Nicholas Kolas, 87

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Nicholas Kolas, 87

Nicholas Kolokythas Kolas, age 87, of Rochester, Minnesota, died Monday, April 15, 2024.

Nick was born August 17th, 1936, the youngest of twelve children in Patras, Greece, to Aristos and Antonia (Douklias) Kolokythas. He grew up in Greece and moved to Minnesota at 18. He graduated from Austin Community College and attended the University of Minnesota to obtain a Political Science Degree. Through hard work and grit, he eventually opened the Apollo Liquor store in Austin, Minnesota, in 1969.

Nick lived his life to the fullest and loved being surrounded by people. If you met him, you would think you had been friends for years. He never wanted anyone to feel like they didn’t belong. There was never a boring dinner party at Nick Kolas’ house. If he saw you in the street, you would be invited to his house.

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With his love of people came his love for his partners. Nick married Deanna Kolas in 1964, and they had three beautiful sons. After recovering from the loss of his first wife, he married Gladys Ehn in 1982, and they had a son and a daughter. Nick thrived having a big Greek family. He constantly told his children to keep the family together. His family is his greatest legacy.

In 1997, Nick married Anastasia (Ann) in a beautiful family wedding. Nick and Ann lived a wonderful life together, traveling, enjoying their family, and creating their life in Rochester. Ann was a committed partner, always by his side and supporting him until the very end.

Nick was a member of the Holy Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church, The Order of AHEPA, and multiple organizations and charities through Austin and Rochester. He was passionate about supporting Hellenic (Greek) Heritage and education. He actively donated to several causes to support the spread of Hellenic culture and travel. Nick traveled to Greece yearly to reconnect with his roots and see his extended family. He shared his love of travel to his home country with his family and friends. He had no greater joy than sharing Greece with those whom he loved.

Nick is survived by his wife, Ann Kolas; sons, Ari (Penny) Kolas, Peter Kolas, and Sam (Gina) Kolas, all of Rochester, MN; and Philip Kolas, Minneapolis, MN; and daughters, Antonia (Nick) Yenser of Mankato, MN, and Dawn (Al) Saks, White Bear Lake, MN; step-daughters: Jennifer Brinton, New York, and Ana (Walter) Velez, Texas; grandchildren: Dylan Saks, Emma Saks, Deanna Kolas, Theoni Kolas, Alexandra Kolas, Nicholas Kolas, Ashton Yenser, Oliver Yenser, Giovanni Velez, and Marianna Velez, as well as many nieces and nephews all over Greece and the United States.

He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Deanna; and siblings: Angela “Lilly,” Kalliroy, Vasso, Alexandra, Theoni, Anastasio, George, Soterious “Sam,” and Christos, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday, April 18th, 2024, at the Holy Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church, Rochester, with Father Nick Hubbard officiating. The interment will be on Thursday at 1:30 PM at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin. Visitation will be at Holy Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church on Wednesday, April 17th, from 4:00-6:00 PM.

Memorials are preferred to the Holy Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church ( Memorials will go towards the Antonia Kolokythas Scholarship fund in honor of his mother and the traveling pantry.

Clasen-Jordan Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.