Hires To You headerThe Illustrated History of Hires Root Beer

Steve Sourapas

Steve James Sourapas 1935-2019

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Steve Sourapas, my longtime friend, co-author, and the driving force behind the publication of HiresBook.com.  Here's Steve's obituary as published in the Seattle Times newspaper on May 5, 2019:  

Beloved father, grandfather, friend, cousin, brother passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 surrounded by his family in Seattle.  Born in Seattle on March 20, 1935 to James and Angelika Sourapas who emigrated from Greece.  He is survived by his two daughters Alicia Sourapas and Angela Sourapas Jones, son-in-law Jeff Jones and grandsons Nicholas and Jacob Jones.  To describe him one would say he was extremely positive, hardworking, kind hearted, genuine with strong family values.

Steve was raised in the Wallingford area of Seattle and attended Interlake, Alexander Hamilton and Lincoln High School graduating in 1953.  He attended the University of Washington for two years, eventually going to Griffin Business College to study accounting while working at the family business.

In 1919 his father started the Hires Bottling Company of Seattle which ultimately became his life.  With his father's passing at age 12 he began learning the business and eventually worked his way up to become President in 1969.  He grew Northwest Beverages from a small business with a few employees to over 165 when the family sold it in 1997.  Along with running a successful soft drink manufacturing and distribution business he was a single father raising two daughters, juggling the demands of a career where he was also President of the National Soft Drink Association and the Washington State Soft Drink Association.

In his spare time he enjoyed spending time with his family, travelling and collecting pre-1940 Hires Rootbeer memorabilia.  He obtained one of the largest collections in the world along with being known as an expert in the industry.

Recently, he used his parents' meticulous business documents and his life stories to co-write a wonderful book with Rosanne Royer - A Seattle Greek Immigrant Family's Soft Drink Business - that can be found in many local libraries.  He also professionally photographed his entire collection and co-authored an online book with Ron Fowler which can be found at HiresBook.com.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 11:30 am, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2100 Boyer Avenue E., Seattle, Washington 98112.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Steve's memory to the 'Capital Improvement' project at St. Demetrios.  He will be dearly missed!

Hires to you, Steve!  Rest in peace, my friend.  Ron F., May 6, 2019