James Soterios Tsitsiragos

james tsitsiragos

August 6, 1949 ~ February 16, 2021

James Soterios Tsitsiragos August 6, 1949 to February 16, 2021

James (Jimmy) Tsitsiragos, 71, of Leonia, New Jersey, passed away on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Jimmy was preceded in death by his loving parents, Paul and Mary Tsitsiragos.

Jimmy graduated from Leonia High School in 1967 where he was a beloved football legend nicknamed by his classmates as "Zorba the Greek." He then attended Texas A & M University as a walk-on for the football team and quickly earned a full scholarship under Head Coach, Gene Stallings. Jimmy was a true Fightin' Texas Aggie who wore the maroon and white with tremendous pride. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1972, Jim began his career as an assistant starter for the New York Racing Association (NYRA), loading horses in the starting gate. Jimmy loved the "spirit" of the horse, and he built a stellar reputation within the NYRA.

Jimmy was incredibly giving and his kindness and grace touched many lives.

Everybody that Jimmy interacted with became his friend. His strength and determination was an inspiration to all that knew him. We are grateful that he is at rest and so sad to think of a world without him. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.

Jimmy is survived by sisters Christine Tsitsiragos and Paula Tsitsiragos (Doug Moser), his lovingly adored nieces Stella Tsitsiragos and Nota Tsitsiragos, first cousins Louise Ermides and Maria Tsitsiragos and extended family in Greece.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation to support the care and well being of retired race horses. Gifts may be made in Jimmy's name by mail at P.O. Box 834, Saratoga Springs, NY, or by phone at (518)226-0028.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date when its' safer for gatherings.

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Memories Timeline


  1. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to reconnect after the reunion and reminisce about the old baseball days. My condolences to Paula and Chris and their families. Jim was a good man and will be missed! Vinnie A.

  2. Our condolences to the Tsitsiargos family. Jimmy was a dear friend who cared deeply.
    When we think of Jimbo, we will smile knowing he is watching down on all of us with his friend, our dad, Richie,aka, Frenchie.
    Our love, Corine, Joey, Connor, and 'Jackson, #44'

  3. Jimmy came into my life only 2 years ago, even though we graduated LHS in 1967. It seemed that from that day when we were planting the tree behind the HS our friendship had lasted from high school and we’re just picking up from where we left off in ‘67. He made me feel like we were brothers who finally found each other after 50 years
    Bob Mccormack

  4. I’m blessed to have known Jimmy for 27 years while working at Rob Metzdorf’s Law Office. Jimmy was a kind, gentle soul with the biggest heart. I shared the same birth date as Jimmy’s mom (September 4) and my standing nickname from Jimmy was “Forever 94”. I’m a better person for having known you Jimbo. Love ya “94”…My heartfelt thoughts are with the family.

  5. So blessed to know Jim!!! I will miss his wonderful smile and our many positive discussions at Jackson Hole or occasionally running into him on Broad Ave or Hmart! Such a Super Good Man!!! Peace Be With You My Friend!!! God Bless your Family & many Friends … we were fortunate to be in your presence!!!

  6. As my kids called him “jimmy uncle”. A nicer man would be hard to find. Always smiling and quick to have a conversation with you. I’m going to miss those conversations. Rest In Peace jimmy uncle

  7. I am in shock and disbelief! Jim was my great friend for the last 44 years. I had no idea with COVID I am so sorry. GOD BLESS MY
    SWEET FRIEND We had some amazing times,I showed you NBC and skiing you enlightened my life in the horse racing world. I will love you forever. rest in peace my friend. God Bless xoxoxoxo

  8. I was so saddened to hear of Jim's passing. Although we were very close during our college years at A&M, I reluctantly let our friendship expire when life took us in different directions. I'll always remember my roommate, my friend, and his glorious football years as well as his very, very cool convertible which all the girls loved. Bye Jim. Hope to see you on the other side.

  9. Oh gosh; I miss you my dear friend jimmy; I’ve been returning your calls; never to get a call back ; today I called 4 x only to learn this; oh oh ; we had such a strong bond ; I love you I love you ; Christine and family I know how hard this is for you all
    Much love , Mari Ane barber / georgia

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