A child of immigrants from Greece, Apostolos A. "Paul" Siakavellas learned the value of hard work at an early age.
As young as 12, he was working after school and on weekends as a bus boy in York area restaurants.
That experience would serve him well, as Siakavellas grew up to own at least two local restaurants — most recently, George's Family Restaurant at 3608 E. Market St. in Springettsbury Township.
Even though he'd owned George's just three years, the regular customers knew Siakavellas, said his niece, Sevasti Margetas.
"He was so lovable and supportive and caring and generous and kind," she said. "He was just very friendly and talkative. Everyone loved him."
Siakavellas died unexpectedly Monday. He was 52. The Red Lion man succumbed to a heart attack, Margetas said.
Family members are struggling to accept that reality, especially because Siakavellas was so focused on health and fitness, his niece said.
"He'd go to the gym for 2 to 3 hours a day," Margetas said. "That was his thing."
The York community might also know Siakavellas as the owner of what used to be called Alex's Restaurant in Manchester. That restaurant, which he owned for about a decade, was named after his daughter.
"He built that from the ground up," Margetas said.
Siakavellas was the father of two children, both of whom live in Greece.
Athan Margetas, who owns The Vault Pizza and Deli in York, said his uncle was a family-oriented, outgoing man who "would do anything for anybody."
For his nephew, Siakavellas shared recipes and business advice. Athan Margetas said his uncle's biggest strength in the restaurant business was his ability to make great food.
A funeral is scheduled for noon Monday at Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, 2500 Pine Grove Road in York.
The family has scheduled a viewing for 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Kuhner Associates Funeral Directors, 863 S. George St., and from 11 a.m. to noon Monday at the church.
— Reach Erin James at firstname.lastname@example.org.