OBITUARY

Triantafillos J. Pinakas

July 11, 1931September 25, 2020
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NAHANT - Triantafillos J. “Phil” Pinakas, 89, better known to his friends as Tris, a longtime resident of Nahant and Delray Beach, FL, passed away peacefully, September 25, 2020. Phil was married to the love of his life, the late Margaret “Margo” (Shargabian) Derderian Pinakas. Phil will be sadly missed by those who knew him. Left behind to cherish his memory are his devoted stepdaughter, Candy R. Derderian of Salem, formerly of Nahant; dear sisters, Katy Demopolous and Evelyn Constantine both of Dracut, MA and Virginia Katz and her husband, Barry Katz of Stow, MA. He was the cherished uncle of Paula (Constantine) Mabee and her husband, Bob Mabee of Arlington, MA Steve Constantine and his wife, Tamra of Boca Raton, Florida, John Constantine and his wife, April of Story,Wyoming. Cynthia Demopolous of Medford, MA Jay Demopolous of Studio City, CA, Gary Demopolous and his wife, Georgia of Dracut, MA Marika (Katz) McCann and her husband, David McCann of Acton, MA, Jonathan Katz and his wife, Danna of New York City. He is also survived by many great nieces and nephews, cousins and friends. Born, raised and educated in Somerville, Tris was the son of the late John and Marika (Cotsonis) Pinakas from Greece. Phil graduated from Somerville High School with the Class of 1949. He served in the US Army in the 7th Army in Germany as Director of Special Services’ Tours in 1953 for 2 years in France and Germany during the Korean Conflict. He attended Boston University and earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Suffolk University and a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Salem State University. Phil taught Junior and Senior High School History, French, Spanish and Social Studies in the Somerville and Revere Public Schools for over 32 years prior to his retirement in 1993. Phil was fluent in Greek, French and Spanish. He coached basketball and baseball in Revere and was an avid jogger and athlete. Music, though, was Phil’s passion. A self-taught musician, he first started studying guitar with his cousin Taki and then switched to the upright bass, he played Falmouth and Nantucket in the 50’s and 60’s. He played with the likes of many up and coming influential musicians on the Boston Jazz scene. Renowned jazz pianist, Chick Corea was a very special influence. He also played with the Manny Denize Quintet for many years on Cape Cod at the famous and popular Smith’s Olde Surrey Room. It was here where Phil met his future wife Margo. Although the consummate bachelor, he married Margo in 1968. She and her daughter also grew to love the serene lifestyle and beautiful beaches of Nahant. Phil’s first TV appearance was in 1961, with the Manny Denize Quintet on WHDH-TV’s The Jazz Scene. Hosted by John McLellan, the show featured many local musicians such as Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and others. In the 70’s Phil formed his own band, The Phil Pen Orchestra and worked with many life-long friends, Art Smith and his Orchestra, as well as Harry Kollegian and Marty Lane. Phil was also a long standing member of The Boston Musicians Association. Phil maintained friendships with many musicians his entire life. Phil enjoyed his life to the fullest. A gourmet chef, he was known for his “famous seafood casserole.” Phil would host many fun parties and fabulous feasts. A sun-worshipper, he loved the beach, and could often be found jogging on Short Beach in Nahant. A devoted and loyal friend, he anonymously helped many musician friends and family members in their time of need. Having a great sense of humor with a charming smile and twinkle in his eye, he loved to tease his many nieces and nephews. Affectionately and fondly remembered by his nieces and nephews as “Uncle Pill “because he would complain when they got rambunctious in their play. Although never growing up with animals, he became an animal lover and rescued many kitties in Nahant and with the help of his daughter, they found homes for many fortunate felines. Upon retiring from teaching he decided to fulfill his life-long dream of acting. A member of S.A.G. the Screen Actors Guild, he appeared in many theatre productions, advertising photos, films and TV shows. A few notable films were Field of Dreams, The Crucible and Second Sight. Fulfilling another life-long dream, Phil moved to Florida and became a “snow-bird” enjoying the Florida winters and New England summers. In Florida he continued to play professionally with Guy Scott at various country clubs and assisted living facilities until he was 85. Phil was a character. Truly a “one of a kind.” He had very interesting ideas and take on life. He loved a good debate. Always a lively discussion to be had. A wicked sense of humor, he marched to the beat of his own drummer. He enjoyed discussing wine and all its "health benefits” as well as many interesting views on many subjects, in particular, alternative and holistic ideas. Everybody loved him. He touched many people’s lives and he will be sorely missed by his daughter, his family, his many friends and his musician brothers. Phil lived a fabulous life, full of travel, friendships, music and doing all he loved, for almost 90 years. What a gift. Truly a blessing. The family wishes to thank the Brudnick Center for their expert care of Phil during his four month stay there. Deep appreciation and gratitude to Care Dimensions team for their compassionate end of life care. And a special thank you to Joanne Bryanos for her special devotion in lovingly guiding his care. Due to current pandemic restrictions, a private graveside service will be held at Greenlawn Cemetery, Nahant. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to a local animal charity of your choice, Marblehead Friends of Abandoned Animals, One Leslie Cove, Marblehead, MA 01945 or via https://marblehead-animal-shelter.org, or to Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan St. Suite B102, Danvers, MA 01923 or via caredimensions.org. To share a memory or offer online condolences, please visit www.eustisandcornellfuneralhome.com.

