NEW JERSEY – Emanuel Logothetis posted on Facebook an emotional tribute to his late grandfather, John Sakellaris, Pan Gregorian Chairman, businessman and philanthropist, who passed away on January 8.
“My role model. My mentor. My confidant. My second dad. My grandfather. So many emotions, so many memories running through my heart and mind.
“For 29 years of my life, I was blessed to have grown up with him by my side. From a young age, I gravitated towards him. He always had this larger than life presence for me. Always with a sport jacket, hand raised, booming voice and always called out your name with a smile. That’s the iconic John Sakellaris greeting. I was his first born grandson, and in a lot of ways the son he never had. I could do no wrong in his eyes. I spent every weekend at my grandparents house growing up, every Friday and Saturday I spent with him overnight at the Lyndhurst Diner. The weekends were spent on Eagle St, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I got the best education a young kid could ever ask for. Food, Politics, Life, Education, Culture. History, Women, you name it. Real life experiences, advice, straight from his heart. He taught me what it means to be a straight shooter and to tell it like it is no matter what. How family is the most important thing in life (you have one mother, one father, and your siblings are your blood that never changes for anyone or anything). How giving back to others and helping those who need you is life’s ultimate duty. My grandfather never refused anyone who asked him for a favor, EVER no matter how big or small.
“What it means to be a friend to others, that being a friend is not a part-time occupation. You are there for the highs and the lows and everything in between. He loved being around his friends and always having company. There was never too many people around him. He would invite you, and you never ever left the diner without eating or having a drink with him. It wasn’t up for discussion.
“He taught me what it means to be a Greek American, what it means to be Karpathian. “Remember the meaning Manoli, remember the meaning” How vital it was to keep the culture vibrant and growing. tradition, customs, language it’s up generation after to generation to carry out. “If you forget where you came from, you don’t know where you are going” He was from LASTOS first and foremost, those roots are forever cemented in his legacy. That never changed no matter who was in his presence, amount of success or where he was. He loved where he came from and he gave that gift to his children and grandchildren.
“Every day of my life he taught me what unconditional love meant. He lived it. He personified it. I will be eternally grateful to him for that love.
“I am so very proud to say John Sakellaris was my grandfather. I loved being his grandson. He has enormous shoes that are impossible to fill, the pain is deep , but his legacy will live on through his family.
“I LOVE YOU PAPPOU,
May your memory be eternal.”