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Born: Aug 25, 1914
Date of Passing: Nov 04, 2001Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
WILLIAM PAPPAS It is with regret that we announce the death of our father and grandfather on Sunday, November 4, 2001 at the Convalescent Home of Winnipeg. Bill was born in Phrousouna near Corinth, Greece on August 25, 1914. He immigrated to Canada in 1930 to live with his Uncle Gus in Moose Jaw. He worked in the Princess Cafe in Moose Jaw with his uncle and other parts of Canada before settling in Winnipeg. He joined Canadian National Railways in 1938 and worked with CN in varying capacities throughout the Second World War until he became a conductor. While working on the railway he met Isabel Kelekis - the love of his life and their romance began with a date for Gone With the Wind. On April 27, 1941, they were married and Jim was born a year later in 1942 and then Chrys in 1943. In 1948 he opened his own restaurant Willies Place on Portage Avenue near the old Rialto Theatre - the present site of Portage Place. In 1952 he and Isabel opened Willies Restaurant at 48-50 Albert Street in the centre of the citys garment district. Willies was an instant success and became the social hub of Albert Street for downtown business people and people in the garment business. They continued at this location until 1967 when they sold and Bill took up a career in real estate with Oldfield Kirby & Gardiner, which continued for several years. From 1980 to 1999 Bill worked with Isabel and his sisters-in-law at Kelekis Restaurant - greeting people in his usual jovial manner until ill health prevented him from continuing. Bill was an avid sports fan - he especially loved hockey, football and baseball - particularly the World Series. When told by Chrys that the Yankees had made a comeback in this years series, he reminded Chrys of the bets they used to have in the 50s and 60s when Chrys always wanted the ill fated Dodgers to win. Bills community involvement was very strong - as a lifetime member and President of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, and the Order of Ahepa. He dedicated many hours to establishing the Greek Church in Winnipeg. He was very proud of his membership in Khartum Temple and as a Directors Staff member eagerly anticipated his involvement in the Shrine Circus each year. As well, he was a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and valued all his associations and friendships through these groups. In his youth he had two passions - one was wrestling and the other was his mandolin. Although he couldnt sing, he loved music and particularly enjoyed gypsy violins as well as opera and classical music. La Donna e mobile was one of his all time favourites especially when sung by Enrico Caruso. Bill was a warm-hearted guy with an easy laugh who loved to hug and kiss. His warmth and charm were known by all - especially all his grandchildren whom he adored. One of the highlights of his life was his trip to Greece in 1997 with his grandson, Geoffrey - it was a pilgrimage and a celebration for both of them. Bill was predeceased by his beloved wife Isabel in 1996. Bill is survived by his family, Jim and Barbra, Chrys and Kaye; and his very special grandchildren, Geoffrey, Todd, Christopher, Alexandra, Jonathon and Elizabeth; his sisters-in-law, Chryse Castran, Evelyn Hall, Mary Kelekis and Becky Walker; his nieces and nephews, Melanie Hall, Barbara Hall and Stephanie Hall-Koch, Evelyn and Telly Macrodimitris and sons, George and Alex, Georgia and George Kostakos and son Dean, Vicky and Doug Mcfadden and daughter Jamie, Nassia and Ernest Cholakis and daughters, Lillie, Alexia and Christianna. Special thanks to Linda Savelsbergh who looked after Bill for the past year and a half before he entered the Convalescent Home. She had a special place in his heart. Thanks also to all the people at the Convalescent Home where he resided these last four months. Prayers will be held at Cropo Funeral Chapel, 1442 Main St., Winnipeg, MB on Monday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 13 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2255 Grant Ave., Winnipeg. Flowers are gratefully declined. If so inclined, please send a contribution in Bills memory to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba, 301 - 352 Donald St., Winnipeg, MB R3B 2H8, or a charity of your choice. CROPO FUNERAL CHAPEL 586-8044
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 09, 2001
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