George “Gus” Padis
July 7, 1927 – October 29, 2016
George Padis passed away peacefully on October 29, 2016 surrounded by family and loved ones at his home in Danville, California. He was 89 years old. He touched many lives through his humor, generosity and friendship.
Mr. Padis was born July 7, 1927 in Minot, North Dakota to Constantine and Spiroula Padis. In his early life, he spent time with his grandparents in the Greek village of Kastania where he developed a deep connection to the Greek culture and heritage; a pride he maintained throughout his life, and instilled in his children and grandchildren.
He attended Minot High in North Dakota where he captained the football team and went on to study at Northwestern University. In 1946, George joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and became a pilot. He earned the rank of Sergeant.
The military brought him to California where he became involved in the local Greek community and met his future wife, Josephine Preftokis. They married in 1951. George and his uncle Gus Papagiannis owned and operated a chain of liquor stores for many years. After retiring from the liquor business, he started with Cenval Leasing Company, and worked his way to the top as president. Later, Mr. Padis became Senior Vice President to the parent company, Central Bank.
Mr. Padis was an active member of the Greek community and his church, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension. He was a founding member and president of Dynamis, an organization that supported Greek American leadership in the U.S. He was also active in his local community, serving as President of Diablo Country Club.
In his twilight years, he spent his free time with his children and grandchildren; often on the golf course as both player and coach. He was a beloved Papou, regularly taking his grandchildren to Marine World (aka Six Flags Discovery Kingdom) in the SF Bay Area, and other theme parks on weekends. He rarely missed his grandchildren’s sporting events. Most recently, he looked forward to cheering on the Golden State Warriors and watching the San Francisco 49ers play on Sundays with his family.
George Padis was preceded in death by his parents Constantine (“Gus”) and Spiroula, his brothers Steve and Sam, and his sister Lucille and her husband Dr. Demetre Bertakis. He is survived by his cherished wife of 65 years, Josephine, beloved children, Stephanie, Michelle, Anastasia, Steve and his wife Judy, as well as grandchildren George Jr. and his wife Kate, Alexis, Christina, Steve Jr., Kelsey and her husband Andrew, Kyle, Alanna, and great grandchildren Thomas and Jacob.
Mr. Padis’ services were officiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco November 3-4 at the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland, CA.
Donations in his memory can be made to Vitas Hospice Care (www.vitas.com) or to St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center (www.stnicholasranch.org). May his memory be eternal.
Email the author: The Hellenic Journal