Mitcho Pappas

  • "I still remember sitting in his class after 45 years...."
    - James Jacobs
  • "Mr. Pampas taught me history at Start High School 1964-67...."
    - Christine Pomeroy Lloyd
  • "Mr. Papas was my teacher at Start High School, and I..."
    - Linda Davis
  • "Mr. Pappas was my Government teacher in 1991. He was a..."
    - Sandra Wolff
  • "To the Pappas family...your father truly left a legacy. I..."
    - Tina Wells


Mitcho (Demetrios) S.

Mitcho (Demetrios) S. Pappas died peacefully in his home on December 4, 2012, surrounded by loving family, at the age of almost 92. He lost his loving wife, Kiki, just 8 months earlier, after 57 years of marriage.

Mitcho was born in Pangraty, Greece where he was supposed to grow up and be a shepherd and farmer. His family was not wealthy, and he often said that they could not afford shoes, so he would wear pigskins tied around his feet. He loved school and dreamed of coming to America.

At the age of 15, his dream came true, when his father's brother, John, and his wife Maude, adopted him and brought him to the United States to live with them in Missoula, Montana.

He spoke no English and was placed in kindergarten, and gradually advanced through grade school until he was fluent in English. He worked in his aunt and uncle's store, The Sunshine Candy shop, in downtown Missoula. He missed Greece and his family. He would cry every night, and would say that his Aunt Maude would cry with him. He credited his loving Aunt Maude for supporting him and encouraging him to be the man he became.

Before graduating from high school, he was drafted into the U.S. Army where he was promoted to sergeant. He was shipped to the European theater during World War II, as part of Patton's 3rd Army, where he helped liberate Europe.

Upon honorable discharge, he enrolled and graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science, and then a Master's degree. He became a Mason and also a member of AHEPA. He accepted a teaching position in Kalispell, Montana for 3 years, and served as a Forest Ranger at Glacier National Park during the summers.

With the burning desire to pursue higher education, he applied and was accepted to the University of Michigan PhD program in Byzantine History. He moved 2000 miles east and settled in a small apartment, and began his studies.

Because he was far from home, his friend, Chris Patsavos, invited him to attend his in-laws' house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was there that he was "hooked" by Katherine "Kiki" Photos (who was pursuing her master's degree in library sciences). At that dinner, Katherine said that he spoke to everyone but her, and Mitcho said that she was just "teasing" him the whole time. They fell in love and married 6 months later at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Toledo, Ohio.

For lack of job opportunities in the Ohio or Montana areas, Mitcho and Katherine moved to Peoria, Illinois to accept teaching positions. There, they were overjoyed with their first son, John, and he was the center of their world.

Three years later, they returned to Toledo where Mitcho began to teach at Scott High School, and then was thrilled with the opportunity to become chairman of Social Studies at a newly built high school, Roy C. Start. He taught Government, Social Studies, and History for 30 years at Start, before retiring in 1992. He loved to teach and interacted with thousands of students over his career. Also, some of his fondest memories were of those with whom he taught.

After moving back to Toledo, he and Katherine welcomed their second son, Mike, and 3rd son, Tom. All 3 sons attended Start High school, and all had their father as a teacher. He and Katherine were loyal fans at all of their sons' basketball/baseball games, church activities, and academic achievements.

After his retirement, he and his wife loved having family get togethers, traveling and welcoming more and more grandchildren. He loved to walk. He was an avid chef and loved cooking. He could "whip up" spaghetti and salata in 20 minutes.

His greatest pride came from his sons. He and his wife gave them the tools to pursue their dreams of becoming physicians, John (Emergency Medicine), Mike (Pediatrics), and Tom (Cardiology).

Above all, he was an example of great moral character. He was a faithful husband, loving father and Papou. He encouraged hard work, honesty, respect, and pride in one's family and ancestry.

He lived most of his life in Toledo, but his spirit remained forever in his native village in Pangraty, Greece and Missoula, Montana.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Katherine and brother, Kostas. Survivors include his sisters, Panayiota and Athanasia (Greece); sons, John (Angela), Michael (Cristina) and Tom (Carrie); grandchildren, Katherine, Maria, Naya, Demetra, Gianna, Jameson, Laney, and Kaylen.

The family will receive guests on Thursday from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Newcomer Funeral Home, 4752 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo (419-381-1900) with Trisagion Services at 7:00 p.m. in the funeral home. Funeral Services will begin Friday at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 802 N. Superior St., Toledo, OH. Interment will follow in Historic Woodlawn Cemetery.

The family would like to express their appreciation to Visiting Angels and Hospice of Northwest Ohio. Also, heartfelt love to Sheri Goodremont who became not only a caregiver, but a friend and trusted companion to our father in the last few years of his life.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make an expression of sympathy are asked to consider donations in his name to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Roy C. Start High School Foundation or a .

To leave a special message for Mitcho's family, please visit
Published in Toledo Blade from Dec. 5 to Dec. 6, 2012
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