George Theorore Phillips
George Theodore Phillips (Philippopoulos), of Allentown, passed away in peace on Tuesday October 20, 2015. Born in Trypi, Sparta, Greece, January 15, 1929 to Theodore George Philippopoulos and Anna Skedas, he survived the Nazi occupation of his village in the Second World War and the internal violence of the Greek Civil War before immigrating to the United States in 1951.
A self-made man of resolute determination, he taught himself English and quickly rose from new migrant to Manager of the New York Floral on 9th and Hamilton Streets in Allentown, where he worked until 1961. Thereafter, he and his wife Angie (nee Foutrakis, 1930-2007), and their young son Theodore (b. 1957), moved to Long Island, where he was a successful restaurateur in both Long Island and New York City. In 1969, he returned to the Lehigh Valley to be closer to his extended family. Upon returning, he owned and operated George Phillips Florist on 19th Street in Allentown until 1979, when he purchased the Sunrise Diner on South 4th Street in Allentown, operating it until 1991.
He then retired, leaving the diner business to care for his loving wife and to oversee the development of his growing family. He constantly stressed the importance of hard work, family, and education. Through his own determination and perseverance, his son, grandchildren, and relatives in Greece were all able to attain a higher education, including putting his son through both Columbia University and Harvard Medical School, working two jobs in the process. He was also an active member of the community here in the Lehigh Valley as a member of the Greek-American AHEPA society, the Optimists, and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Bethlehem.
Survivors: He is survived by a large, loving, and extended family, both here and in Greece, and was known as "Papou," or Grandfather, to many. His immediate survivors are his loving son Theodore George Phillips, MD, constantly-supportive daughter-in-law Gail Phillips, three adored grandchildren George, Lena and Peter Phillips, cousins Spyro Gellos, Esq. and George Gellos, PhD, of Allentown, and Angelos Phillips, PhD, of Detroit, MI, sister-in-law Anne Foutrakis, and a host of loving nieces, nephews, godchildren, cousins, and friends. To him, family knew no bounds.
Services: viewing at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1607 W. Union Blvd., Bethlehem followed by funeral service at 12:00 noon. Interment at Cedar Hill Memorial Park, Allentown. Arrangements by Nicos C. Elias Funeral Home, Allentown.
Contributions: In lieu of flowers, please leave donations in his name at St. Nicholas Church in Bethlehem.