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Kiako- Nicholas "Nick" Kiako, 85 passed away peacefully at Yale New Haven Hospital with his loving family by his side, after a brief illness. Nick was born on October 11, 1927 in Bridgeport, CT the son of late Tusha and Kiratsa Kiako. During his school years he was known as "George Raft of Bassick High". He was a combat-wounded veteran of the Korean War, where he served on front lines with the US Army 2nd Infantry Division from 1950 to 1952, participating in numerous battles including the battle of Heartbreak Ridge; for which he received the Combat Infantry Badge, UN Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, several Purple Heart medals and the Bronze Star for heroic service. At the end of the war, he returned to Bridgeport and resumed his career with the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) food stores. Over the years, he became manager of several stores, eventually settling in Old Saybrook, CT where he made his home for the past 50 years. Nick took great pride in his home and loved where he lived so much, that he never felt the need to vacation anywhere else. He looked forward to spring and summer, when he could go fishing or take his granddaughter to the beach. The family knew spring had sprung, when they would find a box of night-crawlers in the refrigerator. Nick was devoted to the Old Saybrook Estuary Council where he was honored to lead the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance before every luncheon. He made many life long relationships at the Estuary Council over the years, while organizing and participating in pool tournaments, and his treasured daily card games. Nick also enjoyed his daily afternoon walk through Stop & Shop and his weekly walk through CVS. Nick was a lifetime member of St. Dimitrie Romanian Orthodox Church in Easton, CT, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also a Masonic member of the Corinthian Lodge #104 in Bridgeport, CT. Nick will be fondly remembered as a loving father and proud grandfather and will be deeply missed. He especially enjoyed his family and the wonderful years he shared with them and he leaves them with his legacy to proudly carry on. "Popu's" granddaughter Tiffany Kiratsa, who was his pride and joy will forever cherish his memory along with his devoted son James Nicholas and "Pop's" special "daughter" Lisa. Uncle Nick leaves behind his nieces "The Girls" Nancy, Karen and Janice, as well as several other nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind treasured friends at the Old Saybrook Estuary Council of Seniors. Nick was predeceased by his sisters: Veronica Tanase, Francine Theodores, Elizabeth Rech and brother Peter Kiako. Friends may call at the Swan Funeral Home, 1224 Boston Post Road Old Saybrook, CT 06475 on Sunday June 9, 2013 from 4pm to 7pm with a Trisagion service held at 6pm. Full military honors to follow. A second calling hour period will be held on Monday June 10, 2013 at St. Dimitrie Romanian Orthodox Church 504 Sport Hill Road Easton, CT at 10:30am, followed directly by a funeral service at 11:30 am. Burial will follow in Lakeview Cemetery, Boston Ave Bridgeport, CT. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations in Nick's memory to, The Old Saybrook Estuary Council of Seniors 220 Main St Old Saybrook CT 06475 Local arrangements are in the care of the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home. To sign an online register or get directions visit www.LeskoPolkeFuneralHome.com
Published in Connecticut Post from June 8 to June 9, 2013