James Sakes

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 27, 2010

James C. Sakes
WASHINGTON, D.C.—James Constantine Sakes, 85, a retired Navy lieutenant commander, died Dec. 29, 2009 at his home in Washington, D.C. of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Born in Washington, James Constantine Sakellariades graduated from Eastern High School in 1943 and enlisted in the Navy. He became a naval aviator and flew in a fighter-bomber squadron assigned to the aircraft carrier Essex. Jim was credited with bringing down three enemy aircraft on his first day of combat. During the war he was credited with destroying a total of six enemy aircraft. He received two Distinguished Flying Crosses and five Air Medals while participating in 25 wartime missions, two of them over Tokyo.
After the war ended, he graduated from Cornell University with a degree in hotel administration. He stayed on active duty until 1963, and then switched to the Navy Reserve for 20 more years while working as an hotelier. Cmdr. Sakes worked for Holiday Inn from 1963 to 1983, opening and managing hotels in the U.S. and overseas. He managed hotels in Sarasota, Fla., and Minneapolis Mn., and was district manager of Holiday Inn properties in Morocco, before taking control of the Holiday Inn in Gaithersburg Md.
Funeral services and burial with full military honors were held at Arlington National Cemetery on Feb. 16, 2010.
A son, Matthew Sakes, died in 1984. Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Betty Jane Vincent Sakes of Washington DC; a son, Gregory Sakes and wife, Heidi, of Arlington, Va.; and two grandsons, Alex and Garrison Sakes. Betty Sakes is the daughter of the late Hugh and Lillian Vincent of Newsoms and the sister of Hugh Vincent, Jr. of Murfreesboro, N.C.