Theophilos “Ted” Kalkanis, age 89
Theophilos “Ted” Kalkanis, age 89, died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Aug. 3, 2022 in Ioannina, Greece.
Born to Demetrios and Stamatia Kalkanis on January 18, 1933 in Maltsiani, Northern Epirus, Greece, Ted was the oldest of seven children and stepped into the role of the leader of the family early on. He was raised on the island of Corfu before moving to Ioannina where he studied at the Educators & Teaching Academy with a focus on education. But life had other plans for Ted, whose family was living through tough times in a war-ravaged country so in 1955, the age of 21, he set off for America on his own, with hopes of providing more opportunities for his family.
With hard work and determination, Ted built a better life for himself and eventually accomplished his goal to bring his family members from Greece to America. In 1966, Ted married his loving wife Evangelia “Litsa” and they went on to have three children. They landed in Cleveland, OH for a time before settling in Wareham, MA in 1972. It was here that Ted’s hard work came to fruition and throughout the 1970s-1990s he and his brothers and brothers in-law opened over a dozen pizzerias throughout Massachusetts.
While the brand took off, Ted’s heart remained at his flagship location, Minerva’s Pizzeria in Wareham. Ted successfully owned and operated, what is still to this day, Wareham’s oldest and favorite pizza shop, for many decades before retiring and turning it over to the next generation. His success was measured in the many relationships he cultivated throughout the community, touching the hearts of others for many, many years. Ted had successfully accomplished attaining the American Dream. In retirement, Ted split his time between Wareham and his homeland of Greece.
In addition to Ted’s fierce devotion to his family and his work, he was an avid soccer player who played professionally in Greece in his youth. He enjoyed watching his Cleveland sports teams, the Indians and Browns, with his sons and nephews. Ted loved to watch old western movies, comedies, listening to Greek music, and was often found in the kitchen preparing his favorite dishes for his family. Ted was infamous for his dance skills, in particular the “Zeibekiko”, where he could tell a story with his steps. He was a true leader, a trailblazer, and pioneer. A loyal devoted son, brother, husband, father and grandfather, Ted was beloved by many, in all parts of the world.
Ted is survived by his wife of 55 years, Evangelia, along with his children; Demetrios and wife Julia of Marion, George and wife Margot of Marion, and Zaharoula Ioannou and husband Bill of Warren, NJ; nine beautiful grandchildren, Lia, Athena, Alexia, Lanessa, Dean, Katarina, Philip, Helena and Luke; his four loving sisters, Spiridoula Pappas and husband Bill, Ismini Stasinos and husband Tom, Xenia Kalkanis, and Ireni Vasiadis, and countless nieces and nephews. Ted was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his brothers Kostas and Michael.
Friends are welcome at the visitation on Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 5-8 p.m. at Chapman Funerals & Cremations, 2599 Cranberry Hwy. (Rt. 28), Wareham. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 18th at the St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 186 Cross Road, Dartmouth.
In lieu of flowers, donations to The St. George Greek Orthodox Church, P.O. Box 79411 N. Dartmouth, MA 02747 are encouraged. For directions or to leave a message of condolence visit: www.chapmanfuneral.com.