April 16, 1917 — May 23, 2011
Nicholas George Stathas passed away on May 23, 2011, at the age of 94 in his home in Davis, surrounded by loved ones.
He was born in Montreal, Canada, on April 16, 1917, to George Stathas and Constance Kartsonis, Greek immigrants to North America. His mother died when he was four years old, leaving his father with three children to raise alone. Nick spent most of his youth growing up on the south side of Chicago where he lived through the Great Depression. After graduating from high school, where he was active in drama and track, he entered the University of Illinois, majoring in physical education. He competed on the gymnastics team, earning several medals.
His goal was to become a gymnastics coach, but his time at the university was cut short when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served as a Corporal in the South Pacific under General Douglas McArthur, earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. After the war ended, he moved to San Francisco where he worked at the U.S. Mint and for Oroweat Bread.
In 1951, he met Eva Safarian, a resident of Fresno, at a resort in Lake County, Hoberg’s Among the Pines. They were married in 1952 in Carmel and lived in San Francisco until 1954, when they moved to Fresno to be closer to Eva’s family. Fresno was their home for the next 40 years, where they raised two daughters. During this time, Nick was employed at the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, first as a route supervisor and later as director of quality control. He retired from Pepsi in 1982 after 27 years with the company.
In 1995, Eva and Nick moved to Davis to be closer to their daughters. There, he lived a comfortable life, where he enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. Nick was active at the Davis Senior Center, regularly attending dyna band classes and bus excursions. In 2008, Eva and Nick moved to Covell Gardens, an assisted-living residence in Davis, where they developed many new friendships. There, he thoroughly enjoyed daily exercise classes, sing-a-longs and sharing jokes with his friends and the staff. Nick will always be remembered for his sense of humor and his love for singing. In January 2010 Eva passed away, and Nick missed her greatly. He enjoyed fond memories of his beloved wife as he frequently sang his signature songs, “Exactly Like You” and “Just in Time.”
Nicholas is survived by his daughters, Susan Houlihan (Patrick) of Santa Rosa and Carol Grensted (Scott) of Davis. Additionally, he is survived by grandchildren Bethany Haynam (Stephen), Jared, Sean and Masha. Graveside services will be held on Saturday, June 4, at 10:30 a.m. at Davis Cemetery. The memorial service will follow at 11:30 a.m. at Atria Covell Gardens. Donations in his memory may be made to Yolo Hospice or to the charity of your choice.
Those who wish to sign a guestbook online may do so at www.wiscombefuneral.com.