Constantinos Mantinaos was born on the island of Karpathos in the village of Othos on July 30, 1931.
His dad died in the U.S. when he was barely one year old, and thus he never knew a father.
Raised by his widowed mother, he lived in relative poverty in childhood, growing up during World War II during the German and Italian occupation. He attended an Italian school as a young teenager, as mandated by the occupying Italian force.
After the war, in 1948 at the age of 17, he boarded a boat for the United States to meet up with his uncles in New Castle, Pa. He did not know the language and he didn't have money, yet with their help, in a few short years he became the owner and manager of two restaurants in downtown New Castle.
Constantine was married to the former Georgia Protopsaltou. She came from her then home in Africa to marry him in 1964. She was from the same village in Karpathos, and the families knew each other.
Four sons were born between 1965 to 1973. He toiled seven long days a week in the restaurant for many years to raise his family of four boys, Mike, Steve, Frank, and John.
For 50 years he worked as the owner and operator of the Steak House restaurant on Washington Street and subsequently the Dog House restaurant on Grove Street. He didn't need to hire managers, cooks, dishwashers, busboys, servers, bookkeepers, etc., because he did it all himself. His work ethic was legendary.
He retired in the late 1990s, after half a century of work. Enjoying his retirement, he traveled back to the village in Karpathos for three summer months at a time, every year for many years in a row up to last year, reconnecting with his family and friends. He would constantly lament that all his childhood family and friends were slowly dying away, leaving him as one of the last standing. Yet, it seemed somehow befitting his tenacity and determination.
One of the last of his generation, he will be long remembered by his offspring and future generations as the individual who applied the courage and fortitude necessary to leave his native country of Greece and forge a new life of opportunity for his family here in this U.S.
He passed peacefully just after his 86th birthday on Aug. 3, 2017, leaving behind his wife of 53 years Georgia, four sons and six grandchildren.
Standing on his shoulders, we hope to emulate his example of hard work and perseverance, doing the same for our families, hoping to maintain his legacy far into the future.
Calling hours will be 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, at the Noga Funeral Home Inc. Additional hours will be 9 to 10 a.m. Monday.
A procession will leave to the funeral home at 10 a.m. Monday and then leave the funeral home at 10:30 a.m. for St. George Greek Orthodox Church, where a funeral service will be celebrated at 10 a.m. The Rev. Michael Gavrilos, Pastor of St. George Greek Orthodox Church, will officiate. Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery. Online condolences may be viewed or given by visiting nogafuneralhome.com.
Published on August 4, 2017