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Nicolas Panagakos


1941 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Nicolas Panagakos Obituary
Nicolas Panagakos fell asleep in the Lord on December 31, 2018 after a short illness. Caring for him throughout his illness, Nick's family surrounded him as he passed.
Nick was born in Kastri, Arkadia, Greece on October 12, 1941 to Anastasios Panagakos and Maria Hougiazou. Having four daughters, his mother prayed to Saint Nicholas to bless her with a son, promising to walk to the monastery to have him baptized if her wish was fulfilled. Nick arrived in 1941, just as Greece was pulled into World War II. Although his family suffered during the war and subsequent Greek Civil War, they never lost sight of a better life. They sent Nick at the age of 15 to live in Calgary, Canada. Nick worked hard to support his family back in Greece, holding a variety of jobs - from delivering bread to the local Indian reservation to constructing the Trans-Canada Highway.
In 1963 he accompanied a friend to San Francisco where he met Anna Manos at a Greek night club. It was love at first sight. The pair exchanged letters for three years, finally marrying in Chicago in 1966. Nick and Anna lived in San Bruno, California where they opened a produce market. With the arrival of their daughters in the 1970s, the couple moved to San Jose in 1978 where Nick owned a construction company, traveling for jobs throughout Northern California. Nick was a builder at heart, and with the success of his company he purchased a vineyard in Lodi where, for over 30 years, he grew grapes and made wine.
Although Nick had little formal schooling, he valued education and knowledge, supporting his daughters and other family members through higher education. He loved learning about the world with a curiosity that fueled his passion for building and cultivating. Self-taught in many things, Nick felt happiest when problem solving and tinkering in his shop or working in the vineyard. Nick's ingenuity was evident in the machines he designed and built himself - from electric walnut crackers to wine bottle sterilizers and a deconstructed golf cart modified to make work in the vineyard easier.
Nick's sense of humor and hospitality were legendary. He was a joker who was never without a one liner or anecdote; he particularly loved making his grandkids laugh. He enjoyed visiting with friends and family on his back patio and his daily trips to the local coffee shop to socialize with his farm buddies. Those who visited the farm never left empty handed; whether it was a case of homemade wine or a bottle of moonshine, garden fresh tomatoes and fruit, or the grapes he tended so carefully, this was how Nick showed his love.
Above all, Nick will be remembered for his devotion to his family and his Greek roots and culture. He shared his life with Anna through 52 years of marriage, and whether through hardship or good times, they were forever together. He carried the values and traditions of his native Greece with him wherever he lived and was proudest watching his four grandchildren continue those traditions. Nick is survived by his wife, Anna; daughters Maria and Anastasia; sons-in law Dimitri Karapanos and Jelmer Eerkens; and his grandchildren Vasili, Nikoletta, Jasper, and Jannoula. He is also survived by his four sisters, Aggeliki, Georgia, Stavroula, Konstandina, and their families. May his memory be eternal.
Visitation hours are from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. and Trisagion (wake) service at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 9 at Lodi Funeral Home. The funeral and makaria (reception) will be held on Thursday, January 10 at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church, 9165 Peets Street, Elk Grove. Burial to follow at Lodi Memorial Cemetery, 5750 E. Pine Street. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Nick's memory to the Greek folk dance groups of Saint Basil or Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox churches.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from Jan. 5 to Jan. 11, 2019
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