JOLIET, IL – George C. Tsaliangos age 78, prominent Joliet entrepreneur and restaurateur, passed away unexpectedly on November 29 at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center.
Born January 14, 1942 in Evia, Greece, to Xristos and Maria (Elefteriou) Tsaliangos, he followed in his father's footsteps as a commercial fisherman, and also served in the Greek Army driving large convoy trucks. He later became a tour bus driver, but his most prominent occupation was as a private driver to the Greek elite socialites, entertainers, and celebrities including Stelios Kazantzidis, Dimitris Mitropanos, Manolis Angelopoulos, Annoula, Giota Valdi, and many others, before immigrating to the United States.
As a proud American citizen, he applied his knowledge and skills as a successful businessman, first with Apollo Colors, and for many years thereafter serving the community with his distinctive and popular restaurants which included Georgio's Restaurant, Papa Geo's, Geo's Sports Bar, Bellagio's, American Pancake House, and Rebounds Bar and Grill. Tsaliangos was also active in numerous community organizations and was very proud to be a member of The Pan Euboean Society of Chicago.
Through these many ventures he truly fed the community. If you ate and enjoyed yourself, he felt that was better than he himself eating. He touched everyone's life with a smile on his face and his warm and enormous handshake.
Tsaliangos, affectionately known by many as "Papa," was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, who would do anything for his beloved wife and family. In the words of his children, he was the best father in the world, and a tremendous role model who will be remembered for his compassion and his giving spirit.
He was a tremendous storyteller, sharing many memories of his days as a commercial fisherman, driving the trucks on the winding roads of Greece, his days in the military, and the challenges and rewards of his amazing career.
A proud man, he lived a wonderful life, taking care of everyone else first and putting himself last. His memory will be eternal.
Tsaliangos dearly loved his precious wife, the former Zoi Kapsimalis, with whom he enjoyed 55 years of marriage. He is survived by his wife, along with his devoted children, Chris "Xristos" (Patricia) Tsaliangos of Joliet, and Maria (Dr. John) Jonihakis of Plainfield; four beloved grandchildren, Zoi and Ari Jonihakis, Teresa (Jason) Eggman, and Victoria (Danny) Dutkiewicz; two sweet great-grandchildren, Mia and Callie Eggman; two brothers, Dimitri "Mitsos" (Maria) Tsaliagos in Greece, and Nick (Irene) Tsaliagos of Joliet; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family here and in Greece.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Athanasios (Kiki) Tsaliagos, and an infant sister, Sofia.
Funeral services for George Tsaliangos will be held at All Saints Greek Orthodox Church but will be private due to limitations on the number of people permitted to be in attendance. The family has, however, chosen to live stream the service on Tuesday, December 14, 11:30 AM, online: www.allsaintsjoliet.com/stream.
Family and friends are invited to meet at Woodlawn Memorial Park I, on Tuesday, December 15, 1 PM, for graveside services followed by the internment. There will be no visitation.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name to the family would be appreciated.
Fred. C. Dames Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. For more information, please call 815-741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com where you may leave an online condolence or share a favorite story or memory.