Sandy Potoglou ( Stathoula Dimitria Potoglou ), aka "Holly," left this world Aug. 27. She was 54.
An obituary sent to Windy City Times stated the cause of death as The Republican National Convention.
Sandy ( who was born Feb. 7, 1966 ) was active in the LGBTQ community since she attended York Community High School in Elmhurst, Illinois. She was best known for her free-spirited positivity and welcoming charm, which many people cherished. She was a beloved fixture in Chicago's Boystown and LGBTQ social events for more than 30 years. She will be dearly missed by everyone who knew and loved her.
She earned a bachelor's degree in geography from the University of Illinois. She enjoyed her career working in the travel industry and was employed long-term at American and United Airlines. She was working at American Airlines on 9/11 and often reflected how working at the airlines was never the same after that day.
Sandy traveled the world and visited such places as Japan, Ireland and Amsterdam. Her absolute favorite destination was her beloved Greek Islands, where she met with relatives and took pride celebrating her Greek heritage.
She was known for her great love of showtunes. Although she was not blessed with a singing voice, she could belt out any showtune, tell you the musical it was from and who performed it. She carried that love into volunteer work as an usher for the Chicago Civic Opera.
Her favorite movies included My Cousin Vinny, Meet Me in St. Louis and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and loved to watch the TV shows Jeopardy and Star Trek as well as any Chicago sports team in the playoffs. She cried tears of joy when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016. She was absolutely thrilled she could hear the Wrigleyville crowd cheering just two blocks from her apartment on Roscoe.
Sandy had a beautiful smile, a quick wit and a terrific sense of humor. She loved hearing funny stories and loved to tell her "complimentary peanuts," "Old lady bingo" and any "dumb blonde" jokes. Sandy would instigate practical jokes or light conflict, just for laughs. She was truly supportive of all her friends and never displayed anything but genuine happiness when her friends succeeded or had good fortune.
She was not one to engage in mean-spirited gossip and would be quick to start a conversation with anyone who reciprocated a smile. Sandy loathed Donald Trump and accurately predicted Kamala Harris as Joe Biden's running mate. However, she would not be the type to disown a friend because of that person's political beliefs.
One of Sandy's favorite games was "Who Am I?" She always picked somebody you couldn't get. She was hard to play that game against because one would expect her to pick some Golden Age-era movie starlets, which she often did, but then suddenly she would diverge to the weirdest thing, like the president of the AFL-CIO, for the win. Sandy had a wealth of knowledge that was never flaunted or used to demean another.
She is survived by her brother, Bill Potoglou; her nephew, Cousin Paulette; her former partner, Christy Beck; and many dear friends.
Sandy was fortunate to live life and leave it, on her terms. Many hearts were broken upon her passing, but she left us all with a bank of incomparable memories and the certain knowledge that we were loved by Sandy for exactly who we are. She would have appreciated any donation to the Human Rights Campaign Fund or any LGBTQ organization. Be sure to toast to her at your next get-together or dedicate a showtune to Sandy at Sidetrack.