Dr. William “Bill” P. Vafeas, 88 of LaCrosse, WI, died on February 11, 2011, peacefully at his home. He was born on November 22, 1922 in Aliquippa, PA to Stavros and Georgia (Stefandelis) Vafeas in Pennsylvania.
He was a decorated combat veteran serving with the 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Division, serving from 1943-1945 and attaining the rank of Sergeant.
He was a 1949 graduate of the State Teachers College (BS), Edinboro, PA; a 1952 graduate of the State University of Iowa (MA), Iowa City, IA; and a 1960 graduate of Pennsylvania State University (D. Ed).
In 1949, Bill began his long career as an art educator as an Elementary Art Teacher in Aliquippa, PA. His later teaching positions included Booneville Central School, Booneville, NY (Elementary and Secondary); Bethel Pennsylvania High School; State Teachers College, Lock Haven, PA (Asst. Prof. Of Art); State Director of Art Education, Delaware; and Mass College of Art, Boston, MA (Professor). In 163 he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he served as a Professor of Art until retiring in 1978 (Professor Emeritus 1979).
He owned and operated Studio Gallery 1311 in La Crosse starting in 1974 where he continued his devotion to creating art until February 10, 2011.
His art work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and in Tokyo, Japan and is represented in numerous public and private collections both in the United States and abroad. His work of poetry and illustration drawings have been featured in numerous publications throughout his lifetime.
He is survived by his brother, Steve, of Southfield, MI, many nieces, nephews, other relatives, loving friends and devoted students.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Lorna C. (Dux) Vafeas, a sister Angeline Liadis and a brother, Pvt. Paul Vafeas.
Memorial Service will be held at Studio Gallery 1311, (1311 Market Street, La Crosse) on February 26, 2011, 1:00 P.M. Friends and family may visit the gallery prior to the service starting at 11:00 A.M. For more information contact the funeral home at www.couleecremation.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the La Crosse Community Foundation in the name of William and Lorna Vafeas Art Scholarship. Internment will be in the Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C. with full military honors. Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting with arrangements.