Nicholas Karabots, who with his wife Athena founded Karamoor Estate Vineyard & Winery outside Philadelphia in 2011, died early Monday morning. He was 86. No other details were released yet, although a post on the winery’s Facebook page acknowledged his death and offered a short tribute. The winery is located near Blue Bell in Montgomery County.
“Anyone who visited Karamoor Estate heard plenty of stories and could see the love and meticulous care that went into every inch of the property; there was no room for mediocrity,” the post read in part. “When he had guests, a personal tour of the property was always on the agenda, and if there were visitors at the winery, he loved to drive by and say hello to all as they would wave to him from the balcony of the tasting room.”
The Karabots are well-known for their philanthropic work in the Philadelphia area, including their role as lead donors for the Franklin Institute’s 50,000-plus-square-foot addition, which opened in 2014. The Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion is the largest expansion ever in the museum’s 150-year history.
In addition, the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pediatric Care Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides primary care services to the children of West Philadelphia and a full range of primary care services.
Finally, their foundation’s gift of $7.5 million to Einstein Medical Center Montgomery near Norristown allowed for a renovation of what was previously known as the Physician Office Building at 1330 Powell St. What will be known as the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Medical Building has long been the heart of outpatient medical services in Norristown and serves as an integral part of Einstein’s plans to improve primary care access for residents of central Montgomery County.
Overall, the Karabots Foundation aims to bring better health and youth-related programs to early teenagers living in under-served communities, according to the bio provided by the winery. The foundation helps provide access to medical facilities and expose young people to life’s possibilities beyond what they are exposed to day after day.
The Karabots family was active and supported the Greek-American community in Philadelphia.
In April 2016, Nick and Athena Karabots received the Eleftheria Medal (see our post) from the Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley. The medal is given to those that aspire to promote and support Hellenic Ideals. The Karabots’ walked along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway that year on the Greek Independence Day parade and continue to support the efforts to perpetuate Hellenism in the Delaware Valley. The President of the Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley, Demetris Rozanitis, made the following statement, “All the Greek community of Philadelphia is saddened today. Our own Hellene Nikos is not with us anymore. May God, as Greeks, pay him back for all the good he did to this world. On behalf of the Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and the greater Delaware valley, I send our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to Athena and her family”.
Nicholas Karabots Biography
Nicholas (Nick) Karabots (Karabotsios) was raised in the South Bronx of New York City and attended the Greek-American Institute and, on completion of this elementary school, was accepted into the Bronx High School of Science, which he completed in June of 1951 while in 1949 he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve serving in a Reserve unit for 11 years. He is one of four children who survived the epidemics of the ’20s and ’30s, of Constance (Hrisomalis) and George Karabots, who migrated from Greece in the early 1920s and 1914.
Currently, at age 82, Nick is the owner of various publishing, printing, real estate, and other companies which in addition to his controlling position in an NYSE Company cumulatively employ over 2,000 people in States as geographically apart as Indiana, Florida, Wisconsin, New York and various parts of Pennsylvania. Self-employed since 1966 and a resident of Whitemarsh Township in Southeastern Pennsylvania since 1958, Nick has, in addition to his other business activities, built Krasi, LLC d/b/a Karamoor Estate, a vineyard and winery located in Fort Washington, PA. Also, he has established the Karabots Foundation as a result of his experiences while part of several juvenile gangs while in his teens in the notorious South Bronx, which then and now remains a gang and drug-involved area of New York City….with the Foundation’s goal of exposing youth, in similar neighborhoods and while in their very early teens, to life’s possibilities beyond that which they are exposed to day after day.
Nick is married to Athena (Dikegoros) Karabots for 61 years, resulting in three daughters and ten grandchildren. Athena was raised in Hartford, Connecticut, one of four children of Despina (Caratasios) and Jordan Dikegoros, who migrated from Greece during the early 1900s. Athena attended the Hartford public school system and further attended Bay path Junior College in Springfield, Massachusetts, from which she received an associate degree in business. While Athena worked before and after their marriage, in May of 1955, she subsequently dedicated herself to their daughter’s growth and education and, given her deep interest in the Greek language and customs, later earned high marks as “Yiayia” from all of her grandchildren. In addition to her significant attention to family matters, she has involved herself in the Karabots Foundation’s mission and certain of the family’s property interests.
Nick and Athena look forward to many more years of business growth, intending to continue the stability and growth in employment that they have achieved for over 50 years within their privately owned businesses, which, in turn, continue to provide the vehicle to support their ongoing dedication to the Karabots Foundation and its mission. As stated many times, they believe that one should never forget where they came from and never fail to extend a hand by opening our youth’s eyes to the different life that exists beyond what some of our youth see today in most of our underserved communities.
Funeral announcements will be made later this week.