George Peter Sideris, devoted husband, dedicated father, and trusted friend, age 74, of Marlton, NJ, lost his battle with leukemia on November 14, 2021. George was born on February 28, 1947, in Plainfield, NJ
George Peter Sideris, devoted husband, dedicated father, and trusted friend, age 74, of Marlton, NJ, lost his battle with leukemia on November 14, 2021. On February 28, 1947, George was born in Plainfield, NJ, to Peter Sideris, a native of Pharaklo, Peloponeso, and Stella Sideris, a native of Jersey City. George was raised in Colonia, NJ, with his two older sisters, Kitsa and Elenitsa, and Peter’s younger brother. The family was very active in the Greek American community. His parents were founding members of the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Perth Amboy, NJ. George grew up in the church of St. Demetrios, where he served as an acolyte under Father Costantellos and Father Antonakakis. He attended Pingry Prep School for ten years. While at Pingry, he developed his love of sports. He had a passion for football, wrestling, and Lacrosse. He was known as the “Golden Greek.”
During that time, George’s parents built the first Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in Woodbridge, NJ. George worked in the business and managed the staff. He mentored many newly immigrated Greeks at the business who worked for his father and later helped them start their restaurants.
He attended Cornell University, graduating from the School of Hotel Administration. At Cornell, he was a fraternal member of Phi Kappa Sigma. He developed great friendships which held dear to this day. George continued his passion for sports and was part of the Cornell Lacrosse Team from 1965 – 1969, which won the Ivy League Championships. Upon graduation, he returned to work in the family business managing the Howard Johnson & Hotel in Woodbridge. George’s first thing as a manager was to give many employees a well-deserved raise, which put him at odds with his father. After a couple of years, his father expanded to South Jersey and built the Howard Johnson Hotel in Maple Shade after seeing his wisdom. George was there for the next 40 years where he grew the business, adding the Roof Garden a Restaurant and the Landmark Inn Banquet and Conference Center. Through those years, many St. Thomas Church events were hosted at the Landmark until the business was sold in 2002. George was a founding member of the Delaware Valley Purchasing Group, where he served as president. Over the years, the group has saved members millions of dollars.
At the age of 29, George married his devoted wife, Kathy, referred to him as “Nina,” and they have been married for 43 years. George and Kathy moved to their Marlton home, where they raised their two children, Paul (Panayiotis) and Elise (Elpida). Throughout the years, George lived a very active life. He was part of the “Philadelphia Masters Lacrosse Team” and traveled throughout the country on various tournaments, where he continued to play Lacrosse until recently. He was happiest riding long distances on his bike with his friends and participated in hundreds of races and triathlons. One of his greatest accomplishments was completing the “Liberty to Liberty” Triathalon (from New York to Philadelphia) in 1986 and 1987. George also developed an interest in aeronautics, so he started parachuting, and on his 110th jump (one week before his son, Paul, was born), he hit the ground hard and seriously broke his leg. Once healed, he quickly replaced this activity with becoming a licensed soaring pilot, spending several years soaring with his glider plane. He was a lover of classical and rock & roll music, history and never missed Jeopardy, up until the day prior to his demise. He was a man of many talents, especially as an artist. He drew numerous chalk portraits of family and friends and famous actors and comedians, proudly displayed in the family home. He collected antique jukeboxes and several other antique machines, restoring many of them from ruin to their former beauty. He loved fixing things in general, which led him to start his “Landmark HVAC” business upon retirement from the restaurant. As all his friends know, he loved to joke around, and his signature photo was of him with his finger up his nose.
He is survived by his wife, Katherine (nee Kurnellas) Sideris, children Paul and Elise Sideris, son-in-law Jonathan Ma, brother Peter Sideris, his in-laws Chris Kurnellas and Phillip and Georghia Kurnellas, and numerous relatives and friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded by his sisters, Carol Bailey and Helene Krikelis.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his viewing Friday, November 19, 2021, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church, 615 Mercer St., Cherry Hill, NJ. Funeral services will follow at noon. Interment Locustwood Memorial Park, Cherry Hill.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society www.lls.org or St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church Iconography Fund.