It is with profound sadness we announce the passing of Christos Papageorgiou, loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend to all whose lives he touched. He left this life on April 7, 2021 at the age of 84.
Christos was born in Gemna (Akrolimni), Greece in 1936. As the eldest of 7 children, he learned the ultimate meaning of family, sacrifice, and unconditional love at the tender age of 6 when he left school to work alongside his father as a shepherd to help support his family. As the years passed, and he matured to a fine upstanding man, he began the next chapter of his life when he married his beloved Sophia in the summer of 1962. Later that same year, they immigrated to Canada and settled in Saskatoon where together they set out to work hard and make the very most of their new lives in a foreign country.
From dishwasher to prep cook to cook, Christos diligently worked his way up the restaurant ladder until the day he was able to put all his hard work, savings, and business savvy to practice opening a restaurant of his own - the Venice House on 33rd. It wasn’t long before he came to be known for his genuine hospitality, great food, and enviable work ethic. In the mid-80s, he opened his first Famous Cheesetoast Restaurant, which he successfully built into a franchise based on the dry ribs and cheesetoast recipes he had created and perfected. Then in the early 90s, always eager to learn and grow, he opened Di’Angelo’s Italian Restaurant. Nothing short of incredible, with sheer determination, hard work, and the love and support of his wife and friends, a simple shepherd with nearly a grade 1 education and limited ability to speak, read, or write English, had become a great Canadian success story.
Running four very busy restaurants at once, Christos would find himself working seven days a week, day and night, yet he still managed to always have time to spend with his family. Christos would go on to become a firm fixture in Saskatoon’s Greek-owned restaurant scene for many years. Whether he bought you a “Goodbye Brain” or “Crazy Greek” shooter to end the night with, he always did his best to make sure you knew just how thankful and happy he was to see you.
Family was always first for Christos, so when his children had all moved to Calgary, and it was a natural time for him to step back from the restaurants, he too moved there with his Sophia in 2005. And even though he was technically retired, Christos barely slowed down; he just didn’t know the meaning of the word retirement. He needed to keep busy, one way or another, and his heart was always fullest when he was able to help others. As a devout Christian (Greek Orthodox), he would go to church every week and offer his assistance with any of the church's needs. Being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he had his share of challenges, but he met them head-on with grace, love and laughter. Even as the years passed and the diagnosis progressed, he was always happy to say hello to an old or new friend, young and old, and having never lost his near superhuman strength, offering up that firm earth-moving handshake of his, sweetening each greeting with an ouzo candy or two from his seemingly endless supply. His sense of humor never waned, be it with his smart and unexpected one-liners to the casual pranks, he continued to bring smiles and laughter to everyone around him.
Pappou (grandpa), as he was affectionately known, will be deeply and forever missed by everyone who knew him. Christos is survived by his loving family: his wife Sophia, his children - Daphne (George), Anthony, and Stavroula/Stephanie, as well as his grandchildren - Anthony (Eleni), Sofia (Kevin), and Gina. S’agapame para para polu.
Due to current health restrictions, the service to lay Christos to rest will be limited and for family only. The family plans to have a gathering in the future so all who knew and loved Christos can celebrate his life and honor his memory.
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