Warren Klug Jr., 23, was the happiest man alive, according to his father. He had met and married a beautiful woman. They lived in a pleasant Annapolis house with her widowed mother, to whom they were close. They had a 9-month-old daughter and were eagerly preparing to take over her late father's contracting business.
But Warren Klug Jr.'s dreams have crumbled. This morning, he walked into a morgue in Greece and identified the bodies of his wife, their baby and his mother-in-law. They were hurled from a TWA jet early yesterday morning after a bomb blew a hole in the plane as it approached Athens at 15,000 feet.
Maria Klug, 24, her daughter, Demetra, and her mother, Demetra Stylianopoulos, 52, were on their way to Pireaus, a seaport in southeastern Greece where Maria and her family lived before moving to Annapolis in 1971. They were going to sort out legal business connected with property Maria's father, Andreas, had owned there before his death last November and to visit with relatives.
Friends said they were not sure why the family had left Pireaus to move to Annapolis, where Demetra Stylianopoulos' brother, Paul Alexiou, already lived, except that "there's not enough opportunity in Greece for people," as one fellow Greek living here put it.
They became American citizens, and Andreas Stylianopoulos -- who often shortened his name to Stylian -- set up a painting, contracting and interior decorating business. His wife helped him with that and, like Maria, worked part time at Alexiou's carry-out store here on Maryland Avenue. The contracting business was successful, friends said, which meant they could afford a comfortable home and make frequent visits to Greece.
Andreas Stylianopoulos was skilled at his work, and friends said there was no greater monument to his skill than the family house on Hilltop Lane. After a fire destroyed much of the house in 1984, the family set about rebuilding it better than ever. "It showed somebody who has really taken care of his property," said John Psaras, a friend of the family. "Everything was done with good taste, without being ostentatious. It was excellent workmanship. It was done in the traditional Greek style."
After Maria Klug married in June 1984, she and her husband moved into this renovated house and Warren Klug was welcomed into the Greek community.
The family was active in the St. Constantine and St. Helen Greek Orthodox Church, which is the center of Greek life here. Demetra Stylianopoulos, known as Toula to her friends, was regularly seen at church bazaars cooking pastries to make money for the church building fund, recalled the Rev. George Gallos. But they were active outside the church, too, he said. "Many times they would have open houses, on happy occasions and sometimes on sad occasions like when Demetra's husband died last November," he said. "They wouldn't mourn alone."
"She was wonderful," Warren Klug Sr. said of Demetra Stylianopoulos. "She liked to throw big parties, and she would serve everyone there. She always insisted that you eat more. She was just a great family person and we really loved her."
Klug said his son was introduced to Maria Stylianopoulos by her older sister Kathy, whom he met at the University of Maryland where he was studying engineering. "She was beautiful, and he is handsome," Klug said. "I guess that's what kind of got them started."
"They were as happy as any two people can be," he said. "And since the baby came along, it was a great family." Klug said his son told him yesterday, after he learned his wife and child were dead, that Maria had believed she might be pregnant again. His son was "very, very distraught" at the deaths, Klug said. "He was beating on the walls like he was going wild, which I can understand."
Alexiou said yesterday that he had felt apprehension over the family's trip. "I didn't like the idea of their going to Rome because something happened there before," he said in a reference to the attack at the airport there in December. He said he wants the U.S. government to capture and prosecute those responsible for this bombing "because a lot of innocent people will die" if attacks like this continue.
Funeral arrangements are still pending, according to church members. Gov. Harry Hughes today ordered that flags in the state be flown at half staff in honor of the three Annapolis residents.