Dhimitri V. Karakosta
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April 18, 2014
Dhimitri "Jim" Vasil Karakosta died peacefully on Friday, April 18, 2014 in Naples, FL with his family by his side. Jim was born August 20, 1922 in Qyteze, Albania and migrated to Chicago, IL in 1936. He enlisted in the Army and served our country in World War II from 1943 to 1945. Jim was in the 23rd Infantry Division (The Ameri-Cal Division). He was a true American Hero receiving The Bronze Star Medal and was honorably discharged in 1945.
He married the late Diana Angelos in 1948. They settled, raised a family, and opened many restaurants in the Chicago area.
Jim and his wife Diana moved to Naples in 1984 to be closer to their grandchildren. Jim could always be found at his grandchildren's sporting events, traveling all over the country to support their talents. He was known to many around town as "grandpa."
His passion for the restaurant business continued when Jim, along with his wife, son and daughter-in-law Lynn, opened the first Mel's Diner in 1989 in San Carlos Park. Mel's Diner has been a part of SW FL's history ever since.
Jim is survived by his daughter, Loretta Karakosta of Chicago, IL; son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Lynn Karakosta of Naples, FL; grandchildren, Tina and Derek Woods of Great Falls, VA, Christina and Domenico LaGrasta of Naples, FL, Stephen and Oleysa Karakosta of Naples, FL; great grandchildren, Annelyse and Victoria Woods, Gabriella and Nico LaGrasta, Ivanna and Andreya Karakosta; and dear friend Marian Nickel. The family will receive friends on Monday, April 21, 2014 from 6:00 PM - 9:00PM at Shikany's Bonita Funeral Home, 28300 Tamiami Trail So., Bonita Springs, FL 34134. Additional services and burial will be held in Elmwood Park, IL. Online condolences may be offered at www.shikanyfuneralhome.com. Memorial contributions may be made in Jim's name to St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church, 7100 Airport Pulling Rd. N., Naples, FL 34109. Arrangements are being handled by Shikany's Bonita Funeral Home.
Shikany's Bonita Funeral Home
28300 Tamiami Tr. So.
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Published in The News-Press on Apr. 19, 2014