Peter Georgoudis is remembered by his family as someone who had a Greek proverb for every situation and loved to tell stories about his life.
The founding father of the Vito’s Restaurant chain died Friday at the Saint John Regional Hospital. He was 89.
“As Vito’s founding father, his presence, his stories and love of his family will forever be engrained in the community,” reads a post on the Vito’s Facebook page.
“We know this loss will effect the Vito’s family and our cherished community.”
According to his obituary, Georgoudis, known as Papou by his family, was born on Nov. 3, 1933, in southern Greece to the late George and Penelope Georgoudis.
He spent time in the Greek Army in the 1950s before he and his wife, Maria, immigrated to Montreal in search of a better life.
It was in Montreal where he entered a joint business venture with his brothers, Nick and Demetrios, opening the Mister Donut franchise in 1970.
The trio left Montreal for Saint John in 1972 and opened the first Vito’s restaurant, which soon expanded to three well-known and loved restaurants.
The Georgoudis family says the restaurants thrived because of his hard work ethic and strong family values.
“Vito’s quickly became a staple in the community through its food, family atmosphere, sports ownerships, sponsorships and community involvement,” reads the obituary.
“As proud as Peter was of the business, his first and foremost priority was family. His children and grandchildren brought him so much joy and happiness.”
During his life, Georgoudis received two Governor General awards, the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
He also won the Allan Cup in 1992 with his brother Nick as owners of the Saint John Vito’s and the Calder Cup in 2001 as the Saint John Flames.
Georgoudis is survived by his brother, Nicholas, and his sister, Anthoula, and two daughters, two sons, eight grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, brothers’ in-law and sisters’ in-law.
He was predeceased by his parents, his wife, Maria, and his brothers, Constantine and Demetrios.
The family says a funeral will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rothesay on Feb. 2 at 11 a.m.
Online condolences can be made here.