Arthur George "Art" Demmas
Art Demmas , age 82, passed away peacefully on Aug. 6, 2016 at Alive Hospice in Nashville, surround by his wife and daughters.
Born in St. Louis to Greek parents, he excelled in sports, most notably football at St. Louis University High School, but also baseball and handball.
Demmas graduated from Vanderbilt Univ. where he lettered all four years in football, played on the 1955 Gator Bowl Championship team, and was co-captain in 1956 when he was also an Academic All American.
After college, he served in the US Army, earning the rank of Captain in the Counterintelligence Corps.
Legendary sportswriter Fred Russell encouraged him to get into officiating, which he did, working high school and SEC games until breaking into the American Football League in 1967. He continued to work as an umpire in the NFL until 1996, and officiated four Super Bowls (XIII, XVII, XXV and XXVIII).
Russell and Demmas also founded the Nashville Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, where Demmas would serve as the regional coordinator for 17 years after retiring from a career as an insurance and estate planning executive.
He was also past president of Hillwood Country Club, Vanderbilt Commodore Club and the NFL Referee's Assoc.
Demmas was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and Order of Ahepa Hellenic Athlete Hall of Fame in 1999.
Preceded in death by parents Alexandra Demmas and George Demmas, sister Frieda D. Regas (LLoyd), brothers Dan Demmas and Con Demmas.
Survived by his wife Nancy Baughcum Demmas, daughter Suzanne D. Myers (Jim) and Frieda D. Mullowney (Jim), grandchildren George Mullowney, Wyatt Mullowney and Arthur Myers, sisters-in-law Helen Demmas and Mary Demmas, and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
Pallbearers are Jim Mullowney, Jim Myers, George Mullowney, Arthur Myers, Chris Regas, George Demmas, Nicholas Sansone, John E. Cain and Don Orr.
Honorary pallbearers are members of the Nashville Chefs Club and the 1955 Vanderbilt Gator Bowl Team.
Visitation will be held on Thursday August 11 from 9am-12pm at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (4905 Franklin Pk.) immediately followed by funeral services at noon. Internment afterward at Harpeth Hills Cemetery (9090 Hwy. 100).
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to St. John Chrysostom Greek Orthodox Church (PO Box 90162, Nashville 37209) or Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (4905 Franklin Pk., Nashville, 37220).