May 19, 1927 – November 4, 2019
On the afternoon of Monday, November 4, 2019, Sophia “YiaYia” Kontaxis, age 92, peacefully passed away in her home surrounded by her loving family and friends.
Although her smile is gone forever and her hands we can no longer touch, we still have so many memories of the woman we loved so much. Her memory is now our keepsake, which we will never part. God has her in his keeping and we will always have her in our hearts.
Born in New York City, New York, Sophia was the daughter of Greek immigrants, Anthony & Fotini Zoumberis. The family moved from New York to Florida where they lived with other relatives from their homeland. After various moves throughout Florida, they landed in Panama City where Mama Gus graduated from Bay High school in 1945. Years later, they moved to Pensacola, where she met and married her first husband, Gus Vogas. Divorcing years later, she then met and married James Kontaxis and lived in Pensacola where they owned and operated various businesses.
More than fifty-four years ago, after the passing of Gus Vogas, she alone packed up her children and moved them to Columbus where she re-opened Gus’s Drive-In & Restaurant on Victory Drive. That woman then became Mama Gus, the hardworking, compassionate and dedicated restauranteur who patrons have known and loved for decades.
Throughout the late sixties and seventies, Mama Gus’s drive-in was one among several others lining the strip. Muscle cars and hotrods flooded the drive-in lots after football games at Baker High School. Children waited with excitement in the backseats of the family car for carhops to dash out on skates with trays of the hot, flavorful food Gus’s was known for.
Family-owned and operated since 1965, Gus’s Drive-In is Mama Gus’s legacy. Such longevity in the restaurant business is no small feat. It was her love for her customers and support for the community that kept her going. It was not unusual for Mama Gus to take in other families in need in order to help them. Mama Gus was one of the founding members that started the Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in 1995. Her love of her faith is what has helped the church to be the success it is today.
She leaves behind the loves of her life, her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is survived by a daughter, Aspasia “Beba” Kontaxis; sons, Anthony George Kontaxis, and Nick (Barbara) Vogas; grandchildren Francine Brittingham, Sophia (Jerry) Mann, Samantha (Chuck) Guldin, Gus (Sam) Vogas, Christina Chartier, and Nicholas Vogas, Jr; great grandchildren Jacob Mann, Joshua Mann, Laney Brittingham, Dylan (Kendall) Brittingham, Austin (Rachel) Guldin, Katherine Guldin, Corey Chartier and great, great grandchildren.
Her parents; husband, James George Kontaxis and beloved daughter, Katherine Vogas, preceded her in death.
A viewing and visitation will be Friday from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm, with a Trisagion (prayer service) starting at 7:00 pm in the Edgewood Hall of Striffler- Hamby Mortuary, 4071 Macon Rd. Funeral services will be at 11:00 am Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church, 4612 Gilbert Ave, Columbus, GA. 31904. Interment to follow in Parkhill Cemetery.
- Anthony Zoumberis, Father (deceased)
- Fotini Zoumberis, Mother
- Gus Vogas, Late First Husband
- James George Kontaxis, Husband (deceased)
- Katherine Vogas, Daughter (deceased)
- Aspasia "Beba" Kontaxis, Daughter
- Anthony George Kontaxis, Son
- Nick Vogas (Barbara), Son
- Francine Brittingham, Grandchild
- Sophia Mann (Jerry), Grandchild
- Samantha Guldin (Chuck), Grandchild
- Gus Vogas (Sam), Grandchild
- Christinia Chartier, Grandchild
- Nicholas Vogas, Jr., Grandchild
- Jacob Mann, Great Grandchild
- Joshua Mann, Great Grandchild
- Laney Brittingham, Great Grandchild
- Dylan Brittingham (Kendall), Great Grandchild
- Austin Guldin (Rachel), Great Grandchild
- Katherine Guldin, Great Grandchild
- Corey Chartier, Great Grandchild
- Mrs. Kontaxis also leaves behind great-great grandchildren and many other extended relatives and family friends to cherish her loving memory.
- Visitation for Family & Friends Friday, November 8, 2019
- Trisagion Service Friday, November 8, 2019
- Funeral Services Saturday, November 9, 2019
November 7, 2019
Dear Sophia, going to miss you! We were friends over 40 years! Imiss those steak sandwiches form Guss"s. God Bless your family and may He give them Peace and strength.
Love you all!
November 7, 2019
Strength, kindness, love for others, and her devotion to living God best describes Sophia. So many memories we shared like teaching me how to cook Greek food, helping Beba and I start Cornerstop, playing truth or dare and having fun just being together. Very thankful for all the moments. I love you Sophia, until we meet again.
George & Pam Vachon
November 6, 2019
Sophia was a lovely lady that was loved by all who had the honor of knowing her.
Our love and prayers go out to her loving family.
Rest easy Sweet Sophia!
George & Pam
November 6, 2019
Sophia is one last of a generation. She like other Greek immigrants and their children knew how to take care of themselves. Sophia like the others worked to achieve what she deserved. She created jobs and added to the economy of her community, She earned the love and respect that of the community and her family. It is amazing hows he alone held her family together no matter the efforts that she had to endure. Her love extended far from Columbus and was felt throughout the country. Her faith never failed her. Despite that her religion was not what was the norm in the area she held to it no matter what others thought. In that vein she was ahead of the curve when she opened up her faith to those that were not born into religion. I among may others will remember her for the rest of my life. There are not words that can truly described my cousin. She is at rest now. There is no more or suffering. She can see a light that will always brighten her day. There is no doubt that her memory will be last for ever. She is truly worthy of our praise. Sophia please know that I will miss you.
November 6, 2019
Mama Gus shared so much love and was loved by all. She will always be in your heart. Remember as we grieve over her loss, there are other rejoicing at her coming. She is in a wonderful place.
Judy and Larry
November 5, 2019
My heart, thoughts and prayers are with each of you as you walk this difficult journey. Take the hand of our Heavenly Father--He will take each difficult step with you. He will be by your side and He will guide you. Trust in His love. Blessings prayers and love always.