On Saturday, November 12, 2022, John Spiros Galeotos passed away at the age of 87 in his home in Cheyenne, Wyoming after an amazing life full of family, friends and many successful business endeavors. John’s father, Spiro (Sam), immigrated from Tripoli, Greece in 1911. Sam married the former Elaine (Helen) Bechikas and John was born on May 14, 1935 in Cheyenne. John attended Cheyenne High School where he met the love of his life, Barbara Jean Gardner. They graduated in 1953 and were married on April 28th, 1957 in Cheyenne. In 1954, John joined the Wyoming Air National Guard 187th Aeromed Transportation Squadron and served eight years, attaining the rank of TSgt.
John completed his degree in Business Administration at the University of Wyoming in 1960 and then moved back to Cheyenne to help his father run the family business, The Blue Bird. In 1965, John became the Director of the Cheyenne Housing Authority (CHA) and Cheyenne Urban Renewal Board. In 1974, John expanded his involvement in these areas to include the Directorship of Community Development, Economic Development and Planning Departments for the City of Cheyenne. In 1978, he created HOM (Housing and Office Management) to assist other Wyoming communities with their community development and affordable housing needs. John was also instrumental in establishing the Wyoming Housing Opportunities Association (WHOA), which is a non-profit organization that develops affordable housing projects in urban and rural settings. In addition to managing affordable housing, the CHA, under John’s direction, established the Senior Center for Laramie County and was the sponsor agency for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). They administered the senior meal program at seven meal sites, serving over 81,000 meals each year, the supportive service program, the health program, as well as the Milton E. Nichols Wellness Center. In 1977, John, along with his brothers Elias, Paul and Frank, opened up Uncle Charlies restaurant and liquor store which remains a popular dining establishment in Cheyenne.
He was on many local and national boards including The Board of Governors for the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), President of the Mountain Plains NAHRO, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA). John was also active in the Cheyenne community as a member of the Cheyenne Kiwanis Club, the Military Affairs Committee, the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors for the YMCA, Board of Trustees for the Cheyenne Elks and a member of the Board of Directors for Western States Bank. He was Chairman of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Security Committee (1979-1981), a member of the Board of Directors for CFD, past President of the CFD Buckle Club, and a life member of the Order of AHEPA.
In 1996, he was nominated by Who’s Who for outstanding business executives, and in 2000 he received the WCDA Award of Excellence for his dedication to the development and preservation of affordable housing in the State of Wyoming. John retired in 2003 with Mayor Jack Spiker declaring June 27th 2003, John S. Galeotos Day in Cheyenne.
John and Barbara loved to travel abroad and enjoyed the winter months at their home in Scottsdale, Arizona. They were season ticket holders for UW Football and Basketball for over 50 years and traveled to many bowl games and basketball tournaments. Spending time with the grandchildren was always at the top of the list and Fridays were reserved for spending time with life-long friends.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Helen Galeotos; his wife, Barbara of 63 years; his sister-in-law, Debbie Galeotos; and his nephew, Christ Galeotos.
John is survived by his children, Cheryl Johnson (TJ) of Laramie; and their children, Tommy and Alexandra; his son, John Galeotos (Peggy) of Cheyenne and their daughter Molly; his brothers Elias (Angie), Paul, Frank (Merrie Kay), and many nephews and nieces.
A Trisagion Service will be held on November 21, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. in the Lakeview Chapel at Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home. Funeral services will take place on November 22, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church with a Celebration of Life at Uncle Charlies following the services.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Wyoming Children’s Society, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter or the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum.
Services are under the care of Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home and condolences may be offered at www.schradercares.com