James George Tolas
October 10, 1925 - February 3, 2013
James George Tolas, age 87, of Mt. Pleasant passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 3, 2013 at the MidMichigan Medical Center in Alma with his family by his side.
Funeral services for Jim will be held at Clark Family Funeral Chapel on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 11 a.m. with Bishop Ileia Katre, Rev. Irenaeus Cox, and Fr. Mark Sietsema officiating. Interment will follow in the Riverside Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Thursday, February 7 from 1 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the funeral chapel. Visitation will continue on Friday, February 8 from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. Envelopes will be available at the funeral chapel.
Jim was born on October 10, 1925 in Sinice Korce, Albania, the son of George D. and Krisulla V. (Viso) Tolas. Jim came to the United States in 1938 with his parents and brother, Andrew Tolas, and lived in Akron, Ohio. During WWII
, Jim served in the U.S. Navy
, where he received the Navl Honors of Purple Heart
and Victory Ribbon, Philippines Liberation Ribbon, American Area Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Ribbon Star.
Jim was in the restaurant business a majority of his life. He started in Akron, Ohio, with a hot dog cart at the age of 13, that he ran on the weekends, while attending High School during the week. Then he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17. After his military service was completed, he moved back to Akron, working for his uncles restaurant. Then Jim's family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where his father started a restaurant and coffee shop in Irving Park, which Jim worked in.
Jim married Sandra Marks on October 18, 1953 in Chicago. In the 1950's, Jim built his first restaurant, The Charette in Chicago. He continued to run the business until 1961 when he sold it and moved to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Once in Mt. Pleasant, Jim had two restaurants, the One-Minute-Lunch and the Central Inn, where the Red Cross building stands today. He also operated the Light's Restaurant in Lansing until 1983, when Jim retired.
Following his retirement, Jim did restaurant consulting for his good friend, Mr. Lyle L. Stephens in Holt, Michigan for a few years. It was difficult for Jim to stop working because he was always a very active man. He helped his son's at Tolas Auto Sales and Tolas Oil and Gas office and warehouse.
Jim was a Christian who loved the Lord and his family. He enjoyed reading, fishing the outdoors, and all his activities revolved around his family. He will live on in our memories for the dignity, style, and class with which he carried himself.
His parents; brother, Nico Tolas; and his sister, Marianne Stein, precede him in death.
Jim is survived by his wife, Sandra Tolas of Mt. Pleasant; his daughter, Krisulla "Tresa" Haveles of Mt. Pleasant; two sons, Petro and George Tolas of Mt. Pleasant; three grandchildren, Yanni, Eleni, and Dimitri Haveles; brother, Dr. Andrew (Carolyn) Tolas of Seattle, Washington; and numerous nieces and nephews.
You may view Jim's obituary online and send a condolence to the family, light a memorial candle, or place a memorial donation at www.clarkfuneralchapel.com.