Anthony M. Pappas, 84, passed away Nov. 13, 2013, after a long-fought battle with emphysema.
He was born in the tiny village of St. Anna, in the mountains of northern Greece, and grew up in Sandusky. Novels could be written about his journey to America from the "Old Country."
If ever there was a self-made man, it was Tony Pappas. His mother died when he was seven, and his father was usually absent, yet, with only minimal guidance from close friends, and in spite of not always knowing if he would have a roof over his head, he was able to excel academically, athletically, and socially.
He served honorably in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, and then attended The Ohio State University, where he majored in electrical engineering. One quarter shy of earning his engineering degree, he decided that he finally needed to pursue his true calling, education. He quickly finished his degree in education.
Tony spent a total of 34 years teaching high school mathematics and science in the Toledo Public School system. He was an outstanding teacher; his students frequently either winning or placing highly in state math competitions. More than this, he provided a necessary role model for many of his students. He showed them that in spite of humble beginnings and uphill battles, one could succeed in life. As in all aspects of his life, as a teacher he was completely selfless. In addition to pro bono tutoring, he would frequently give students scholarship money from his own pocket, with the only stipulation being that someday they would "pay it forward" to someone who was more disadvantaged than themselves.
In addition to teaching full time, to make extra money he was a restauranteur and an investor. He wanted his family to have the advantages in life that he never had.
Above all, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sherley; son, Mike (Lanissa); and grandchildren, Anthony and Lia.
In keeping with Tony's wishes, there will be no showing. His friends and family will celebrate his life at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at Grace Episcopal Church, 315 Wayne St., Sandusky.
Memorials in Tony's name may be made to the Leonard J. Thom Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Sandusky Board of Education, 407 Decatur St., Sandusky, OH 44870, or to a charity of the donor's choice.
Condolences may be shared at ansbert-west.com.