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Panayiotis G. (Pete) KARRAS

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Panayiotis G. (Pete) KARRAS Obituary

News Death Notice

KARRAS, Panayiotis "Pete" G. passed away at home on Thursday, January 31ST, 2013 surrounded by his family. Pete was born in Alea, Greece, a small village in southern Greece, on September 27th, 1926. He was the oldest of 6 children born to his parents, George and Ourania Karras. He served proudly in the Greek Army from 1949 - 1952. He began his quest of the "American dream" a couple of years later, when he left his beloved homeland, and came to America through Ellis Island via a Special Act of Congress in 1954. Pete diligently set about making his American dream become a reality by washing dishes at a local Howard Johnsons restaurant and later working at the Blue Bird Pie Company with many other Greek immigrants. In 1957, Pete married Speridoula "Lula" Eleas, who was also from Alea, and they were blessed with three children; Irene Karras Dow, Elaine Karras Carson, and George Karras, and nine beautiful grandchildren. He worked and saved, and alongside his family, they built, brick by brick, The Wilmington Heights Shopping Center in Kettering, Ohio; in 1959 they opened the Wilmington Heights IGA and worked for almost 40 years together, pursuing and living his dream in America. Pete was a proud member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church for 55 years, and was an active member of AHEPA and the Masonic Temple. Pete loved to spend time with his family and friends; He was known to some as a "Snow-Bird," spending winters in Delray Beach, Florida with his friends and family. He also looked forward to and took great pleasure in his many trips around the country with his senior citizen church group, the "Young at Heart." Pete was most proud of the fact that he came to America, with very little education and not able to speak the language, and seized the opportunities that this country afforded him. He realized his American dream by working hard and building a successful business, thus being able to provide a college education for each of his children and grandchildren. He will always be remembered proudly dancing to Greek music played lovingly by his son, at family and church functions. Pete's huge heart, welcoming home, and loving arms embraced the people around him for 86 years. Awaiting him in Heaven are his parents, George and Ourania Karras, his younger brothers, Eleas G. Karras, James G. Karras, sister Vasiliki Papastavros, and his granddaughter, Georgia J. Karras. He will be greatly missed by his faithful and loving wife of 56 years, Lula Karras; His children and their families: Irene, Gene, Michael and Melanie Dow of Centerville, Ohio; Elaine, Craig, Bob, Stacy, and Ted Carson of Worthington, Ohio; and George, Joanne, Elea, Tia, and Taki Karras of Bellbrook, Ohio; and his sister, Katherine Elias; his brother Andreas Karras and wife Ourania, and sister-in-law Terry Karras, as well as many nephews and nieces. Friends may call from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Monday, February 4, 2013 at the TOBIAS FUNERAL HOME - FAR HILLS CHAPEL, 5471 Far Hills Ave., Dayton, Ohio 45459, with Trisagion Prayers at 5:00 p.m. Funeral Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Parke N., Dayton, Ohio 45405, Father Mark Emroll officiating. Burial immediately following the service at Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio. Memorial contributions may be made to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park N., Dayton, Ohio 45405, or The Hospice of Dayton, 324 Wilmington Ave., Dayton, Ohio 45420. Condolences may be made to www.tobiasfuneralhome.com

Published in Dayton Daily News on Feb. 3, 2013
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