Tykie Theofilos, 91, died in his sleep on Christmas Eve day, Sunday (Dec. 24, 2017) in Venice, Fla., after a short illness.
Tykie was a cherished husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, veteran of the Navy, musician, philanthropist, a gentleman, and true "gentle man." He was a man of faith whose actions demonstrated his Christian values and beliefs.
Tykie was born on June 14, 1926, in Kaminia, Sparta, Greece, to Kostas Theofilos and Helen (Karvouni) Theofilos. He immigrated to the United States as a young child with his family and was raised in Farrell.
He attended Farrell High School where he proudly served as the drum major in the marching band for three years until he graduated in 1944. He won All State Band in 1943.
Tykie was a proud veteran of the Navy. He enlisted in March 1944 and served two years, two months, and 22 days as a Storekeeper Second Class. He served in the Admiralty Islands, South Pacific Ocean, until his honorable discharge in 1946.
Tykie then attended Westminster College in New Wilmington, where he earned a bachelor's degree.
Tykie married Chrysoula (Trahanis) on June 25, 1950, in Warren, Ohio. Chrysoula is originally from Warren and currently lives in Venice, Fla. They happily retired and moved to Venice in 2004. He was an avid golfer and proudly hit a hole-in-one on May 19, 2014. Tykie worked with New York Life Insurance Company from 1965 to 1995.
In 1963, Tykie founded and led "Tykie and the Grecian Keys," one of the most popular and well-known Greek bands in America. He played the bouzouki with a humble pride and is considered a legend in the circle of Greek musicians and cultural historians. Tykie's sons Dino, Georgio, and Yanni joined the band, creating wonderful memories for tens of thousands of fans that followed the band throughout the years. The band was often referred to as the "Greek Osmond Brothers" or "Greek Jackson Five" entertaining Greeks and non-Greeks around the U.S.A., Canada, and the Caribbean for over 40 years. He recorded six records and CDs of Greek dance music. Tykie and his family entertained people at their weddings who had children and then played at their children's and grandchildren's weddings. His son, Georgio continues "The Fabulous Grecian Keys" legacy. Even after retiring, Tykie had the desire and was able to play Greek music up to the month before he died. He would often play with his son Dino's band, Ellada, at local events in Sarasota, Fla. that delighted his fans, both new and old.
Tykie was a 32nd Degree lifetime member of Free and Accepted Masons Lodge Number 250 that later merged with Kedron Lodge Number 389 in Sharon. He was also a member of Al-Koran Shriners of Cleveland. Tykie was lifetime member of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), Zeus Chapter 88 in Warren, Ohio. AHEPA is an organization dedicated to philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence to the community.
Tykie had a witty sense of humor, was a proud Greek-American, family-oriented, musician who was kind, honest and fair. His sense of humor was sharp as he would joke with his family, friends, and even strangers with whom he would meet in public. He maintained a list of short jokes, keeping it close at-hand and always ready to entertain anyone who would listen. He found humor in most anything and had a wonderful and positive outlook throughout his blessed life.
He was a proud Greek immigrant who valued his adopted American home and citizenship. He proudly flew the American flag daily at his home in Ohio and Florida. Tykie was a one-woman man since the day married Chrysoula in 1950. Tykie and Chrysoula worked hard to support and raise their three sons and set a good example of Christian values.
He is survived by: three sons; Dino of Venice, Fla., Georgio and his wife Maria (Ristas) of Austintown, Ohio, and Yanni of Atlanta; four grandsons, Peter and his wife (Brittany), George and his wife (Barbara), Tykie and James Theofilos; and four great-grandchildren, Connor, Hannah, Andrew, and Morgan.
Tykie and his wife Chrysoula sponsored and supported many organizations and children in orphanages from underprivileged and improvised countries around the world. In lieu of flowers, the Theofilos family is requesting donations to any of the following organizations on behalf of Tykie: the Yatima Group Trust Fund, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania,
http://www.yatimagroup-trustfund.co.tz/index.html; the T.B.H. Private Medical Centre, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, https://www.facebook.com/thbprivatehospital; and Shriners Hospital for Children, www.lovetotherescue.org.
The Theofilos family thanks Tykie's friends and relatives for being part of his life and supporting the charitable causes he had close to his heart.
Tykie, 91, of Venice, Fla.
Calling hours: 10 to 11 a.m. Friday (12-29-17) at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 429 High St., Warren, Ohio. Family and friends may visit www.peterrossiandsonfh.com to view this obituary, sign the guest book and send condolences.
Service: 11 a.m. following calling hours at the church, with Father Constantine Valantasis officiating.
Burial: Oakwood Cemetery, Warren, Ohio.
Local arrangements by the PETER ROSSI and SON MEMORIAL CHAPEL, 1884 North Road NE, Warren, Ohio 44483.
Published on December 26, 2017