Riverview resident Peter James Pappas, 92, a World War II veteran and entrepreneur, died Sept. 29, 2018.
He was beloved by his family, and also by his Riverview neighbors, including Legacy Church Pastor Phillip Rogers and his family.
“Pete had a major impact on our family and our neighborhood,” Rogers said. “He was a very special guy. He spoiled our kids like they were his own, treated our dog like a queen and loved us extraordinarily. We simple called him Mr. Pete. He was much loved by his neighbors.”
Pappas told Rogers that he had lied about his age to serve his country during World War II, when he served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and with Special Services, according to his obituary by Howe-Peterson Funeral Home.
Born Jan. 22, 1926, Mr. Pappas was the son of the late James and Viola Pappas, and brother to the late Georgia Diamond, Bertha Hensley and John Pappas.
Mr. Pappas was predeceased by two children — Helen Belcher and Nicholas Pappas. He is survived by four other children — James Pappas, Steven Pappas, Rick Stafford and Michelle Stubbs. He was grandfather to 11 and great-grandfather to one.
Mr. Pappas owned a coffeehouse, the Stadium, for 42 years in Detroit’s Greektown, where he was born. His funeral was held Oct. 6 at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Greektown, very near the neighborhood where he grew up.
“He was the toughest, strongest man I know,” Stafford posted on Facebook after his father’s death. “He taught me how to be a man. He was a man’s man. He taught me how to fight, how to be honest, how to be respectful, how to be organized, how to do things right the first time, how to pop a wheelie, how to show respect, how to love and give. He made me into a man and I could not imagine if he wasn’t in my life what I would have become.
‘’He fought in WWII, he owned businesses, he raised families, he sent people to college. He is the last of a generation that made America free. I will miss him dearly, but I will hold his stories, his advice and pure toughness close to me for the rest of life. I will now take what he taught me and pass it down to my daughter.”