On October 12, 2023, Antonios “Tony” Zikos of Winthrop, MA, passed away peacefully at the age of 93. He was the loving husband of the late Demetra (Tsiotos), father to Gregory and Christos, and grandfather to Antonios, Jamie and Samantha. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Melitsa Manoloules as well as many nephews and nieces in the US and Greece.
The youngest of six children, Antonios was born in the tiny mountain village of Skotani in the Peloponnese region of Greece. In 1967, he was sponsored by his late brother-in-law Constantinos Tsiotos and immigrated the US to pursue, as many immigrants did, a better life for his family. He settled his wife and kids in the town of Winthrop, MA and remained there for the last fifty-six years of his life.
He immediately started working two, sometimes three, jobs to provide for his family and allow his wife to care for their sons. Antonios spent twenty years as an employee for both Saks Fifth Avenue and the Sheraton Boston Hotel; he was a hard worker and loved by all. During this period, he also found the time to become a master donut maker for Dunkin’ Donuts as well as studying for his American citizenship test, which he passed in 1972.
However, an unexpected accident forced him to stop working and go on disability. This was a mixed blessing, as shortly after the accident, his wife Demetra was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. This allowed him to be her primary care giver. His devotion, care, and love allowed her to be cared for at home with her family until she passed in 1994.
He was a proud father who only asked that his children be good students and go to college. Both did their best to not disappoint. His sons attended Winthrop High School where they were very good student-athletes. Gregory was a National Honor Society award recipient who was accepted into Harvard University where he played both football and lacrosse. At his graduation, you would hear his father yell "God Bless America!" Greg went on to Boston University to earn both his Law and LLM degrees and then to UCLA Anderson School of Management for his MBA. Christos followed his bother as a student-athlete and attended the College of the Holy Cross, where he played varsity basketball. He then went on to compete professionally in Greece.
As proud as he was of his sons, he was even prouder of his grandchildren. He adored them and he would light up when they visited, so he could feed and entertain them. He cherished the fact that they all graduated from prestigious colleges, have good careers, and most importantly, grew up to be kind, respectful and loving.
If you were fortunate enough to know Antonios, you were blessed. He was a sweet and generous man who was always willing to help family or a friend. He had a green thumb, and always planted a garden so he could share his bounty of fruits and vegetables with loved ones and neighbors. Antonios was well-known to many Winthrop residents, as they would see him on his daily walks, wearing a cap and carrying his cane, but rarely did that cane touch the ground.
Antonios, “Tony, “Papou Tony,” or “Theo Antoni” as he was affectionately called, was all about family. Even though he was the youngest, his brothers and sisters always looked to him for advice and help. He would visit Greece often and, in many instances, would provide assistance when needed.
He was selfless. He loved the holidays, especially Easter, when all gathered at his brother-in-law's house. He would prepare the lamb, light the fire to roast the whole lamb on a spit, and then proceed to lead the nephews, nieces and all the neighbors and friends, in no particular order, in song, dance, and drink (his beverage of choice was “Tsipouro” – Greek moonshine). He was a natural entertainer and a very good singer, as he was always asked to sing at family christenings and weddings. His favorite songs were the Greek Tsamika, especially the song “Tria Kala Einai Sto Ntounia”. Tony loved a good time! He always wanted to have fun and make people happy.
Sweet, affectionate, and a bit of a wise-guy, Papou Tony always found a way to create a little trouble and a lot of laughs. In the end, Chris would always tell his dad, "Everyone seems to love you" and he would reply, “Why wouldn't they!? I’ve never wronged anyone and have been good to all.” May he Rest In Peace and have a happy reunion with his parents, wife, brothers and sisters.
He is predeceased by his wife Demetra (Tsiotos) brothers Demo, Vasily, Andreas and sisters Antonia and Stavroula of Greece.
A toast to a great Greek immigrant who loved and appreciated America.
Yiasou Theo Antoni! Yiasou Papou Tony! Yiasou Tony!
Antonios' funeral will be from the Maurice W. Kirby Funeral Home 210 Winthrop St. Winthrop on Wednesday, October 18th at 10AM, followed by a funeral service in St. George Greek Orthodox Church 54 S. Common St. Lynn, MA. at 11:30AM. Relatives and friends are invited. Interment will be in Winthrop Cemetery (Belle Isle Section).
Visiting hours will be held in the Maurice W. Kirby Funeral Home 210 Winthrop St. Winthrop on Tuesday, October 17, from 4-8PM.
Antonios loved going to church and was an active member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Lynn, MA. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in his memory to be made to St. George Greek Orthodox Church 54 S. Common St. Lynn MA. 01902.