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General News

Nick Karakas, Businessman, Philanthropist, WWII Vet, 94

NAPLES, FL – Nick Karakas, ebullient community leader, businessman, and philanthropist, has died at the age of 94. He will be missed by many friends and colleagues and beneficiaries of his generosity and moral support across the United States. His daughters, Margaret and Angela Karakas, released the following statement about the passing of their father:

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear father, Nick Karakas, husband of the late Sophia Peppes Karakas, brother of Frances Demetre and the late Tony Karakas; father-in-law, grandfather, uncle to many nieces and nephews, and godfather. Dad fell asleep peacefully in the hands of our Lord and Savior, on Monday, February 1, just four days shy of his 95th birthday.   

As a family, we feel blessed knowing that the last 32 months, Dad’s home was our home, and was part of God's divine plan for family reconciliation and unification where we could spend time reconnecting, reminiscing and just loving one another.  

Our loss is shared by many young and old who knew Nick throughout his career in the tobacco Industry, through many Greek and organizations, charitable foundations, business ventures and partnerships and other educational endeavors and scholarships in which he was an integral member, founder and ardent supporter. 

He was a World War II Marine Corps Veteran, a philanthropist, and a warrior activist who frequently wrote editorials espousing his strong beliefs in politics and religion championing many causes both popular and not so popular. His writings stirred the emotions of many as he often liked to poke fun at the obvious but often ludicrously ridiculous.

There was the 'public' persona and a very different 'private' persona of Nick which few other than family knew. Like many, he was a man of contradictions and polarizations, but throughout it all, his enduring faith, love for family, his Greek roots/ancestry, country, freedom, democracy, the right to life, the Greek church, Orthodoxy, Hellenism, history, current events and MAGA politics is what kept him engaged, thriving to achieve a long richly filled and blessed life.  

Today, we rejoice believing in our hearts that Dad's soul resides in God's Kingdom, free from the physical discomfort, pain and disappointment of the temporal world.  May his memory be eternal. 

In respecting our father's explicit wishes, services and burial are private. For those wishing to pay tribute or honor Nick, we ask that you kindly send your contributions to:

St. Peter’s Orthodox Church, Naples, FL Capital Campaign Building Fund:

https://stpeterorthodoxchurch.com/share-the-vision-st-peter-capital-campaign-for-a-new-church/

Orthodox Christian Laity: https://ocl.org/donate/.

With deep love and respect for your friendship with Dad,

Margaret & Angela Karakas

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