William Charles Zophres, structural engineer and business owner died Friday, June 29, 2023. He was 93 years old.
Known as Bill or Vasilio to friends and family, he was born in 1929 in Ioannina Greece to parents Theocharis and Areti Zophres (Zafiropolous). In 1946, at the age of 16, he immigrated to the United States with his mother and his three older sisters Vicky, Soti and Vity and joined their father in Ft. Lauderdale. Bill learned english by listening to the radio and attended Pine Crest School.
He went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Miami in 1951 and performed graduate work at V.P.I.'s School of Engineering.
He moved to Los Angeles, and began working as a structural engineer at Northrop Aircraft. He rented a room at Mrs. Lewis' boarding house until he could save enough money to buy his first car, a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. He met Julie Maselli, a high school art teacher, and they married in 1956.
Mr. Zophres continued to work as a structural engineer at Ramo Wooldridge and then at Space Technology Laboratories where he wrote many published papers that he was later proud to show his kids and grandkids.
They moved to Ft. Lauderdale Florida in 1963 and his career as a business owner began. Bill and his brothers -in-law owned and operated the Beach Bazaar. He later opened The Bottom Half, The Beach Stop and The Seven Seas with his wife Julie. In Deerfield Beach, Bill and two brothers in law acquired the Seaside Center and The Beachcomber. Throughout the years, many members of the family and friends worked for a time at one of these stores and there are many fond memories.
He loved soccer and was a lifetime fan of the team Arsenal from the English Premier League. When the World Cup was held in the US in 1994, Bill and his son Theo attended every game played at the two venues in California, traveling back and forth from Palo Alto to Pasadena. He was also an avid fan of the University of Miami Hurricanes and tried to never miss a game.
The Peter Pan Diner held a table every Tuesday for Bill and his friends, all of Greek descent, to have breakfast and lively conversations.
He was a remarkable man who was devoted to his immediate and extended family. Bill and his generation worked hard, gave much and took little. We are forever in their debt.
He is survived by his two children Theo and Mary, his son in law Murray and three grandsons Jake, Carson and Frank. His beloved wife Julie died in 2012.
A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, July 7 at 11:00am at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Ft. Lauderdale, followed by a burial at Lauderdale Memorial Park.