Obituary of Takis Seretis
Panagiotis Nikolaos Seretis “Takis” his nickname, 95, passed away peacefully Sunday evening March 19th, 2023.
Takis was born in Patras Greece on August 6th, 1927. He was the youngest of 8 siblings of which only 4 survived past the age of 7 because of illnesses and lack of medicine during that time. His father Niko passed when Takis was just 13 years old, during the start of WWII, leaving his sisters and his widowed mother Dimitroula to take care of him. They all moved to Maglareika, his mom’s village due to difficult times where they lived off the land. He went back to Patras after the war and received an education at University of Patras Greece as a journalist and accountant. He was an editor for a local newspaper on the side and did bookkeeping as well. He served in the Greek military as a 1st lieutenant and received a medal of honor by the Greek Government for his prior service as a messenger via bicycle when he was a teenager during WWII, running classified letters to Allies.
Takis greatest accomplishments happened when he came to America in 1956 and moved to Dover, NJ where he lived with his sister Despina and her husband Nick Pittas. His dream was to establish and raise money to build a Greek Orthodox Church for the local Greek community in Dover and the surrounding towns. He accomplished that by spearheading a group of 5 that went door to door for donations, and by contacting and convincing the Archdiocese that one was needed and would flourish. In 1962 his dream came true. An old church in Dover was purchased and converted to St. Andrews Greek Orthodox Church, where he even chose the name St. Andrew, the patron saint of Patras Greece. He sent word over to Greece through Father Poulos of Astoria, and they sent over Father Constantine Tsigas, the nephew of Father Poulos. Father Tsigas later became the priest of St. Andrews for over 4 decades.
In 1963 he returned to Greece to visit his mom and sisters and eventually married the love of his life Soultana Grapsas. Together with Soultana he returned to America and later brought over her entire family. They worked extremely hard in the restaurant industry while starting a family of 2 sons, Nick and Jimmy while also getting his bartending certification. Takis also graduated Dover Business College and learned the first 3 computer languages, basic, ascal, and fortran. He founded the Lakeside Luncheonette which later became the Jefferson Diner and is still operating and successful after 39 years.
Takis leaves behind 6 loving grandchildren, Nina, Panagioti, Nicoletta, Giorgio, Sophia, and Demetri. After Takis retired, he spent time writing books that he also translated from Greek to English. His hobbies included playing cards rigorously with his friends and family, fishing, swimming, spending summers in Greece, writing, doing crossword puzzles, Greek dancing, Greek music, and watching sports on TV and on his iphone. He will be remembered for being a religious person who led by example, a family man, a walking encyclopedia, and a humorous man with a very strong will, strong character, and a larger than life personality who would often be chosen for master of ceremonies at political fundraisers and functions.
He leaves behind his wife of 60 years, Soultana, his two sons, Nick and Jimmy, daughter in law Debbie, Sophia, grandchildren Nina, Panagioti, Nicoletta, Giorgio, Sophia, Demetri along with nieces and nephews in America, Greece and Australia.
Visitation at Tuttle Funeral Home on Wednesday March 22rd, 4pm-8pm in Randolph NJ at 272 Route 10 (www.tuttlefh.com).
Funeral Service at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, Randolph NJ on Thursday March 23th at 10am. Immediately following burial at Locust Hill Cemetery in Dover, NJ.
In Loving Memory
1927 - 2023
Phone: 973 366-7400