On September 30, 2021, Jerry A. (Evangelos) Karapalides passed away at age 93 in East Greenwich, NJ, surrounded by his family. He was born on September 9, 1928, in his beloved village of Sklithro, in Northern Greece.
Jerry loved growing up in Sklithro with his many family and friends. However, war came to Greece and his village. He survived the Nazi invasion of Greece and fought in the Greek Civil War, being awarded a medal by the King of Greece for his bravery by firing the first shot in the Battle of Amyndeon on April 27, 1947, saving the town from an onslaught of over 5,500 communist soldiers. In 1949 he boarded the ship, T.S.S. Nea Hellas migrated to Canada, where he began his life-long career in the diner and restaurant business.
While in Canada, he met his future wife, Andrea, who was also from Sklithro, and they were married on November 9, 1952, in Toronto, and the love affair continued for 69 years. He later moved to Maple Shade, NJ, where he raised his family. In New Jersey, his first job was at the Olympic Restaurant, owned by his father-in-law, then at the Marlton Manor Club, and then the Nassau Restaurant. Eventually, he opened two diners, the South Grove Diner in Brooklawn, NJ, and the Macedon Diner in Northeast Philadelphia.
He was a proud member of Camden Chapter #69 of AHEPA (receiving his chapter’s Ahepan of the year award in 2013), was a founding member of St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church in Cherry Hill, NJ, and in his later years, was heavily involved with his beloved “Kali Parea,” a senior men’s social club, where once a week, they would gather, tell stories and talk of old times. In the 1970s, he also helped manage his son’s Greek band, Orpheus, and was an active member in the Maple Shade High School Men’s Sports Club. Jerry loved helping at St. Thomas’ Agora and being with his grandchildren. He enjoyed reading war novels and watching his favorite actor, John Wayne, and cheering on his Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies. His many nieces and nephews have stated that Theo Jerry had the best stories, and now, somewhere in heaven, he is regaling the saints with his stories.
His parents, Argyrios and Theodora (Stoikos) Karapalides, predeceased him, as did his brother, Konstantinos (Virginia) Karapalides, and his sister, Athena (Theodoros) Rocopoulos. He is survived by his wife, Andrea/Andromachi (Gentchos), their children, Christine (Michael) Scalise, Harry J. Karapalides, and Theodore J. Karapalides, his grandchildren, Rosemary E. Scalise, Christina (James) Karapalides-Albertini, Demetra Karapalides, Andreana Karapalides, Argero Karapalides, and Evangelos Karapalides. He is also survived by his brother, Nikos (Marika) Karapalides, and many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his viewing at St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church, 615 Mercer Street, Cherry Hill, NJ, on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am, and funeral services to follow. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church in Jerry’s name.