Peter Therios was born and raised in Vassara, Greece (a small village outside of Sparta) during WWII. Unfortunately, he did not have an idyllic childhood. The Germans killed his father when he was only 9 years old and his family endured extreme poverty. Peter dropped out of school and had to work to help provide for the family. In his early teen years, while clearing a road to earn money, he got extremely ill and almost died. Upon his recovery, to thank God for sparing him and to protect him from the dangerous post WWII civil war in Greece, his mother sent him to live with the monks at the solitary St. Anargirou’s Monastery high in the mountains near his hometown. He prayed and served there for years and even took arms to protect the monastery from rebel raids.
Determined to create a better life for himself and provide for his mother and little sister, Peter sailed off alone to the United States at the age of 19 with only an elementary school education and few dollars in his pocket. He arrived at Ellis Island but decided New York was not for him and moved to Boston in the 1950’s. Like so many Greek immigrants at the time, he landed a job as a busboy at the iconic restaurant, Jimmy’s Harborside in Boston. After working long days, he would head to evening classes to learn English and soon after starting classes to become a hairdresser. Peter learned his trade, saved money, secured a partner, and opened Star Lite Beauty Salon in Coolidge Corner in Brookline. With his entrepreneurial spirit, eye for style and his charming way with the ladies, his business began to thrive. During this time, he also got reacquainted with a childhood neighbor, Georgia Christakis, who was visiting from Greece and married her in 1962. Living in nearby Brighton, with his wife and baby daughter, Peter’s business continued to grow and became very successful. He bought out his partner and opened an additional salon/barber shop in Brookline serving only men. After years in the business, Peter’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in again and he decided to switch industries. He bought Gray’s Liquors in Oak Square in Brighton in the 1970’s. His hard work ethic, great customer service, public relation skills and genuine personality helped build the business. He renamed the store Oak Square Liquors, had a friendly smile for every customer, gave pretzels to every child and treats to the dogs. Soon, under his proprietorship, Oak Square Liquors became a successful business and part of the Oak Square community. Approximately 40 years later, Oak Square Liquors is almost an institution in the area, still thriving and family run.
Peter Therios lived the American Dream. His story is not unique, but still impressive. However, as an individual, Peter was unique and truly special. He had a generous soul and a fun lively spirit. He loved life and loved people. Despite his difficult start, his heart and soul were wide open for those around him. He loved and adored his wife, daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren unconditionally. He was a very dear brother, relative and friend to many. He cared for and helped others whenever he could and built many strong mentor/advisor relationships. He served his church in Watertown as Parish President, was proud of his Greek-American heritage and a longtime member of the AHEPA and always supported countless charities and community endeavors.
Peter was the devoted husband of the late Georgia (Christakis) Therios. Beloved father of Pamela Kondylis and her husband George. Loving Papou of Nicholas and Georgia Kondylis. Brother of Magdalini Koufos and her husband Anastasios. Brother in law of George Christakis and his wife Mary and Mary N. Christakis and her late husband Nicholas. Uncle of George Koufos and his wife Kathy, Ari Koufos and his wife Debra, Peter N. Christakis and his wife Christy, Peter G. Christakis and his wife Marlo and Vicky Karalis and her husband George.
Peter Therios’ kind heart and big friendly smile will be sorely missed.