James P. Papageorge, age 84, passed away Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at the Hospice Center at Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield. James was born in 1932 in a rural village in Greece to parents who were sheep farmers.
In November 1951, James left Greece with a few clothes and even less money and arrived at Ellis Island in New York City, searching for the American Dream.
James settled with family on the South Side of Chicago, when he worked in restaurants. In 1961, James moved to Indianapolis and in the ’60s and early ’70s owned and operated two restaurants, Papageorge’s Restaurant and Papageorge’s Waffle House. He also met Anna Butler (originally of Greenfield), his wife of 45 years. In 1976, James moved his family to Chicago, where in the 80s, he owned Springdale Restaurant. In 1985, James and Anna sold hot dogs and Chicago-style food at their restaurant, Papa’s Hot Dogs. James returned to Greenfield in 1994 and in “retirement” continued working at various restaurants. James concluded his career at Steak N’ Shake in Greenfield, where he cheerfully greeted customers and was known as “Papa.” James was a tough, hard-working man who adored his wife and loved his family. James’s search for the American Dream led him on a long, winding path where he experienced poverty, success, failure, more success, happiness, friendship, and most important, the love that family can bring. James found his American Dream and will be missed dearly.
James is preceded in death by wife, Anna; his parents; brother, Costa; son, Roy Mayberry, Jr.; and grandson, Brian Roeger.
James is survived by his son, John (Sandra) Papageorge of Indianapolis; son, Donald (Barbara) Mayberry of Phoenix, Az.; son, Fred (Diane) Mayberry of Greenfield; daughter Meryl (Ed) Roeger of Greenfield; daughter Cheryl (Gene) Byers of Greenfield; daughter Misty (Paul) Linne of Canyon Country, CA; sixteen grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at Stillinger Family Funeral Home – Pasco Chapel of Greenfield. Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Park Cemetery.
The family wishes to thank the Hospice Center at Hancock Regional Hospital, specifically Lesa and Michelle, for the wonderful care provided to James.
Online condolences may be shared at stillingerfamily.com.