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Asastasios "Tom" Kokkinakos
Asastasios "Tom" Kokkinakos

Anastasios "Tom" Kokkinakos, a Greek immigrant who later became part owner of a Govans pizza establishment and a restaurant consultant, died Thursday at his Timonium home of heart failure. He was 74.

Anastasios Kokkinakos, who was born and raised in Amyclare, Greece, near Sparta, was 13 when he left his homeland and traveled by ship to Toronto, when he studied at night school.

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While working for Diana Sweets in Toronto, he attended culinary school. When he was 22, he came to Baltimore to help his brother, who owned and operated a delicatessen and hot dog stand in the Lexington Market.

In 1963, he and his late brother, Nick Kokkinakos, established Maria's in the 5500 block of York Road in Govans, which they operated until 1994.

In addition to his restaurant work, Mr. Kokkinakos, who was known as Tom, supplied produce to the Colts training camp and Bubba Smith's kid's football camp. When the Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1971 Super Bowl, Mr. Kokkinakos was invited to fly back with the team to Baltimore, his son said.

In recent years, Mr. Kokkinakos served as a consultant for a number of restaurants, including Timbuktu in Hanover, Cockeysville Bagel Shop and Z Best in Timonium.

Mr. Kokkinakos was a friend of former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, with whom he occasionally played cards at a Highlandtown cafe, his son said.

"He also was invited to dine at the White House with Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan," his son said.

Mr. Kokkinakos was an entertaining storyteller and also liked playing pinochle and Koum-Kan, a Greek card game akin to rummy.

He was a member of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2504 Cub Hill Road, where funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday.

In addition to his son, Mr. Kokkinakos is survived by his wife of 45 years, the former Eleni Helen Kosmakos; daughters Dimitra Kokkinakos of Timonium and Christina Poole of Frederick, brothers Harry Kokkinakos of Perry Hall and Jimmy Kokkinakos of Sparta, Greece; and five grandchildren

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