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Front Page » October 7, 2010 » Obituaries » George Frangadakis "Papa George"
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George Frangadakis "Papa George"


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This obituary is in memory of George "Papa George" Frangadakis.

George's parents, Kanakis and Ekaterina Frangadakis, were a part of the first wedding in the new Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Price that was completed in the 1916.

It is with great sadness that the Frangadakis family announces the passing of their patriarch, "Papa" George Frangadakis. A beloved husband, brother, father, uncle, papou, cousin, and friend, George will be forever missed for his humor, his wisdom, his fight, and of course, his huge heart. George is survived by his wife of 69 years, the love of his life, Katherine (or as he liked to call her, "Katie"); brother and sister-in-law Manos and Helen Frangadakis; sister Helen Francis; son and daughter-in-law Dr. Kenneth and Angie Frangadakis; son and daughter-in-law Lonnie and Elaine Frangadakis; and daughter Marilyn Frangadakis Spero. He also leaves behind his adoring grandchildren: George Frangadakis; Naki Frangadakis Bauer and husband Michael Bauer; Alex Frangadakis and Andrea Frangadakis; Michael Spero and Matthew Spero; as well as his great-grandchildren Zoe and Dylan Bauer. His two sisters, Beth Dudunake and Mary Crisel, precede George in death.

Always a fighter, George was born the surviving twin of Kanakis and Katina Frangadakis in Sunnyside on July 29, 1917. Yet, the fight didn't stop there; growing up as a first-generation Greek American in the coal mining community of Carbon County, George had to be quick-witted and tough to survive. In fact, it was at Carbon County High School that George received his self-proclaimed Ph.D. in Street Smarts and Common Sense (an education that served him well in all his business endeavors). Fearful that George would have to work in the coal mines after graduation, Kanakis and Katina moved the family to California with the hopes of better opportunities for their children. George took to the move and at 21 he opened a corner grocery store in Bernal Heights, San Francisco.

During WWII George worked as a supervisor in the Naval shipyards, but not until after the war was George able to pursue his life-long dream of owning a successful nightclub. Venturing into partnerships with his brother Manos, and friends Sam and Pete Pavlos, and Nick Pagonis, George owned up to eight nightclubs in San Francisco. They were all credited with having famous entertainers, including Sugar Ray Robinson, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Harry James. In 1958, George moved his family to Cupertino and opened the Escort Club in Sunnyvale. In 1960, he opened a hofbrau house and called it the Brass Rail. George has continued to manage and operate The Brass Rail, along with his brother Manos, up until present day. A colorful nightclub impresario, George continually changed the theme of his club, keeping it contemporary and popular. He even went to such lengths as incorporating the infamous boa constrictor into the entertainment. Although George embraced the persona of a tough guy on the outside, he is known for his huge and generous heart. He was always the first to proclaim that his greatest wealth was the love of his family, and his greatest joy has been watching his children and grandchildren grow and achieve success and happiness in their lives and respective endeavors. George was proud of his Greek heritage and was a member of the Pan-Cretan Association, Ikaros Chapter for 35 years. He had a great passion of the outdoors, sharing his love for fishing, hunting and camping with his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and many friends. George is also credited as being the founder of the annual Greco-Roman fishing trip. The first trip began with his two sons Kenny and Lonnie, and nephew Michael Frangadakis of Stockton, and has evolved into an annual tradition for the past 40 years, which includes over 200 participants.

Prayer service (Trisagion), was held on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010, at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 1260 Davis Street, San Jose. Funeral services were held Monday, Sept. 13, 2010 at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, San Jose. Interment was at Madronia Cemetery, Saratoga, Calif.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 1260 Davis Street, San Jose, CA 95126, or the Monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos the Life Giving Spring, 38532 Dunlap Road, Dunlap, CA 93621. LIMA & CAMPAGNA SUNNYVALE MORTUARY serving the family, (408) 736-1315.

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