John J. ""Kojak"" Pappas, 88, formerly of Horton Street, Wilkes Barre, was received into the arms of the Lord on Thursday, March 28, 2013, at Celtic Health Care Center, Geisinger South Wilkes Barre.
He was born on March 5, 1925 in Roanoke, Va., a son of the late James and Theodora (Athanaopoulos) Pappas. He resided in Wilkes Barre most of his life, graduating from Elmer L. Meyers High School. He was a member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Wilkes Barre.
He was a veteran of World War II and proud to serve his country in the U.S. Marine Corps as private first class. John fought in the Pacific Theater and was the recipient of various war medals, among them the prestigious Purple Heart.
Kojak, as he was affectionately known to his friends and co-workers, was employed by the Social Security Administration as a custodian for more than 25 years, retiring in 2005. He was a member and past president of the Black Diamond HEPA and a former member of the VFW, Plymouth. He also was a member of the American Legion, Post No. 463, Plymouth.
John was an avid jitterbug fan who enjoyed big band-era music, especially Glenn Miller. He visited the area clubs, where he socialized and danced with many of his friends. He also loved baseball, football and his daughter-in-law Charlene's cooking. Most of all, John loved spending time with his family and friends.
Preceding him in death was a brother, Nicholas Pappas.
Surviving are his sons, Timothy Pappas and his wife, Charlene, who was his caretaker, and James Pappas, all from Wilkes-Barre; grandchildren, Mrs. Mark (Nicole) Miller, of Jermyn, Mrs. Robert (Danielle) Stair, of Wilkes-Barre, Mr. Travis Squadrito, of Sweet Valley, and Miss Ayreonia Pappas, of Wilkes-Barre; eight great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and brother, Andrew Pappas, Saratoga, N.Y.
The family extends their heartfelt appreciation to the VA Hospital's fourth-floor staff for the care and concern given to their father, John, with a very special thank-you to Katie Pisano, RN. The most important thank-you goes to Pop for all the memories we have shared with you.
Military funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 10 a.m. from the George A. Strish Inc. Funeral Home, 105 N. Main St., Ashley, with the Rev. Gabriel Nicholas of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Wilkes Barre, officiating. Friends may call on Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. Trisagion services will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Interment will be in Oaklawn Cemetery, Hanover Township.
Condolences can be sent to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in Times Leader on Mar. 30, 2013