Friends may call Friday 1/29 from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Farrell-Ryan Funeral Home, 777 Long Pond Road. Trisagion Prayer Service at 6:30 pm. The funeral service will be held at 11 am on Saturday 1/30 at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation with the interment to follow at White Haven Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to
Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation
Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit
The National Kidney Foundation
Farrell-Ryan Funeral Home
George Gerakos passed away peacefully on January 26, 2016 with his wife Katherine nearby. He will be greatly missed but will live on in the hearts and memories of those who loved him.
George was born in 1935 in Geraki, a small village in Greece. After growing up during the German occupation in World War II, George went to law school in Greece but dreamed of being an architect. After two years of law school, he had the opportunity to move to the United States and live with his aunt while attending Rochester Institute of Technology. There he studied architecture and art until he was drafted into the US Army, serving two years at Fort Knox in Kentucky (1962-1964) and earning the Army Commendation Medal, the highest award during peacetime.
When he left the army, what little money he had went to his sister’s wedding in Greece, so he was unable to continue his education. He craved excitement and did not want to sit behind a desk, so he returned to his aunt’s house in Rochester and worked in their family restaurant, the Crossroads at Twelve Corners in Brighton. George opened his own Crossroads at Northgate Plaza in Greece, NY the following year.
In 1971, he married Katherine in Greece, and the newlyweds returned to their house in Greece NY where they raised their family and lived together for 45 years. Their daughter, Cleanthe (Candie) was born in 1972 and named for the aunt that gave him the opportunity to come to the United States. Their son, Angelis (Lee) was born in 1975 and named for George’s father. George was very active in the Greek Orthodox Church, serving as President of the parish council, singing in the choir and organizing community events.
In 1986, George and Katherine bought the Crystal Barn, a fine dining restaurant in a historic landmark in Pittsford, NY. Together, they ran the restaurant for 25 years. George loved the restaurant business and was a charter member in the Rochester Landmark Restaurants, founded in 1992. George has been a longstanding member of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomic society founded in 1950 in Paris to revive the traditions of the royal guild of goose roasters chartered in 1248, having the title Vice Charge de Presse of the local chapter. In 2002 he received the prestigious Silver Spoon Award from the New York State Restaurant Association, a great honor, since it is bestowed on the restaurateur of the year by his peers.
With ailing health, George retired from the restaurant in 2010 but remained connected to the industry as a consultant. George had received a kidney transplant in that same year and also suffered from pulmonary fibrosis. George was fortunate to have had many wonderful doctors and nurses throughout the years. Special thanks goes to his nurse Colleen.
George was predeceased by his parents, Angelis and Panagiota, and his brother Peter. He is survived by his wife Katherine and his son Lee, Lee’s wife Erica and their sons George and Leo; and Candie, her husband Christopher and their son Griffin.
He is also survived by his sister, Cleo and her daughters Zetta and Betty and their families; his sister-in-law Zoe and her children Elena and Dimitri and their families; and his brother-in-law Saki, his wife Mary and their children Bill, Zoe and Olga and their families. He was also predeceased by his aunt Cleanthe, his brother-in-law Vangelis and husband of his sister-in-law, Sotiris. He was also survived by Vangelis' wife Eugenia and sons Laki and Mihali and their families.