Dorothy P. Lykos, a former Sinai Hospital X-ray technician who later worked in her husband’s independently owned York Road pharmacy, died May 5 from complications of a stroke at Stella Maris Hospice. The Timonium resident was 84.
“I first interacted with Dorothy Lykos when I was a young county councilman,” wrote Rep. Charles A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger III in an email. “I was so happy to have her support because she and her husband, Nick — everyone called him ‘Doc’ — were so well respected within the local business community.”
Retired Baltimore County circuit judge John F. Fader II, who graduated in 1963 from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, was an old friend.
“It was an absolute delight knowing Dorothy Lykos. She was just a wonderful person,” said Judge Fader, a Cockeysville resident. “Both she and her husband, Nick, were very good friends of mine. They were nice, competent, and giving. They gave to the public and they gave to their church."
“She was a very generous person who treated her employees like family,” said Brian S. Timberlake, a pharmacist who has worked at the Timonium drugstore for the last 15 years. “She ran a tight ship and we worked hard, but we also had a lot of fun and laughs.”
The former Dorothy Papaconstantinou, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, was the daughter of Greek immigrant parents. Her father, Haralambas “Harry” Papaconstantinou, was a co-owner a luncheonette with his brother-in-law, and her mother, Vasiliki “Bessy” Georges, was a factory worker.
After graduating from West Philadelphia High School, where she was a cheerleader and recipient of an American Legion award, Mrs. Lykos received her X-ray training at Philadelphia General Hospital in West Philadelphia.
She moved to Baltimore in 1964 when she married Nicholas C. “Doc” Lykos, a druggist who had established the pharmacy in 1960 that bears his name at York and Timonium roads near the Maryland State Fairgrounds.
“One of the things I remember most, was when I was in law school and I worked there one day a week,” Judge Fader recalled. “Nick asked me to work for him for a couple of days. He had to go to Philadelphia, but didn’t tell me the reason was that he was going to propose to Dorothy. When he came back, he said, ‘Guess what? I got engaged to Dorothy, and she’s going to marry me.’ And what a great couple they were.”
From 1964 to 1965, Mrs. Lykos worked at Sinai Hospital as an X-ray technician and teacher, and then joined her husband’s drugstore as a clerk and bookkeeper. After his death in 2001, she took over operation of the business and was still working at her own death.
“Theirs was and is one of the last mom-and-pop pharmacies in the area, and they made sure I was aware of how policy affected business owners like them,” wrote Mr. Ruppersberger, a Cockeysville resident. “More importantly, I remember Dorothy being gracious, warm and caring with all of the pharmacy customers. They ran the business with integrity and a genuine interest in the health of their customers.”
“Her desk was right out front, and all of our customers knew her, and she had a good relationship with them,” Mr. Timberlake said. “If a customer didn’t have money, she’d help them out. She was concerned about patient care rather than the money.”
Chuck A. Muendlein, a pharmacist, is a longtime employee.
“I walked in there as a student in 1983 and never left,” said Mr. Muendlein, a Parkton resident. “She had the biggest heart and was always buying us lunch. She was like a second mom to me.”
After her husband’s death, she established a scholarship at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in his name to promote independent pharmacies, said her daughter, Angela Lykos of Cockeysville.
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“They always hired as part-time employees who were students at the University of Maryland Pharmacy School,” Ms. Lykos said.
Her community volunteer work included participating in health fairs at the Mercy Ridge Retirement Community in Timonium and Senior Expos at the Timonium Fairgrounds. Through the pharmacy, the couple sponsored the Optimist Club, Dulaney High School sports Boosters and the Lutherville-Timonium Recreation Council.
Mrs. Lykos was an active member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, where she co-chaired concert and fundraising committees. She co-chaired a concert committee that featured the late Spiro Malas, the Baltimore-born and -raised bass-baritone Metropolitan Opera star, who performed at the church. She also volunteered with the church’s annual Greek Festival.
Mrs. Lykos liked vacationing with her family in Atlantic City and Ocean City, and visiting relatives in New Jersey, her daughter said. Earlier in her life, she sailed on the Cunard Liner RMS Queen Elizabeth II, traveled aboard the fabled Orient Express , and took a road trip with several girlfriends to Arizona.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the funeral service was private.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Lykos is survived by a son, Cosmos N. Lykos of Newport Beach, California; a brother, John Papaconstantinou of Galveston, Texas; a sister, Katherine Geaneotes of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania; three grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.