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Carol Pappas Obituary
CAROL PAPPAS Carol "Caliope" Pappas, 82, widow of John Pappas, passed away Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, after a long fight with leukemia. The longtime Nevada resident and businesswoman, who is best known for her opposition to the misuse of eminent domain, leaves a legacy that reflects her courage and independent spirit. She was surrounded by family and close friends. Carol was born in Levidi, Greece in 1927. Her family moved to Athens in her youth. During World War II, Carol's family suffered from the Nazi invasion of Greece. Carol recalled that as teenagers, she and her sisters narrowly escaped bullets from German fighter planes. In 1953, Carol married successful restaurateur John Pappas, deceased 1981, in Bermuda, and returned with him to his home in Las Vegas. She was fond of remarking that her new husband had taken her from one of the most beautiful areas of the world, with its rich heritage, culture, art and the beautiful Mediterranean ocean - to a hot, dusty little cowboy town in the middle of a desert. Nevertheless, Carol remained in her adopted country and raised a family in Las Vegas. Carol's husband, John Pappas, also from Greece, shined shoes for '5 cents a shine' when he arrived in the United States. He first came to Las Vegas in 1904, working as a water boy for the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railway Co. In 1929, he and two fellow Greeks founded the White Spot restaurant downtown on Fremont Street. The restaurant has an endearing place in Nevada history. Within sight of the Union Pacific train station, it became a gathering place for Las Vegas' most prominent and influential citizens of the era. The White Spot restaurant is also considered the first business in Las Vegas to install refrigerated air conditioning and neon signage. Carol Pappas is remembered as a founding member of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church Ladies Philoptochos Society and a member of the Daughters of Penelope. Carol's husband, John Pappas is also remembered as a founder of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, which he was the first president and official church "Godfather." Following the death of her husband, Carol Pappas and son, Harry and Johnny Pappas passionately opposed the city's seizure of her family's downtown property in an 11-year, high profile eminent domain lawsuit that ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Carol was an outspoken opponent of the use of eminent domain for the rest of her life, and called it a horrible reminder of what the Nazis had done to her family during the war. Carol's battle against the City of Las Vegas and downtown casino barons eventually became the impetus for the PISTOL ballot initiative to limit the misuse of eminent domain in the state of Nevada, amending the Nevada Constitution. As a young woman, Carol's passion was creating and designing women's high-fashion clothing. She had a dream of opening a couturier house of her own in Paris. Although marriage and raising a family became her primary concern, her interest in fashion endured. She continued to design clothing for family and friends through most of her life. John Pappas passed on to Carol his business experience. This knowledge of business and real estate investing made her a successful businesswoman. She continued to invest in Las Vegas commercial and residential real estate until her illness. Throughout her life, Carol's real love was for her family, relatives and friends. She is survived by sons, Harry and Johnny Pappas; grandchildren, David and Jessica Pappas; sisters, Dina Aekesis and Evyenia Dalacas; along with numerous nieces and nephews. Carol Pappas, a true matriarch, leaves behind a legacy of strength, determination, courage and fortitude. She is loved and will be missed dearly by her family and those who knew her. Viewing will be 5-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, followed by the Trisayon service at 6 p.m. Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, both at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 5300 El Camino Road (Hacienda and Jones). Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. John's Iconography Fund.

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