George Charalabidis, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on May 20th, 2019, from the effects of Pancreatic Cancer. He passed one week after celebrating his 50 Year Anniversary of immigrating with his family to the United States.
George was born in Katerini, Greece on August 15, 1935 to Ioannis “Yianko” Charalabidis and Calliope “Kalessa” Charalabidis (née Savidis); he had two older sisters, Olga and Sophia. As children, he met and fell in love with the woman who would become the love of his life, Efthimia “Effie” Charalabidis (née Karras).
George volunteered early for National Service in the Hellenic Royal Air Force. He worked on his family’s tobacco farm at first before finding work in Hamburg, Germany. Eventually, he made his way to the United States with his wife and children – like many of his generation, in search of a better life for himself and his family. A trained tailor, he worked at various clothing manufacturing companies in Philadelphia, and, in 1977, he opened up a small family lunch truck business with his wife.
From their spot next to the ornate yellow stone Main Building at Drexel University, he fed generations of students, making them feel as though they were at home. The sign on the truck read “Welcome to George’s” and the man inside called out, “Next!” often already remembering their order, and occasionally wowing alumni with it many years later, when they returned with their families.
In his later years, George enjoyed taking care of his rose bushes, gardening, and traveling back to Greece with his wife, where they lived most of the year. He loved sports, swimming in the Aegean, and connecting with the many friends and family he’d known on multiple continents over his lifetime.
George is survived by his wife Efthimia, his children Ioannis “John” Charalabidis and John’s wife Efrosini “Effie” Charalabidis (née Karas), Argirios “Rouly” Charalabidis, and Haralampos “Harry” Charalabidis, all of whom love and miss him more than they can express. He is also survived by his adoring grandchildren, George and Efthimia “Mia” Charalabidis, who were dear to him and to who he was proud to be “Pappou Yioryo.”
George believed deeply in serving his community and people at large. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the Memory of George Charalabidis to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Upper Darby, PA, where he was a longtime and honored member
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