Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pappas matriarch embraced family, friends through home cooking

TARPON SPRINGS — Her brood of grandchildren romped in the yard every holiday and just about every day after school. In the evenings, the matriarch of one of Tarpon Springs' most prominent families, their beloved yiayia, called the grandchildren inside for home-cooked dinners.

"The grandmother everyone would want to have," as a grandson described her, died Tuesday of congestive heart failure. Nickoletta "Nickie" Orfanides Pappas, wife of Jack Louis Pappas, was 82.

Born in Tarpon Springs, Mrs. Pappas was a drum majorette in the marching band at Tarpon Springs High School. She graduated in 1948. In 1951, she married her childhood sweetheart, whom she had met in first grade.

Hobby No. 1 for her was caring for her husband. Jack Pappas is the youngest of three sons of Louis Pappas, founder of the famed Pappas Restaurant on the Sponge Docks.

Nickie Pappas' other hobbies were taking care of her five children and caring for her grandchildren and her many friends, said grandson Tommy Koulouris.

Nobody left Mrs. Pappas' house unfed. Even for the Pappas family, renowned for its Greek food, her home was the best place to eat.

"My mom was a homemaker," said her son, Louis Jack Pappas. "As we were growing up, she lived in the kitchen. We always wanted mom's cooking rather than going down to the restaurant."

For a while, she sang with the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral choir. She played cards with her friends. But Mrs. Pappas always filled her days with family time: In the morning, she sipped coffee with her husband. At night, they ate dinner together.

She held her big family together with unconditional love. "She was the head of her household, no doubt," her son said.

Stephanie Wang can be reached at (727) 445-4155 or swang@tampabay.com.

. Biography

Nickoletta 'Nickie' Orfanides Pappas

Born: Nov. 19, 1929

Died: Oct. 9, 2012

Survived by her husband, Jack Louis Pappas; daughters Angela Zeiss, Leah Pappas-Neil, Flora Sawyer and Alexandra Gould; son, Louis Jack Pappas; 10 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; brother, Costa Orfanides; and many nieces and nephews.

A wake is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 36 N Pinellas Ave. in Tarpon Springs. The funeral will take place at the church at 11 a.m. Friday, with burial to follow at Cycadia Cemetery.

Pappas matriarch embraced family, friends through home cooking 10/10/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 7:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 26-July 2.

    Events

    Vans Warped Tour: The festival returns Saturday to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, featuring shock-metal icons Gwar, hardcore punks Sick Of It All, ska band Save Ferris and indie-pop group Never Shout Never ($39.50-$49.50). vanswarpedtour. …

    Crowd for the Motionless in White band at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour at Vinoy Park, Friday, July 25, 2014.  CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times
  2. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.

    Corporate

    DETROIT — Drowning in a sea of lawsuits and recall costs, Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. is expected to seek bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the United States today.

  3. AP: Rick Scott to name Jimmy Patronis CFO on Monday

    Blogs

    From the AP's Gary Fineout:

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott is turning to a long-time political ally and former north Florida legislator to take over one of the top elected jobs in state government. 

    Then state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City Beach, left, and Gov. Rick Scott, tour downtown Panama City, Fla. on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Scott will name Patronis CFO on Monday.
  4. Despite Pride success, Grand Central business owners upset over losing parade

    Events

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Grand Central District was packed with people Sunday, there to enjoy the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    Patrons eat lunch and cool off inside of the Community Cafe during the St. Pete Pride Street Festival along Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times

  5. Rays blow another lead, lose rubber match to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles rallied past the Rays on Sunday, winning the rubber match of the three-game series 8-5.

    Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) scores in the eighth in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.