John Panas, 95, Longtime Harrison Resident, WWII Veteran

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John Panas
John Panas Photo Credit: The Daily Voice/Contributed

HARRISON, N.Y. - John Panas, a longtime resident of Harrison, died Wednesday, Nov. 20. He was 95.

Panas was born Oct. 5, 1918, in New York City, to Nicholas Panagiotopoulos and Sofia Karagias. After graduating from Asbury Park High School in N.J., he studied accounting at Syracuse and Columbia Universities. He also attended The University of Athens until his studies were interrupted by World War II.

Upon returning home from Greece, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp. He served as a radar navigator bombardier. He was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Presidential Unit Citation, The Air Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters and The Theater Ribbon with Eight Battle Stars.

Panas started in the finance department for his father-in-law at Mother's Pie Company in the Bronx. From there, he went on to finance and operate the following businesses: Playland Sweet Shop in Playland Amusement Park (over 46 years); Milk Maid Ice Cream and Hamburgers in White Plains and Queens; Pier Six Restaurant in Elmsford; Uncle John's Restaurant in Harrison, two Burger Chef Hamburger Stores in New York and New Jersey and Oscar's Salt of the Sea Restaurant on 67th Street in New York City. He was a lifelong member of The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in New Rochelle.

Panas is survived by his brother, George Panas; sister-in-law, Constantina Panas; son, Nicholas Panas; daughter, Joanne Panas Lehmkuhl (Thomas); two granddaughters; and a niece and nephew. He was predeceased by his wife, Georgianna; brother, Constantine Panas; sister, Mary Pani; brother-in-law, Harry Pani; and sister-in-law, Hope Panas.

Calling hours are Friday, Nov. 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 10 Mill Road, New Rochelle. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in New Rochelle.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Panas’ memory to The John and Georgiana Panas Scholarship Fund at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 10 Mill Road, New Rochelle, NY.

For more information, please visit: www.riverdalefuneralhome.com

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