Obituary of John Koltis
John Koltis (August 3, 1930 - January 15, 2024)
With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our beloved dad, husband, grandfather, brother, and friend, John Koltis, on January 15, 2024, in Westchester County, New York. Born on August 3, 1930, in Kozani, Greece, John’s life story was a remarkable journey, from his early years growing up during the tumultuous times of World War II to his brave service as a soldier in the Greek army in the late 1940s. His incredible stories of resilience and courage during these formative years along with his success in business and his subsequent assisting of his family and friends to emigrate have been a source of inspiration to all who knew him.
In 1955 John left Greece on his own with $10 in his pocket and arrived in New York Harbor on the ship ‘Olympia’, his name proudly recorded in the Ellis Island archives, marking the start of his pursuit of the American Dream. John began working as a furrier while going to school at night to learn to speak English all while sending funds back home to support his parents and siblings. He later found his passion in designing ladies’ shoes and after working at a shoe factory while taking some business courses at a local college, his entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic led him to be offered a partnership to open a shoe factory in the Bronx, New York. John later bought out his partner, established JT Koltis Enterprises Inc. and expanded factory production, employing over 200 workers and manufacturing up to 500 pairs per day. After selling the factory he established an importing business which he ran successfully for a decade before retiring at 65.
During the early years of working hard to build his life in America, John was also hard at work helping his parents, his siblings, his wife’s family and several cousins emigrate to America as their sponsor. By 1971 he had assisted over a dozen individuals coming to the country and establishing a new life, often helping them get started by providing work, housing and supporting their education.
John was not just a successful businessman and a generous sponsor; he was an avid golfer and skier, pursuits he enjoyed throughout his life.
John was also a man of deep faith having a strong presence in his local church community which he supported both financially and through his service. He attended Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in New Rochelle, NY for over 50 years, served on its Board of Directors and participated and led many of the church community events.
John’s passion for living life to its fullest was only surpassed by his love for his family. John leaves behind his loving wife, Mary Koltis; children, Ted (and wife Reka), Tom (and wife Avgy), and Denise Dushas (and husband Sotiri); and adored grandchildren, Yianni, Dino, Daniel, Sophia, Mairi, Eirini, Mariana, and Chloe. John’s profound love and guidance have left an indelible mark on their lives.
Survived also by his sisters, Harriet Scantzos, Helen Vaitsopoulos, and Popi Georgiades, and numerous nieces and nephews, John’s family was his pride and joy. His memory and the stories that shaped his life will be forever cherished and dearly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.
The family will be receiving friends on Thursday from 10AM-12PM at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church ,10 Mill Road New Rochelle NY, with Funeral Service at 12 PM
Interment will then follow at Greenwood Union Cemetery, 215 North St, Rye, NY.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church,10 Mill Road, New Rochelle N.Y 10804.
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May his Memory be Eternal!