Services

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Memories

Triantafillos J. Pinakas

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Deb Wright

October 14, 2020

Candy:

So very sorry to hear of Phil’s passing. Will keep Phil and you in my thoughts and prayers.

Debbie Bean Wright

Renee Tellen

October 8, 2020

Candi, Phil led such a full life and it is so wonderful to be able to read about all of it. I remember visiting you, your beautiful mom and Phil in Nahant and your family's visits to our home, and loving our times together. I know it's tough to lose Phil now, but I hope you find solace in knowing that you were always there for him and he loved you very much. xoxo

Susan Umphrey ( Flynn )

October 8, 2020

Dear Candi and family,
So sorry to hear about your Dad's passing.
It's been a long time but reading all his accomplishments in his obituary reminded me of his wonderful life lived.
I hope this note finds you well. May the peace which comes from the memories of love shared , comfort you now and in the days ahead.
Love, Sue and Steve Umphrey

Paula Mabee

October 6, 2020

Candi, Bob and I send condolences.
As a child growing up in Somerville, I remember Uncle Phil as one would come running down the stairs to our second floor apartment saying Steve, John, and I were making too much noise!
A fond memory I have is his taking me to meet the joker. Steve had met him, and I wanted to, too.
Also memories of summer months in Nahant on Wilson Road.
I recall that one time when he was coming to Somerville to visit yiayia Mary, she made him a tiropita -- a big round one. I didn't know she could make tiropitas till she made him one!
I regret I couldn't visit during the last months of his life because of the virus. However, I am glad he got my card before he expired.
I have a nice pic of him last year on my refrigerator.

