By Melvin Bui
Professor George Demetri Tangalos was a man of many talents and mysteries. Tangalos died on Oct. 1 after he was admitted to the hospital twice. During the second emergency visit, he remained unresponsive until passing.
Tangalos worked as a part-time instructor at ELAC’s South Gate campus. However, he started off teaching on the main campus up until the last 10 years. He started teaching toward the late 1990s and was with ELAC for more than two decades.
His teaching expertise was in numerical analysis, but he decided to teach math. Tangalos had a PhD in Mathematics and a Masters degree in Physics.
ELAC South Gate Dean Al Rios said Tangalos was an inspiring, dedicated educator and one of the most popular instructors at the South Gate campus. “Tangalos had an affinity with students.He made it easier for students to understand. We had to open up more math classes because students kept requesting him as an instructor,” Rios said.
ELAC Math Secretary Maria Naranjo said Tangalos taught with enthusiasm, and she used to hear him from down the hallway when the Math Department was still in the E5-Building.
Naranjo said his classes were always full and always had students asking her what class he was going to teach.
“Many of our instructors remember Mr. Tangalos as being dedicated to his students, always making time for them either before or after his classes. He also had a great passion for Math and he had a great energy when teaching,” Naranjo said.
Tangalos was the president of a non-profit organization, the Youngest Artist Awards. It was the oldest Hollywood award show for children. The YAA honors and celebrates children performers. It also gives scholarships to young artists who are financially unstable. Tangalos became familiarize with the group in the 1980s because of his daughter, since she was a child performer.
IMDb said in a biography that Tangalos knew how to play a number of instruments. He played the violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, flute and trumpet.
The cause of death was not disclosed. Rios said when more information is gathered about his death, there will be an event to properly honor Tangalos. Tangalos is survived by his daughter, Danuta Tangalos.