Nikolaos Dimitrios Mantis, 81, of Gloucester Point, died Feb. 8, 2012.
"Papa" Nick, born in 1930 in Karpenisis, Greece, was known to be a man of strength, courage, love and a hard-worker.
Owning a restaurant in Greece and having served in the military for two years, he decided to bring his wife and family to America to fulfill the American Dream. In 1968, he moved to Newport News, Va., and in January of 1978, he opened the first Nick’s Spaghetti and Steak House. Through hard work and perseverance, in August of 1979, Nick was able to open a second location in King and Queen.
"Papa" Nick was always known to be not only the life of the party, but also dedicated to his life and family. He had a passion for dancing Tsamiko, a Greek line dance, as well as spending time with family. Spending holidays with 30 to 50 family members, Nick valued those who were precious to him. Family didn’t necessarily mean blood to Nick, it meant those who cared for him, treated his family and persons with respect, and valued life the way he did.
Nick loved to give to others, for example, participating in charities such as Relay for Life and Toys for Tots. Nick was a strong man who had passion for his family, restaurant, and life in general and left this world truly achieving his dream. He will be remembered by all and has truly touched the lives of all he has met in a special way.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Rena Mantis; daughter, Martha M. Matheos and husband James; sons, Jimmy Mantis and wife Maria and Tom Mantis; grandchildren, Nick, Niko, Stella, Matthew, Madisen and Gina; sisters, Athena, Alexandra, Dafni, Lea and Rodanthi.
A funeral service conducted by the Rev. George Chioros was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. Interment followed in Peninsula Memorial Park. A Trisagion service was held at 7 p.m. Friday evening, Feb. 10, 2012, followed by receiving of friends until 8:30 p.m. at Hogg Funeral Home, Gloucester Point.
In our beloved Nick’s memory, donations may be sent to the American Cancer Society, c/o Mrs. G. Edward Mowry, 7274 Joseph Lewis Road, Hayes, Va. 23072 or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 6350 Center Drive, Suite 216, Norfolk, Va. 23502.