Panagiotis (Pete) Fotopoulos was born on August 15, 1917 in Rapsomati, Arkadia, Greece. He passed away on May 14, 2018 in Weed, CA.
Pete was the only surviving son of Phillip and Kalliope Fotopoulos. After only four years of elementary education, he was forced to quit school in order to help his parents work in the fields.
He married Christina Eleftherou in 1934. He served in the Greek army during WWII, mainly in Northern Greece near the Albanian border, and fought bravely against the Axis Powers’ invasion of Greece.
In October, 1951, Pete and his two oldest children immigrated to the United States in search of a better life, and settled in Weed, CA. Eventually over the next several years, Pete saved up enough money to bring his wife and his three younger children over from Greece as well.
His first job in America was as a box factory worker at International Paper Co. During this time, he also worked as a clerk at his uncle’s neighborhood store, Coupas’ Grocery. By 1956, Pete had saved up enough money to buy the store from his uncle and he made immediate improvements to expand the business, including adding gas pumps out front and extending the building out to include a bar.
He ran the grocery store full time, seven days a week, until 2008, when he was 90 years old. The only time he ever took a vacation was to come down to Sacramento for holidays and family functions, and for a few trips back to his beloved homeland of Greece.
Pete truly lived the American Dream and he was known for his incredible work ethic and his dedication to his family. His favorite hobbies were hunting, fishing with his grandchildren, and gardening.
Last August, Pete’s family and close friends were blessed to get together and celebrate his 100th birthday.
Pete was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife Christina. Pete is survived by his five children, Demetra (Si), Phil (Soula), John (Fani), George (Kathy), and Kelly (Kosta), eight grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.
The Trisagion service (Tuesday, 5/22/18 at 7pm) and the funeral service (Wednesday, 5/23/18 at 11am) will be held at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Sacramento. The interment will be at Sierra East Lawn Cemetery on Greenback Ln., followed by a luncheon at the church hall. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the “Annunciation Build” project or charity of choice.