George L. Karagias, of West Allenhurst, passed away on Sunday, March 11, 2018. He was born in 1929 in Spring Lake, New Jersey. Growing up he worked at his father’s Criterion Restaurant and Candy Shop on the Asbury Park boardwalk. In 1946, George graduated from Asbury Park High School. Then he attended Rider College School of Business.
In 1951, George served in the United States Army, Second Armored Division, stationed in Germany during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1953. After the Army, George returned to work with his father at the Criterion Restaurant.
In 1958, he operated and managed the Marine Grill Seafood House in Asbury Park. In 1969, George opened the Squire’s Pub restaurant with business partners in West Long Branch.
George and his partners opened up the Criterion Chocolates Factory in Eatontown in 1970. In this time period, he was also involved with several Perkins Pancake Houses at the Jersey Shore. In 1978, George became a member of the Saint George Greek Orthodox Church Parish Council, formerly located in Asbury Park and served for over twenty-five years. While on the Parish Council, George also served as President and chaired many committees. He was also a member of the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA) and served as its President. George also enjoyed his social membership at the Deal Golf and Country Club for 33 years.
George became an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople in 1997. He received an award from Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey for the continuous progress of the ministries of Saint George. George received a citation from the State of New Jersey General Assembly and Congressional recognition for service to the community. In 2015, George was honored as the Father of the Year by the Saint George Orthodox Church. George loved the church and was a sponsor of Saint George’s educational center.
George is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Mary Karagias, nee Coutros and their three children, Louis and his wife Connie, Helena and George. Also surviving are his sister, Penelope Arvanitis and her husband George and his brother, Demitri Karagias and his wife Helen. George has five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, Maria Karagias, Andrea and her husband Andrew Giobbe and their children, Andrew Jr., Alexander, Addison, Mark Bitter and his wife Phoebe and their daughter Phoebe, Margot Bitter and Callie Bitter.
George was predeceased by his parents, Louis and Helen Karagias.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at the Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, 1033 West Park Avenue, Ocean, NJ from 4-8 pm. A funeral service will be held on Friday, March 16 at 11 am at the Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Ocean, NJ. Interment will follow at Saint George Cemetery in Neptune. Donations in George’s memory can be made to the Saint George Iconography Fund, Care of Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, 1033 West Park Avenue, Ocean, NJ 07712. Please visit www.fiorefuneralhomes.com for condolences.