Constantinos “Dino” Tsiotos, longtime Winthrop resident passed away peacefully on his birthday January 17, 2019 surrounded by his loving children. He was 94 years old.
He was the beloved husband of the late Polixeni (Condakes) Tsiotos. The devoted father of Nick and wife Nitsa Tsiotos of Winthrop, Christos and wife Angela Tsiotos and Elaine and her husband Steve Mallios and son John Tsiotos, and grandchildren Vasili, Katerina and Constantinos Mallios, Niki and Polixeni Tsiotos, Constantinos, Vasili, and Polixeni Tsiotos all of Winthrop. He is also survived by many loving nephews, nieces, and cousins, whom he loved, in the US and in Greece.
He was the son of the late Christos and Eleni Koumaniotis Tsiotos, late brother of George Tsiotos of Greece, and late sister Demetra Zikos of Winthrop. He is survived by his sister Militsa Manoloules and brother in law Antonios Zikos of Winthrop.
He was born in small village named Kokova in the beautiful mountainous region of Kalavrita, Greece, on January 17,1925. During World War II he helped his family survive The Great Famine 1941-1943, which killed hundreds of thousands of Greeks during Nazi occupation. He was part of a group of villagers that saved an American pilot whose airplane had crashed. He told his family the barefoot poor villagers would use the airplanes tires to make shoes. In 1945, Dino would join the Greek City Police Force in the port city of Piraeus and worked the toughest area of the port city. He joined his mentor, Uncle Ioannis Tsiotos, Police Chief of Piraeus, who was instrumental in issuing fake identity cards to save Jewish-Greek citizens and resistance fighters to escape Nazi occupation. He also graduated Panteion University, in Athens, Greece with a degree in Political Science while serving in the police force. He truly loved being an officer of the Greek police. During this time, he would help a Greek-American woman named Polixeni Condakes with her suit cases one day at customs in 1948 and correspond with her for five years. In 1953, they were married in Vassara, Sparta.
After arriving in the US in 1953, he would work long hours at various jobs. Eventually working at the famed Jimmy’s Harbor Side Restaurant as a waiter until age 76.
He had a deep and abiding respect for education, paideia in Greek. All four of his children received undergraduate or graduate degrees. His grandchildren have extended this legacy of pursuing higher education. He was a deep reader of the ancient Greek philosophers, and lived according to the classical ideals of truth and human dignity. He treasured his copious library of great works form the ancient and modern world, especially German philosophy. For Mr. Tsiotos, these texts were always filled with living examples of how to confront the problems of daily life which enabled him to help people he came in contact with. Throughout his life, Dino was the embodiment of compassionate concern and selfless generosity. He was a wonderful teacher of humane values, and strove to inspire others to seek excellence. He loved America and considered his neighbors as extended family. He had an interest in politics hosting family functions for Senators Markey and Tsongas, Governor Michael Dukakis, and family friend Winthrop resident Speaker of The House Robert DeLeo.
Every year the Tsiotos family at 249 Pleasant St. would host a traditional Greek-Orthodox Easter with lamb on a spit and other scrumptious Greek delicacies. The Easter celebration became a family and neighborhood event filled with lots of laughter, song, and dance.
He delighted in watching his children and grandchildren compete in athletics at Winthrop High School, and always emphasized to them the Ancient Greek emphasis on sound mind in a solid body. He loved the friendships and comradery that sports brought to his family and community.
He cherished the legacy of his heroic ancestry that his family had fought in the Greek War of Independence in 1821, Balkan Wars, and the Nazis. He sang the traditional folk songs and quoted famous Modern Greek poetry. He was a superb Greek dancer of the athletic tsamiko dance.
Throughout his life he had a passion and love for nature and gardening. Since 1961 he created an amazing garden oasis around his home. He shared the fruits of his labor including tomatoes and vegetables with family and friends. He would simply let people come into his garden and enjoy picking peaches, cherries, and pears. Constantinos Tsiotos requested that his tombstone display the famous saying form the great Greek Novelist Nikos Kazantzakis, author of Zorba the Greek: “I fear nothing. I am free.”
His Funeral will be held from the Maurice W. Kirby Funeral Home, 210 Winthrop St. WINTHROP, on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 9:30am, followed by a Funeral Service at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, 54 S. Common St., Lynn, MA at 11:00. Relatives and friends are invited. Interment will follow in Winthrop Cemetery (Belle Isle Section). Visiting hours will be held in the funeral home on Monday, January 21, 2018 from 3:00-8:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, 54 S. Common Street, Lynn, MA. 01902 for Greek School or to the Viking Pride Foundation, Winthrop High School 400 Main Street, Winthrop, MA 02152. For guestbook and directions, please visit our website at: www.mauricekirbyfh.com.