John A. Karras (1929 – 2020) passed away early on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2020, just a few weeks shy of his 91st birthday. He was preceded in death by his parents, Andreas and Kalliopi, his wife Moshanthe, sister in law Irene and his brother Chris A. Karras. He is survived by his son Andreas J. Karras, his daughter Kalliopi Koutsoutis, son in law Chris Koutsoutis , grandsons Constantine Koutsoutis and John Koutsoutis, his niece Kali C. Karras and his nephew Andreas C. Karras. John Karras was born in Perdiki, Ikaria Greece and came to the United States along with his mother and brother in 1948 to reunite with his father who had already been in the United States for some years. Offered the choice, by his father, of work or education, he readily chose work and remained active in the labor force until he turned 75 and decided to retire for good. He started working as part of the kitchen staff at the Lintonia Restaurant in Camden during the city’s post war heyday and then moved to the “front of the house” when he accepted a wait staff position at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel in Philadelphia where he was placed on the permanent banquet staff. He worked there until its closing and then moved over to the Franklin Plaza Hotel where he worked until his final retirement. His years as a banquet waiter gave him a meticulous sense of order and execution which he revealed even when serving a simple meal at home. He served many presidents, business leaders and various rogues all with equal dignity, grace and discretion. He enjoyed attending lodge meetings with his Masonic brothers and regularly attended church services at the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Center City Philadelphia; seeing no contradiction in the two as he viewed them both as forces for good. But above all he enjoyed socializing, entertaining and laughing with his friends. His universe of friends was diverse and he treated all of them with the same honesty and generosity. He was bound to a reciprocity of giving and receiving, of enjoying relationships and of causing no harm to anyone. You can ask anyone who knew him, and they will tell you the same thing. We were very lucky to have him.
Family and friends are invited to view Wednesday November 2, 2020 from 10-11am at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 256 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA. 19107. His funeral service to begin promptly at 11am. Interment, Fernwood Cemetery, Lansdowne, PA. 19050. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Pan-Icarian Foundation at pan-icarianfoundation.com/foundation. Please see the link below. Click on the link, click on donate and choose where you would like your contribution to be applied. You may also mail your contribution to P.O. Box 79037, Pittsburgh, PA. 15216-0037.
Masks must be worn to enter the church. 25 People max capacity at any one time in the Cathedral. Social distancing guidelines apply. Your cooperation is appreciated and allows us to continue to provide safe funeral services in the Cathedral.
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P.O. Box 79037, Pittsburgh PA 15216-0037