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Commemorative Bench Placed in Memory of Dr. Lazaros Sotos at the Armstrong County Courthouse


Dr. Soto’s family members cut the ribbon for the Memorial Bench. (L-R:  Stepson, Jared Campbell, Mrs. Pamela Sotos (Spouse of late Dr. Sotos), and Son, Kyriakos (Kyr) Sotos).


 

It all started with a group of men meeting for breakfast one day. This routine would end up repeating itself for the next 35 years, and forming of a group of life-long friendships. This group of men have held many impressive titles among themselves, Attorney, Veteran, Coroner, Commissioner, Emergency Medical Services, Warden and Doctors, and became some of the most influential folks in the county. Though with all these various impressive Bona Fides, all these men still possessed one shared credential - humility. 

Recently, the “men’s group” wanted to recognize one of their own who passed last year who truly stood out as a pillar of the community, as well as distinguished veteran, USN Lieutenant Commander, deserving recognition – Dr. Lazaros ‘Larry’ Sotos. Wanting the recognize the great accomplishments of Dr. Sotos, the men’s group asked the Armstrong County Board of Commissioners, consisting of John Strate, Anthony Shea and Pat Fabian, if they could place a commemorative bench in the area near the Armstrong County War Memorial at the Courthouse; the Commissioners immediately agreed. On Saturday, June 15th, the ‘Men’s group’, family and friends honored Dr. Sotos. 

The Master of Ceremonies for the event was former County Commissioner, and Coroner, Bob Bower.  Leading the Invocation was County Commissioner John Strate. Commissioner, and Air Force Retired Major, Anthony Shea provided remarks on Dr. Sotos and Duty to Country. Kathy Rashlich/Executive Director was in attendance from the Veterans Affairs office.  Next, the members of the Group lowered the Navy flag from the County flag pole, and Jason Krecota and Shawn Stewart (tapsforvet.net) played echo Taps. Marc Mantini (U.S. Army - Retired) presented the Navy flag to Pamela Sotos, spouse of the late Dr. Sotos.  Each of Dr. Soto’s sons also received a Navy flag flown over the courthouse. The ceremony concluded with a ribbon cutting for the Commemorative Bench by Pamela Sotos, son, Kyriakos (Kyr) Sotos, and stepson, Jared Campbell. 

Dr. Sotos impressive life started with him working his way through medical school as a steal worker; then, serving in the U.S. Navy as a doctor stationed in Puerto Rico attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After his time in the military, Dr. Sotos served his community for 42 as an Orthopedic Surgeon at Armstrong County Memorial Hospital.

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