Queensbury, N.Y.- Josie Beckos Wood of Queensbury New York passed away December 15, 2020. Born Georgia Pars November 11, 1923, to Jane (Janopaul) Pars and Theodore “Ted” Pars, Greek emigres from Volos and the region of Achaea, Peloponnese, respectively, “Josie” spent her early life in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where summers included visits with family in Ashtabula, Ohio, and many Sundays in Boston attending church liturgies presided over by her great-uncle, Joachim (Alexopoulos), the first ruling Greek Orthodox Bishop of Boston from 1923-1930. At age 9, Josie and family moved to Albany, New York, where in 1941 she graduated from the Academy of the Holy Names, afterward pursuing further studies at Mildred Elley Business School. In 1948, Josie married Constantine John “Gus” Beckos and together they settled in Stamford, Connecticut, where Gus was employed by the Chance Vaught Company. When the Company moved operations to Houston, Texas, Josie and Gus decided to remain in the Northeast to start a family and to join Josie’s parents in the family business, The Central Delicatessen in Albany. Summers spent in the Lake George area inspired Josie and Gus, with Jane and Ted Pars, to expand the business in the region by first opening The Montcalm Restaurant on Canada Street, in 1956, later adding two establishments, Montcalm South, in 1971, and Dino’s Montcalm, in 1975. Josie and Gus moved from Albany in 1963 to become permanent residents of Glens Falls. Travel throughout Europe, South America, Asia and Hawaii in winters and the Restaurants’ off-season stimulated their curiosity about other cultures and culinary traditions. Many of the trademark specialties on the menu at the Montcalm – well known and well-loved by many regular customers – originated in their overseas excursions. Josie worked closely with Gus, and eventually son Dean, who joined the business in 1973 to build and develop The Montcalm into the popular destination it became for so many. In February 2007, the New York Restaurant Association honored Josie and Gus with a Lifetime Achievement Award for their 50 years of contribution to the restaurant industry. Josie remained active in The Montcalm until the Restaurant closed in June of 2013. Josie generously contributed her time to several local non-profit organizations. In 1978, she became a trustee of the newly stablished Charles R. Wood Foundation. She succeeded Mr. Wood as chair of the Board upon his passing in 2004. She remained chair until November 2013, when the Board voted her the second emeritus chair. Mr. Wood had been the first. Additionally, in the 1980s and 1990s, Josie worked with Mr. Wood at The Great Escape and in the development of The Double H Ranch, which is located in Lake Luzerne, New York, and provides specialized programs and year-round support for children and their families with life-threatening illnesses. Mr. Wood co-founded the Double H in 1991 with Paul Newman. Josie served on the Double H Ranch board from 1993, the first year the Ranch provided summer programs, until 2014. In honor of her many years of service, the board in 2014 nominated Josie as emeritus director, the Ranch’s highest level of recognition. Throughout her life, Josie was a voracious reader and an enthusiastic traveller. She never stopped learning and constantly embraced new information. Those who knew Josie cherish a lasting impression of an exceptional individual possessed of a generous spirit, inexhaustible energy, a passion for life, and an abiding loyalty to her family and friends. If she set her mind to something, it would be done, and done with great style. Josie supported several major non-profit institutions she strongly felt made important contributions to the Glens Falls and the surrounding area; among them The Glens Falls Symphony, The Hyde Collection, and The Double HH Ranch. Josie was a member of St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church in Albany and a longstanding member of the Glens Falls Country Club and The Lake George Club. Josie was predeceased by her first husband Constantine John “Gus” Beckos in 2007, and her second husband, philanthropist Charles R. Wood in 2004. Josie is survived by two children, Barbara Beckos McDonald (Arthur) of Syracuse, New York, and Dean John Beckos (Debbie) of Queensbury, New York; three grandchildren, John Theodore Beckos (Lauren) of Denver, Colorado, Brooke Ann Beckos, of Albany, New York, and Theodore Beckos McDonald (Claire) of Woodway, Texas; and three great-granddaughters, Elizabeth Evans McDonald, Katherine Burks McDonald and Abigail Josephine Beckos. Josie is also survived by two stepdaughters, Barbara Wood Wages (Tom) of Amelia Island, Florida, and Charlene Wood of Saratoga; eight step-grandchildren, and eight step-great-grandchildren. The Family is deeply grateful to Dottie for her longtime care and companionship to Josie for 25 years, and to Josie’s additional caregivers Kathy, Peggy and Joyce for their companionship and care. The family also wishes to thank Neighbors NY and acknowledge the staff at Ft. Hudson Nursing Center, Ft. Edward, New York for their expert care and compassion during these past several months. Due to concerns and restrictions during this time of Covid-19, there will be no calling hours. Church services will be for the immediate family only and burial will be private. A celebration of Josie’s life will be planned for spring or summer. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Josie’s memory to The Double H Ranch, 97 Hidden Valley Rd., Lake Luzerne, New York 12846 or online at doublehranch.org
; or The Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra, PO Box 2036, 7 Lapham Place, Glens Falls, New York 12801 or online at theglensfallssymphony.org
or to St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church, 440 Whitehall Road, Albany, NY 12208. Arrangements are under the care of the Singleton Sullivan Potter Funeral Home. For online condolences, please visit sbfuneralhome.com http://www.lastingmemories.com/josie-beckos-wood
Published by The Saratogian from Dec. 17 to Dec. 18, 2020.