SACRAMENTO – Georgia Dariotis, died on August 20 at her family home in Sacramento at the age of 91.
Dariotis and her brother Guss Dussin were the children of Greek immigrants and restaurateurs. Dussin founded the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant in Portland, OR in 1969. After working there for a few years, Dariotis and her husband Michael Dariotis opened a restaurant with the same name in midtown Sacramento in the former Western Pacific train depot almost 40 years ago with the permission of her brother.
“My mother was a working woman long before it was fashionable…She was really a strong, important woman, who was often in the background,” Rhea Brunner told the Sacramento Bee.
“Dariotis was born April 19, 1924, the daughter of Chris and Anastasia Dussin, Greek immigrants who had gone into the restaurant business in Portland. She grew up in the family business, working the cash register at her father’s cafe…She attended Willamette University, majoring in nursing. After she married in September 1946, she and her husband became part owners of the original Old Spaghetti Factory,” the Bee noted.
“She did not like the Portland rain…She wanted to come to sunny California,” said her son Mike Dariotis.
“She always had a smile and a very warm greeting,” he said. “She wanted to make sure everyone got great service and hospitality,” he said.
Dariotis greeted and seated guests for lunch, and after lunch worked on the books, managed the money, and paid the bills.
In addition to time at the Old Spaghetti Factory, Dariotis also helped at Mike’s grandfather’s restaurant – and raised four children.
Ultimately there were 13 Old Spaghetti Factory franchises in California and Arizona.
“Although the restaurants specialize in Italian cuisine, Mike Dariotis said their trademark is the use of Greek Mizithra cheese,” the Bee reported.
George Dariotis, Dariotis’ eldest son, “My mother was the rock. She kind of gave me the push I needed to make it happen,” when he embarked on expanding the business.
George said she “always urged her children to believe in themselves and to be strong,” the Bee noted.
She was active in her local Greek Orthodox parish and was as a member of the Daughters of Penelope and the Philoptochos.
Dariotis was pre-deceased by her husband and brother. She is survived by sons, George Dariotis and Michael Dariotis Jr., both of Sacramento, and Chris Dariotis of Carmichael; daughter, Rhea Brunner of Sacramento; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Trisagion and funeral services were held at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Sacramento and a meal of remembrance was in the church hall following burial at East Lawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Georgia D. Dariotis Memorial Fund at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.