Anton “Tony” Mandros, 87, of Portsmouth, RI, passed to his eternal reward on January 19.
Born in Northern Greece in 1934, Mandros led a life full of events that he shared with everyone he spoke to. Greece entered into civil war in the 1940’s. Tony’s mother, with seven children, escaped the communists by crossing over mountainous terrain. A real-life Horatio Alger story, they immigrated to New York, embarking on a true rags to riches life, and like his patron Saint Anthony, led a life of humility.
Arriving in the United States, Mandros rose from humble beginnings as a shoeshine in Hell’s Kitchen, and as a waiter for the Hilton hotel which afforded him the opportunity to pursue the American dream.
Once he became an established waiter, Mandros returned to Greece in 1958, to marry his wife and bring her to the U.S. to share the American dream and build their life together. He continued to work hard to provide for his family.
Mandros started by purchasing an apartment building in Queens, NY, owned a gift shop containing Hellenic imports, and a farm in upstate New York.
He moved his family to Newport, Rhode Island in 1976 and with the help of his brothers, on September 9, 1976, founded and developed a Newport institution, A-1 Pizza. He ran the business alongside wife and children and it became a Newport staple feeding local families for years. A-1 Pizza stayed in the family for three generations. Continuing Mandros’ Newport legacy, his daughter Angela and her husband Dave Farias took over the business in 1995. Customers and former employees still come in and reminisce about how Tony impacted their lives, setting the bar high for a successful work ethic.
Mandros was a strong, kind, loving and supportive man. His religion, knowledge and guidance laid the foundation for raising his family. Mandros enjoyed westerns starring John Wayne, Looney Tunes cartoons, and comedies starring Abbott and Costello. Mandros was full of energy, always on the road in his ’86 Buick honking his horn everywhere he went. He was a family man and actively involved with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Mandros was passionate about life, enjoyed traveling to Florida and Cape Cod and was an active member of the Greek Orthodox Community. He spent most of his retirement helping raise his two grandchildren.
He was preceeded in death by his parents Marina and Athanasios Mandros, his two sisters, Athena Tzoros and Persefone Mandelos, and two brothers, Thomas Mandros and James Mandros.
He is survived by his wife, Paraskevi “Voula” Mandros of 64 years, brother Bill Mandros, and many loving nieces and godchildren. Mandros is also survived by his three children Joannis Mandros, Angelica Mandros, Arthur Mandros and wife Maria Sheila Mandros as well as two grandchildren Carissa Kennedy and her husband Brian Kennedy Jr. , Alexandria Farias and great-granddaughter Zoe Kaliopi Kennedy.
Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, January 23, at the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, RI, 4-7 PM.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 24 at 12 Noon at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 289 North Main St, Fall River, MA. Burial will follow in Middletown Four Corners Cemetery, Turner Road, Middletown, RI.
Additional information at www.memorialfuneralhome.com.