by ear.
After graduating from Central High School, he furthered his education at Temple University and The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. Ernie always worked having many jobs throughout his years. He was a milk boy, newspaper boy, busboy, waiter, store helper and an optician assistant before he even thought about a career with New York Life Insurance Company.
In January 1942, Ernest Chletcos enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II for over a four-year period. When the war was over, he had enough points to be discharged. However, the Navy kept him for an additional 6-month tour of duty. The Navy needed him to close four induction centers as well as nine recruiting sub-stations in the State of Pennsylvania.
During his years taking classes at the Wharton School, he studied with Professor Solomon Huebner (the founder of the American College). Professor Huebner made such an impression on Ernie that in the back of his mind he always wanted to research a career in the insurance field. After being discharged from the Navy, he signed his contract with New York Life Insurance Company. Throughout his 68 years with New York Life, Ernie had earned numerous awards, designations, and recognition. He was a life member of the Million-Dollar Round Table and a member of NAIFA. Ernie was proud to work along with his children and continued daily his mission as a Life insurance agent. He touched thousands of lives and multiple generations. The work of this individual will be felt for many years.
Throughout the years, he had maintained his leadership role in the Greek Community and community at large. He held many positions within the Order of Ahepa, Spartan Chapter 26, Philadelphia, St. George Greek Orthodox Church, St. Demetrios Church Boy Scouts Troop 302 and the Masonic Lodge of Pennsylvania. Due to his love of community and innate gifts, Ernie had assisted many charities in their philanthropic efforts raising thousands of dollars for many charities. Due to his tenacity and energy, many organizations gained national recognition. Ernie inspired many members of the Order of Ahepa over the years by his work ethic, love of people and leadership. He continued to promote a sense of community to all those around him.
He served as a Past Master of his Masonic Lodge (St. John’s Lodge #115 Free and Accepted Masons) and was a lifetime member of both the Masons and The Order of Ahepa.
Ernie was married to Kitty Chletcos for 58 years and was the proud Father of Peter and Georgia, father-in-law to Margot Chletcos and her daughter Tara Gray (Austin), brother to the late Theresa, the late Elizabeth, Georgia Kokolis (the late Panagiotis), the late Demetrios (Nancy) and Despina Lewis ( Frederick).
Originally published on Cosmos Philly by Eleftherios Kostans. Video by Vasilis Keisoglou.