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Anthony M. Pappas, 84, passed away after a long fought battle with emphysema. He was born in the tiny village of St. Anna, in the mountains of northern Greece, and grew up in Sandusky, OH. Novels could be written about his journey to America from "The Old Country."
If ever there was a self-made man, it was Tony Pappas. His mother died when he was seven, and his father was usually absent. Yet, with only minimal guidance from close friends, and in spite of not always knowing if he would have a roof over his head, he was able to excel academically, athletically, and socially. He served honorably in the United States Air Force during the Korean War, and then attended The Ohio State University, where he majored in electrical engineering. One quarter shy of earning his engineering degree, he decided that he finally needed to pursue his true calling, education. He quickly finished his degree in education.
Tony spent a total of 34 years teaching high school mathematics and science in the Toledo Public School System. He was an outstanding teacher; his students frequently either winning, or placing highly in state math competitions. More than this, he provided a necessary role model for many of his students; he showed them that in spite of humble beginnings and uphill battles, one could succeed in life. As in all aspects of his life, as a teacher, he was completely selfless. In addition to pro bono tutoring, he would frequently give students scholarship money of his own pocket, with the only stipulation being that someday, they would "pay it forward" to someone who was more disadvantaged than themselves.
In addition to teaching full time, to make extra money, he was a restaurateur and an investor, he wanted his family to have the advantages in life that he never had.
Above all, he was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, and is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sherley; his son, Mike (Lanissa), and his grandchildren, Anthony and Lia.
In keeping with Tony's wishes, there will be no showing. His friends and family will be celebrating his life on November 30, 2013 at Grace Episcopal Church, 315 Wayne Street, Sandusky, OH at 2 p.m. Memorials in Tony's memory can be made to the Leonard J. Thom Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Sandusky Board of Education, 407 Decatur Street, Sandusky, OH 44870, or the
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ansberg-West Funeral Directors, 419-472-7633.
To send his family online condolences, please visit
Ansberg-West Funeral Directors
3000 Sylvania Ave
Toledo, OH 43613
Published in Toledo Blade on Nov. 24, 2013