Archive for November, 2009

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George Lyssikatos

November 27, 2009

Reprinting George’s obituary:

George Lyssikatos, 73, peacefully passed away on November 24th with his wife of 43 years, Katerina, at his side. Born in Melana, Greece, George was the fifth of seven children. As a teenager he immigrated to Montreal, Canada and in the years that followed, George married, relocated to the United States, and raised three children. He was a restaurateur who opened successful businesses in Canada, New Jersey and ultimately Arizona. He was the charismatic proprietor of Dee’s in downtown Phoenix for a number of years before opening a restaurant in Apache Junction. George was an avid Boston Bruins fan and enjoyed traveling and exploring the world. He was a firm believer in the American Dream and ardent supporter of education.

George will be missed by his wife, Katerina, and three children: John and Emily of Edison, New Jersey, and Gregoria Lyssikatos Lenze and her husband Troy of Arlington, Virginia. George is also survived by his brothers Constantine and Basil, his sister Eleni, and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

A viewing will be held at Queen of Heaven Mortuary, 1562 East Baseline Road, Mesa, AZ 86204 on Sunday, November 29, 2009 from 4pm to 7pm.

Services will be held at St. Katherine Church, 2716 N. Dobson Rd., Chandler, AZ 85224 on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 11am.

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In Memory Of…

November 26, 2009

… George Lyssikatos.

I was a foreigner to him.  Xenos.  I was dating his baby girl.  He had never met me before, never talked to me on the phone, even.  Yet, from the moment I met him, he was nothing but nice to me.  I truly believe that the best judge of a person’s character is how they treat strangers.

I was more than a stranger, though.  I was practically an invader.  Darius to his Delian League.  I was inserting myself into his life, though his daughter’s life.

I still remember sitting down with him in his own private room, five degrees hotter than the rest of the house.  That was not why I was sweating, though.  I was asking his permission to marry his youngest child.  The only question he asked me was if our children would be raised Greek Orthodox.  I told him they would be going to Greek school.  After that, he gave me his blessing.  He had already accepted me into his family.  The wedding was only a formality.

He is at peace now, without pain.  After fighting for 17 years with congestive heart failure, he finally wore out.  It takes a lot of strength to fight for 17 years straight.  It was an honor to know him, and become part of his family.  I am glad he was a part of mine.