The Life of Menelaos J. Pastis

Menelaos "Mike" J. Pastis Menelaos "Mike" J. Pastis, 76, the much loved son of James and Despina (Xenakis) Pastis, and maker of exceptional fruit salads, died at his home January 14, 2018, Gainesville, Fla., surrounded by family. Mike was the youngest of four children born to Greek immigrant parents in Akron, Ohio on February 8, 1941. He lived in Akron most of his life, moving to Florida in 2011 to enjoy the semi-retired beach life with family and friends. In Akron, he was an altar boy at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, attended Buchtel High School and then worked his way through the Akron University graduating with a BBA with the help of the ROTC program. He then repaid his tuition by serving his country, first called to duty at Fort Benning and then leading a platoon on the front lines as a First Lieutenant in Vietnam. After serving with distinction and earning an honorable discharge, he subsequently served in the Army Reserves again being honorably discharged with the rank of Captain. Returning to Akron, he worked as a manager at the Brown Derby in Independence, Ohio, and caught the entrepreneurial bug starting Summit Foods, a fast food restaurant company, with friends that eventually owned 27 franchised Burger Kings and Arthur Treachers. He went on to develop, own and operate a variety of real estate and business interests including apartment complexes, shopping centers, office buildings, the Egg Castle/Grapevine Cafe, Big Bite, and Punkin''s restaurants, the Bunny B Ice Company, a sauerkraut ball manufacturing company and even a public golf course. He was a hands-on operator who enjoyed the challenge of business-any kind of business-and was a savvy investor sharing the opportunities with friends and family alike. His hard working ways were masked with an easy laugh and an unassuming nature. The "Big Greek," was a loyal friend, ever proud of his Greek heritage. He enjoyed travel, football, basketball, the occasional game of blackjack, and, of course, relished all things Greek. He also liked to swim, walk the beaches, boat and fish with friends and family. Mike was a member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Akron, Ohio. He was preceded in death by his parents, James K. Pastis and Despina (Xenakis); sister and brother-in-law, Caliope "Pope" and Dr. Dionysios Botseas; brother and sister-in-law, Gus J. and Ruth M. Pastis. He is survived by his wife, Alix (Gravenstein) Pastis; his sons, Philip (Kamara) Pastis of Chapmansboro, Tenn. and Adam (Kara) Pastis of Orlando, Fla.; his brother, Dr. Nicholas J. (Maritsa) Pastis of Charleston, S.C.; his nieces, Catherine Pastis (Fritz) Radwanski of Hudson, Ohio, and Christina Botseas of Athens, Greece; his nephews, Michael (Dottie) Pastis of Silver Lake, Ohio, and Dr. Nicholas (Angela) Pastis Jr. of Charleston, S.C.; six grandchildren; best friends, Peter (Cynde) Pangas of Kauai, Hawaii, Greg (Daryl) Thomarios of Akron, Ohio; numerous additional nieces, nephews and friends near and far. His laugh and large, gentle presence are dearly missed

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