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March 7, 1929 -
September 6, 2023
94 Years Old
Beloved husband of deceased Dinomachi G. Manolakas (nee Proventgas) for 67 years, departed this earth unexpectedly on September 6, 2023. He joins his loved ones who he cherished deeply and made him the wonderful man that he became. He is now at rest in God’s heavenly kingdom with his beloved father Michael and mother Stamatia (nee Peponis) Manolakas. George was the eldest son of four children. He was the last survivor of his deceased siblings Soterios (Demetra) Manolakas, Eugenia Manolakas, and Alexander (Vera) Manolakas.
George is father to Stamatia Eugenia Garris (Steven) and Marianthy Maria Haight (Christopher).
Grandfather to Jenny Grutter (Jason), Angela Hazelton (Wade), Stephanie Simon (Jacob), Sophia Garris, Jack Garris, George Haight, Luke Haight and Paul Haight.
Great grandfather to Porter, Paisley, Evyenia, Aubriella and Izzidora Grutter.
He is uncle to many nieces and nephews and Godparent to Angela Williams, Michael Manolakas and Argyro Giakouma.
George was born in the village of Lagada in Chios, Greece. He became an extremely proud Greek American. He arrived in the United States through Ellis Island in 1947. George completed his high school education in Detroit and from there joined the Marines where he was assigned to the food service at Camp LeJeune (1951-1953) and left with an honorable discharge. George was very proud to have served as a US Marine and flew the Marine flag along with the US and Greek flags. He received the National Service Defense medal and the Presidential Unit Citation. George later earned a Mechanical Engineering degree. In 1954 Geoge travelled back to Chios, Greece to marry Dinomachi Proventgas in a double wedding with his first cousin Alexander Proventgas. Both couples returned to Michigan where they spent the remainder of their lives. In 1970, George and his family moved to Farmington Hills and their neighbors on Charleston Court all became like family. George also served as the President of the Detroit Chapter of the Chios Society. His main priorities were God, family and work as a self-employed chef and business owner of multiple restaurants and bars over the years. George made it a priority to return to Chios with his family as often as possible and to stay as long as possible, enjoying time with their relatives still living in Greece.
George was a devout Orthodox Christian, avid church goer and followed the strict fasting practices of the church. He enjoyed being the Sunday church police, urging his children and their families to attend regularly. Sundays were specifically for church, immediate family and extended family.
George didn't have any hobbies until much later in his life, when he found a love of Greek dancing, fishing and boating. In the 1980's he purchased his first vacation haven in Florida. His love of fishing and boating led him to the Florida Keys. George's philanthropic generosities went to many Greek Orthodox churches throughout his lifetime, as well as universities for Hellenic studies. George was always willing to help anyone in need and gave his time to others in any way possible and often catered multiple church and Chios Society functions. A week never went by without George purchasing his Lottery tickets. He never gave up hope that he would someday win the big jackpot! At 94 years old, he was still thinking about ideas for his next business venture.
George was quite a character. He had a way to make people feel welcome and comfortable wherever he went. He was deeply respected and brought those around him joy. He was especially proud of the accomplishments of all his grandchildren, nieces and nephews. No matter where he went, he was known for being the man with the video camera because every moment was worth preserving. His special gift was making people laugh just by being himself.
Without a doubt, George will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by all who knew him.
May his memory be eternal.
Visitation will be Friday, September 8th from 10am until the time of his funeral service 12 Noon at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church 760 West Wattles Road Troy, MI. 48098. Burial Woodlawn Cemetery 19975 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48203.