William Planes from Tarpon Springs

Due to persecution in Jerusalem, many Christians fled to Asia Minor and established themselves in numerous locations. Up to the Ottoman Empire, Christianity saw ups and downs in Asia Minor. Most Christians survived and emigrated to nearby nations during the genocide of Christians in Asia Minor and World War II. Among the first generation of one family to successfully emigrate and ultimately settle in the United States is William Planes.

William Planes was born William Platanides in New York and raised in New York City, New York, Folly Beach, South Carolina, and Coral Gables, Florida. During his time in high school, Planes discovered a love for chemistry and physics and enrolled in the University of Miami as a pre-med student. However, he soon found that accounting was a more appealing field of study, and he made the decision to switch his major.

After transferring to Florida State University at the request of his mother, who wanted him to keep an eye on his sister, Planes joined the Sigma Chi fraternity and began pursuing an accounting degree. However, his education was interrupted when he was called up for active duty in the Marine Corps.  He was able to transfer to a special program with the Navy, where, he was he completed his Bachelor’s degree through a correspondence course while still serving his country. After leaving the military, Planes embarked on a business career, focusing on acquiring troubled companies, restructuring them, and reselling for a profit, which allowed him to support various charitable causes for the church.

A book titled “Platanides: Through the Eye of the Storm” was written by William Planes from Tarpon Springs. The story of his family’s struggle for survival during the Asia Minor Genocide is presented in the book.

“I felt what I had heard from my father, the experiences of his father and his father’s emidiate family, our forefathers, needed to be preserved” Planes said in response to why he wrote the book. The sufferings of his father and and his father’s family during difficult times, such as the Asia Minor genocide, are briefly described in the book. He stresses much of what his father did when they were living as refugee from genocide, pointing out how anyone may thrive in life’s difficulties by keeping strength and a devotion to their faith.

William Planes hopes that his family’s story will inspire future generations to appreciate the fragile freedoms in the United States and avoid the tyranny, suppression, and genocide experienced by his forebears. He has passed down his faith to his children, Rhea and William II.

He says that

“My father taught his children that no matter what you’re confronted with in life, if you have undoubting Faith in Christ and you believe without a doubt that Christ is with you, you can get through anything. That was what we learned at a very early age and that’s what has stuck with me throughout my life.”