he well-known custom tailor and entrepreneur, John Sitaras, or “Yani the Tailor”, as many in Manhattan knew him, passed away on November 22, 2019, at age 82, and is now resting in peace with his wife, Lorraine, who predeceased him in 2003
Born July 13, 1937, in Chios, Greece, the third of seven siblings, John left his home at 6 years old, under impoverished and oppressive conditions in war-torn Greece, to live in Constantinople with his aunt and uncle and learned tailoring, a trade he would master and become the foundation of his success. After serving in the Greek army, John immigrated to New York at 24 years old, where opened several custom tailor shops and French cleaners, the most important of which was on West 14th Streetand 6th Avenue in Manhattan. It was there that he met Lorraine, then a customer, who he married on November 23, 1969. Yani opened other tailor shops throughout Manhattan and Queens and dabbled in other small businesses throughout his life, but he eventually downsized to a single shop on First Avenue and 49th Street in 1990s, where he worked each day. Driven by his insatiable desire to work and inability to remain idle for a moment, Yani commuted to his shop on First Avenue six days a week from his home in Farmingville, Long Island, until he closed the shop for the last time in March.
John enjoyed dancing to Greek music (always Kazantzides), going to the beach, picking green beans and tomatoes at the u-pick farms on Long Island, and playing Monopoly with his children when they were young, and his grandson Giovanni. He valued education because he did not have the opportunity for much formal education as he was growing up and was proud that all of his children completed college.
John is survived by three loving children and their spouses, Joseph (Susan) of Patchogue, New York, Elaina Hirsch (Robert) of Lutherville, Maryland, and George (Almerinda) of Astoria, New York, and three cherished grandchildren, Giovanni, Evan and Mercedes, and his siblings, Despina Tomazou of Athens, Greece, Antonis (Maria) of Fort Lee, New Jersey, Pantelis of Toronto, Canada, Stavros of Staten Island, New York, and Kostas (Louise) of Montreal, Canada, and many nieces and nephews. John was pre-deceased by his brother, Nick.
Services will be held at Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Home located at 47 Jerusalem Ave., Hicksville, NY 11801 (Tel: 516-931-0262), reposing will be on Sunday November 24, 2019, from 7:00-9:00pm, and Monday, November 25, 2019, 2:00-4:00 PM and 7:00-9:00 PM, and funeral will be held Tuesday, November 26, 2019, at 10:30 AM at St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church, located at 77 Montauk Hwy, Blue Point, NY 11715. Interment Cedar Grove Cemetery Patchogue NY
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