NORWALK, Conn. – The Norwalk soccer community mourned the death Friday of Dino Melitsanopoulos, a longtime supporter of the Norwalk High School and Beachside Soccer Club programs.
Melitsanopoulos was also president of Atlas Realty Group in Norwalk and a 1980 graduate of Norwalk High School. He was believed to be 51.
He was a fixture on the sidelines and stands of soccer games in Norwalk and throughout Fairfield County. His sons Paul, Dean and Andrew were all soccer standouts in Norwalk and Beachside. Andrew played on the Norwalk High team that won the state championship last year, the school’s first state title in 46 years. Paul was an assistant coach on the team and coaches with Beachside.
“The thing that stood out about his was his love for his family,’’ said Mickey Kydes, president of Beachside and a longtime friend of Melitsanopoulos. He coached all of Dino’s boys in Beachside. “He would do anything for them. That’s what stood out about him, how much he loved his family.”
Similar tributes to Melitsanopoulos poured in via his Facebook page Friday as word of his death spread through the community.
Kydes said Dino was proud to see Andrew’s team win the state championship last fall. “He enjoyed that, but it wasn’t as important as just watching his sons play,’’ Kydes said. “He was just as proud as the other things they accomplished in life. He just wanted to be around his kids.”
Kydes even purchased his Norwalk home from Melitsanopoulos, and remained close with him when the boys went through the Beachside program.
“Anyone will say he was great to be around,’’ Kydes said. “His love for his family is what everyone will remember. He was so passionate about his family. There’s a little bit of Dino in all of his boys. He’ll always be remembered through his children.”
Melitsanopoulos is also survived by his wife, Martha. Service details were unavailable Friday.