John S. Tragas
1952 - 2020
{ "" }
Share John's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
John S. Tragas, 67, passed away peacefully on October 13, 2020 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. John was born on Nov 2, 1952 in Magoula, Greece. He immigrated with his parents and brother in 1966 to America at the age of 14. In 1972 John and his brother opened their first restaurant, The Charm Restaurant in Chicago until 1989. John was also the proud owner of Café 14 in Palatine for 29 years. He always made his customers feel like family. John's love of people and his zeal for life made him the special person he was. He always said "YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE, LIVE IT"! John leaves behind his wife and best buddy, Claudette (nee Melnick) of 42 years; his devoted daughters Diane (Steve) Korbakes, Maria (Jeffrey) Dillner, and Christina (Louie) Paschos; Proudest papou of Katie, Jimmy, Emily, Peter, Johnny, and Sophia; Loving brother of Chris (Vasiliki) Tragas; Dearest uncle, cousin, and friend of many. Visitation, Thursday, October 15, 2020 at Colonial Wojciechowski Funeral Home 8025 W. Golf Rd., Niles, IL., from 4 – 9 p.m., Relatives and friends are requested to please meet Friday morning at St. George Greek Orthodox Church 2701 N. Sheffield Ave. Chicago, IL. 60614 for 9:30 a.m. Funeral service. Entombment will follow to Queen of Heaven cemetery and Mausoleum. Due to Covid-19 restrictions only a limited number of people can remain in church for service. Masks must be worn in church and cemetery and social distancing must be practiced. In lieu of flowers memorials in his name can be made to St. George Greek Orthodox Church. Arrangements by NICHOLAS M. PISHOS FUNERAL DIRECTOR, LTD., Info: 847-581-0536 or

Published in Chicago Tribune on Oct. 15, 2020.
04:00 - 09:00 PM
Funeral service
09:30 AM
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
10 entries
October 19, 2020
We were very saddened to read of John's passing. He was very kind to our family always smiling and asking about Mama. I was so glad when Fabiola asked me to sign John's retirement card - thank you. Although I did not see John that day I was happy I could be there. We miss the Café 14 days with John, Claudette, family and staff, but have many warm memories. With deepest sympathy - Kumi and family
October 19, 2020
With deepest sympathy-
October 18, 2020
John was a wonderful man who treated my parents (Silvia and Raul) with such reverence. I will always appreciate him for that. My family is saddened to hear of his loss and we will miss our Saturday morning breakfasts at Cafe 14. Our condolences to the family. Rest in Peace my friend.
Raul & Barb Zaldivar
October 18, 2020
I'm very saddened to hear about John's passing. My sincerest condolences to all the family and friends of John. For over 25 years I've enjoyed visiting his restaurant and to the very last time I was there he always had a joyful smile and would ask by name how everyone in my family was doing! Not once do I remember leaving his presence in anything but a great mood regardless of the state of mind I may have walked in it with. He had the great ability to exude his joy onto others and project goodness and happiness to everyone around him! Thank you for your great interest in, and service to me and all of my family John!! We will miss you very much!
Mike Hedrich

Mike J Hedrich
October 18, 2020
So sad to learn of John’s passing. He was a wonderful man whose smile and kindness will be missed by many. A Cafe 14 customer! Marilyn Hennig
October 17, 2020
John was literally the best host of any restaurant I’ve ever been to. An amazing human being who always asked how my mom “Barbie” was. Rest In Peace John. Condolences to his friends and family. You were so blessed to be so close to such and amazing man!
Julie Schmidt
October 16, 2020
We always enjoyed seeing John at the restaurant. He was always had a pleasant word for us. We marveled at the way he handled his illness. Very courageous. Our deepest sympathy to his family. The Richard Kolze family
Richard Kolze
October 16, 2020
My wife and I have visited Cafe' 14 many,many times over the years! It was always a joy for us to see John! He always have us a big hug and a big smile! He was always concerned about how we were doing, just as much as we were concerned about him and his family! We were fortunately able to see John when he was sick and we were sad when we found out the restaurant was sold but not surprised! We are very saddened to hear of his passing! We will miss John very much! God Bless!!!
Michael and Rita Brzezinski
October 15, 2020
Exquisite Tribute Standing Spray
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Harry Christou
October 15, 2020
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
The Staff of Colonial Wojciechowski Funeral Home
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences