Ruck Towson Funeral Home, Inc. - Towson
1050 York Road
Towson, MD 21204
(410) 823-1700
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Nicholas Tsakalos

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Nicholas Tsakalos Notice

Nicholas Tsakalos, co-owner of H&S Bakery, the Southeast Baltimore business founded by his father and grandfather, died Wednesday of complications related to Lewy Body Dementia at his Baltimore County home. He was 72. Mr. Tsakalos was the son of Harry Tsakalos and Liberty (nee Paterakis) Tsakalos, and worked for more than 55 years at H&S Bakery which his father and grandfather Isidore "Steve" Paterakis founded in 1943. "He grew up in the business and dedicated his life to it. He used to work seven days a week, starting early in the morning and coming home just in time for dinner," said his son Michael Tsakalos of Hunt Valley. "I remember as a 10-year-old being woken up at 5 am on Saturday mornings to go to the bakery with him and my brothers. We would sleep-walk around the bakery until my grandfather would take us to Eastern House for breakfast! Those were good times." "Those mornings with our dad and grandparents taught us the importance of dedication to family and to business," added another son Harry Tsakalos of Parkville. "My dad always wore his bakery "whites" uniform and really connected with the employees. He was a humble man." Mr. Tsakalos was born in Highlandtown in 1942. He graduated from Baltimore Poly Tech in 1961, Johns Hopkins University in 1965, and later from The Baking Institute in Chicago. Mr. Tsakalos married Jeanne Passas in 1969. The couple moved to Timonium and had three sons before later moving to Phoenix, Maryland. "The only time my dad left work early was to coach baseball and soccer. He loved sports and was a ticket holder for the Orioles, Colts and Ravens," remembered his youngest son Christopher Tsakalos of Phoenix. According to the family, Mr. Tsakalos coached youth sports for 30 years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Lutherville-Timonium Recreation Council (LTRC). "Nick will be remembered by many as 'the nicest guy you'll ever meet'," added his wife Jeanne Tsakalos. "He always looked for people to help and had a generous heart." During Mr. Tsakalos' tenure at H&S Bakery, the family-owned business grew into one of the largest privately-held bakeries on the East Coast. He became a partner in the family business and held the position of Vice President of Operations. "He was always a hands-on man at the bakery," said his wife, "and was loved by the employees in the factory." Stan Helowicz, a manager at H&S, who worked with Mr. Tsakalos for 40 years added, "He treated me like a friend rather than an employee. He was the kind of boss that you wanted to do a good job for -- to make him proud of you and have confidence in you." All three of Mr. Tsakalos's sons are employed at H&S along with several other family members of the Paterakis families. "Nick was sincere, respected and a mentor and friend. Calm, patient and loyal describes his character. He was my baseball coach as a child and exemplified admired work ethic in all endeavors," said John Paterakis, Jr, also a co-owner of H&S Bakery and cousin to Mr. Tsakalos. Mr. Tsakalos was a parishioner of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Baltimore, where he regularly attended services and once served on the Parish Council. He was a member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America's Leadership 100 group and was presented with the Christian Life Award by the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council. Mr. Tsakalos was honored for his service to the Orthodox Church by Archbishop Demetrios of America who bestowed him with the title of Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Mr. Tsakalos' philanthropic efforts included being a benefactor through the Endowment Fund for Orthodox Missions at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary in Brookline, MA. He also established the Nicholas Tsakalos Endowed Scholarship which provides college students opportunities to study in Greece. Additionally, Mr. Tsakalos was honored by The Children's Guild and The Dyslexia Tutoring Program, an organization for which he served on the advisory board for several years. Mr. Tsakalos is survived by his wife of 46 years, Jeanne Passas Tsakalos; his children, Harry Tsakalos of Parkville; Michael and Sylvia Tsakalos of Hunt Valley; and Christopher and Triantafilia Tsakalos of Phoenix; as well as six grandchildren, Nicholas, Jacob, Mixalitsa, Elijah, Yianni and Maria; and eleven Godchildren. A visitation will be held at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road (beltway exit 26A), on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., where a Trisagion Service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Tsakalos will lie in state in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation (Maryland Ave & Preston St), on Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at which time a funeral service will be held. Interment Greek Orthodox Cemetery in Woodlawn. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation at goannun.org; to the IOCC Foundation at iocc.org, earmarked for the Harry and Liberty Tsakalos Endowment; or to the of Maryland at alz.org, earmarked for Lewy Body Dementia.
Published in Baltimore Sun on Nov. 20, 2015
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