CRETE – Nondas Lagonakis, 85 of Salem Massachusetts, a well-known successful businessman and philanthropist, died in his homeland Crete while visiting the last few months. His funeral service was held August 29 at the Holy Trinity church in the village of Sgourokefali of Lisithi, Crete. His body will be brought to the United States in the next few days and a viewing will take place at St. George Greek Orthodox church in Lynn, MA where he was a member and a benefactor for many decades. He will be buried near his late wife Adamantia in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn.
Lagonakis is mourned by Marina Kargakis and her husband George, Valerie Gerontis and her husband Emmanuel, Angelo Lagonakis and his wife Heather, and Maria Lagonakis-McNulty and her husband Conor, Stefan and his fiancé Monica, Nondas and Jason Kargakis, Katerina and Constantinos Gerontis, Alexandra, Nondas and Demitrios Lagonakis, and Arianna, Donovan and Logan McNulty. He also leaves many uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Lagonakis started his business some 50 years ago when he bought Bill & Bob's Famous Roast Beef in Salem and his business eventually grew to 17 restaurants. Lagonakis owned the Bill & Bob's in Salem, Woburn, and Peabody, all of which are operated by his son, Angelo, and his daughter, Maria Lagonakis-McNulty.
He emigrated from Greece in 1961 to Lynn and started working in his brother-in-law's restaurant while he also had a second job at a shoe factory.
In 1968, Nondas and his wife Adamantia had accumulated savings of $10,000, and that's the time they put it as down payment and purchased the Bill and Bob’s in Salem where he was working from 7 AM until 2 AM the next morning and many times he slept in the restaurant.
Nondas had helped many Greek immigrants open their own fast food restaurants. He was well respected in the Greek-American community and participated in many organizations including the Pan-Cretan Association of America. He was also a dear friend of the late Prime Minister of Greece Constantine Mitsotakis.