Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Inspiring Leader, True Hellene


 November 9, 1937 to October 14, 2015

Chris P. Tomaras—whose spectacular rise from Greek immigrant to successful U.S. businessman and dedicated philanthropist epitomized the American Dream—died on Thursday, October 14, in Chicago, IL.  By his side were his dear friends Elaine, Tom and John Sotos. He was 77.

Overcoming adversity

Chris Tomaras’ early life in Greece and America was full of challenges. Yet his ingenuity, tenacity and resourcefulness enabled him to overcome the obstacles and lead a full and productive life.

One of three children born to Pavlos and Evdokia Tomaras in Piraeus, Greece, young Chris came into a world torn by civil war. Mr. Tomaras’ father, who his son described as “a simple but wise man,” was a political activist whose retaliation against the brutality of the opposition resulted in tragedy when stray machine-gun fire, meant for his father, killed his mother in 1946. Chris was 8 years old.

Overwhelmed with grief at the loss of his mother, who Mr. Tomaras described as “the sweetest and gentlest of human beings,” he forged ahead to continued his education in Drapetsona, the town where the family lived. Fortunately, his father remarried, for there were three young children to care for, Chris, younger brother Mike and sister, Helen.

Continue reading “CHRIS P. TOMARAS”


Mike Lane with Humphrey Bogart and Jan Sterling in “The Harder they Fall”


January 6, 1933 to June 1, 2015

A giant character actor

mikelaneMichael V. Lane, an actor known for his titanic size, wrestling prowess, and indelible roles as Frankenstein and Hercules, died on Monday, June 1st, in Palmdale, CA, his daughter, Cristin Layne, at his side. He was 82.

A towering, 6-foot-8, 278-pound giant, Lane appeared in movies with the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Tallulah Bankhead. He liked to say he was part of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the Golden Age of Wrestling.

Due to his formidable size, he began wrestling as a member of the King Brothers & Christiani Circus, a three ring circus that traveled the country. Housed in a special boxing and wrestling tent, Lane took on all comers.

Tarzan Mike

Continue reading “MICHAEL V. LANE”


Doug Nash


January 19, 1942 to July 12, 2015

A name synonymous with winning

Douglas Edwin Nash, a legend in the auto racing world—as much for his skill behind the wheel of a drag racing car as his later development of high performance transmissions—passed away at home in Marathon, Florida on Sunday, July 12th, his beloved family at his side. Doug was 73.

unnamed (2)A soft-spoken, contemplative drag racer in the 1960’s, Doug was driven to understand every aspect of what constituted a winning car. He first drove the “Bronco Buster” and later moved to a Comet, which brought him to the attention of the Lincoln Mercury Racing Division. In 1966, Doug was given a factory experimental Comet and continued to win races and perform at an outstanding level.

His inventive mind led him to develop the industry’s first 4 and 5-speed racing transmissions with straight-cut spur gears and crash shifts. His engineering innovations were soon noticed by the General Motors Corporation, and he was awarded a contract to develop the 4-speed overdrive transmission used in the 1986 Corvette.

Above all a family man

Continue reading “DOUGLAS EDWIN NASH”


Barbara Caldwell and her beloved Lynn
Barbara Caldwell and her beloved Lynn



August 23, 1939 — April 7, 2015

Theirs was a genuine love story

Barbara King Caldwell, whose fairytale marriage became something of a family legend, passed away on Tuesday, April 7, one week after a fall at her home in Boerne, TX. Her husband of 57 years, Lynn Caldwell, their three children and their spouses were at Barbara’s side at a San Antonio hospital during her last days, granting them precious time to say goodbye. She was 75.

Theirs was a genuine love story, beginning in kindergarten in St. Petersburg, FL. When Barbara and Lynn misbehaved in class, the teacher would send them to sit under the piano for punishment. It was a punishment made in heaven, as it turned out, the start of an almost 70-year romance. Continue reading “BARBARA KING CALDWELL”




November 26, 1924 to October 30, 2014

Unparalleled joy in life

Margaret Anne Von Der Ahe, whose incandescent spirt and unparalleled joy in life were never dimmed by circumstances, died on October 30, 2014, four weeks shy of her 90th birthday. Annie, as everyone called her, had a way about her all right: the gleeful delight when greeting a friend for lunch, how giddy she got when talking about her grandchildren, the outlandish holiday jewelry she loved to wear, how she never took anything for granted, from the most insignificant flower to the most spectacular sunset.

carMargaret Anne McGranaghan was the first child born to Jerome and Ellen McGranaghan in Oneida, New York, on November 26, 1924. Her birth was promptly followed by the first annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which she claimed was a celebration in her honor. Annie was whip smart and beautiful, flying through school and achieving degrees in Mathematics and Physics from Marywood University and Syracuse University.

       “a hell of a broad”


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