Even though the shop closed, customers still called at Mr. Proakis' Rosedale home, where he had lived for more than 40 years, to see if "Mr. Lane" could fix their television, radio or other appliances.
Mr. Proakis expanded his repertoire to include radios, watches, purses, lawn mowers, eight-track tape players and ice makers.
"In fact, the day before he passed away, he finished fixing the ice maker in his own refrigerator," said his son-in-law.
In August 1958, friends persuaded Helen "Honey" Sourlis to go on a blind date with Mr. Proakis. She balked at first, and then agreed to go to the local Moose Lodge for a social evening with Mr. Proakis, who showed her the finer points in playing slot machines, family members said.
Three months later they married.
"To this day, I have all of the letters he sent me while we were dating," said Mrs. Proakis. "Each had a twig of lavender in it. He was such a romantic."
Mr. Proakis enjoyed growing vegetables and gardenias. He also liked traveling and golfing.
"I remember one time when we were in New Orleans with all of its great restaurants and John had to find a Greek restaurant where he could go and eat," Mr. Harris said, with a laugh.
Mr. Proakis was a member of the Scottish Rite and the Boumi Temple.
He was a member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, 24 W. Preston St., where services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Proakis is survived by a son, Michael Proakis of Hamilton; another daughter, Christina Constantinou of Cockeysville; a sister, Alice Cianos of Baltimore; and a granddaughter.