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Biography

NAHANT - Triantafillos J. “Phil” Pinakas, 89, better known to his friends as Tris, a longtime resident of Nahant and Delray Beach, FL, passed away peacefully, September 25, 2020. Phil was married to the love of his life, the late Margaret “Margo” (Shargabian) Derderian Pinakas. Phil will be sadly missed by those who knew him. Left behind to cherish his memory are his devoted stepdaughter, Candy R. Derderian of Salem, formerly of Nahant; dear sisters, Katy Demopolous and Evelyn Constantine both of Dracut, MA and Virginia Katz and her husband, Barry Katz of Stow, MA. He was the cherished uncle of Paula (Constantine) Mabee and her husband, Bob Mabee of Arlington, MA Steve Constantine and his wife, Tamra of Boca Raton, Florida, John Constantine and his wife, April of Story,Wyoming. Cynthia Demopolous of Medford, MA Jay Demopolous of Studio City, CA, Gary Demopolous and his wife, Georgia of Dracut, MA Marika (Katz) McCann and her husband, David McCann of Acton, MA, Jonathan Katz and his wife, Danna of New York City. He is also survived by many great nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.
Born, raised and educated in Somerville, Tris was the son of the late John and Marika (Cotsonis) Pinakas from Greece. Phil graduated from Somerville High School with the Class of 1949. He served in the US Army in the 7th Army in Germany as Director of Special Services’ Tours in 1953 for 2 years in France and Germany during the Korean Conflict. He attended Boston University and earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Suffolk University and a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Salem State University. Phil taught Junior and Senior High School History, French, Spanish and Social Studies in the Somerville and Revere Public Schools for over 32 years prior to his retirement in 1993. Phil was fluent in Greek, French and Spanish. He coached basketball and baseball in Revere and was an avid jogger and athlete.
Music, though, was Phil’s passion. A self-taught musician, he first started studying guitar with his cousin Taki and then switched to the upright bass, he played Falmouth and Nantucket in the 50’s and 60’s. He played with the likes of many up and coming influential musicians on the Boston Jazz scene. Renowned jazz pianist, Chick Corea was a very special influence. He also played with the Manny Denize Quintet for many years on Cape Cod at the famous and popular Smith’s Olde Surrey Room. It was here where Phil met his future wife Margo. Although the consummate bachelor, he married Margo in 1968. She and her daughter also grew to love the serene lifestyle and beautiful beaches of Nahant.
Phil’s first TV appearance was in 1961, with the Manny Denize Quintet on WHDH-TV’s The Jazz Scene. Hosted by John McLellan, the show featured many local musicians such as Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and others.
In the 70’s Phil formed his own band, The Phil Pen Orchestra and worked with many life-long friends, Art Smith and his Orchestra, as well as Harry Kollegian and Marty Lane. Phil was also a long standing member of The Boston Musicians Association. Phil maintained friendships with many musicians his entire life.
Phil enjoyed his life to the fullest. A gourmet chef, he was known for his “famous seafood casserole.” Phil would host many fun parties and fabulous feasts. A sun-worshipper, he loved the beach, and could often be found jogging on Short Beach in Nahant. A devoted and loyal friend, he anonymously helped many musician friends and family members in their time of need. Having a great sense of humor with a charming smile and twinkle in his eye, he loved to tease his many nieces and nephews. Affectionately and fondly remembered by his nieces and nephews as “Uncle Pill “because he would complain when they got rambunctious in their play. Although never growing up with animals, he became an animal lover and rescued many kitties in Nahant and with the help of his daughter, they found homes for many fortunate felines.
Upon retiring from teaching he decided to fulfill his life-long dream of acting. A member of S.A.G. the Screen Actors Guild, he appeared in many theatre productions, advertising photos, films and TV shows. A few notable films were Field of Dreams, The Crucible and Second Sight.
Fulfilling another life-long dream, Phil moved to Florida and became a “snow-bird” enjoying the Florida winters and New England summers. In Florida he continued to play professionally with Guy Scott at various country clubs and assisted living facilities until he was 85.
Phil was a character. Truly a “one of a kind.” He had very interesting ideas and take on life. He loved a good debate. Always a lively discussion to be had. A wicked sense of humor, he marched to the beat of his own drummer. He enjoyed discussing wine and all its "health benefits” as well as many interesting views on many subjects, in particular, alternative and holistic ideas. Everybody loved him. He touched many people’s lives and he will be sorely missed by his daughter, his family, his many friends and his musician brothers. Phil lived a fabulous life, full of travel, friendships, music and doing all he loved, for almost 90 years. What a gift. Truly a blessing.
The family wishes to thank the Brudnick Center for their expert care of Phil during his four month stay there. Deep appreciation and gratitude to Care Dimensions team for their compassionate end of life care.
And a special thank you to Joanne Bryanos for her special devotion in lovingly guiding his care.
Due to current pandemic restrictions, a private graveside service will be held at Greenlawn Cemetery, Nahant. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to a local animal charity of your choice, Marblehead Friends of Abandoned Animals, One Leslie Cove, Marblehead, MA 01945 or via https://marblehead-animal-shelter.org, or to Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan St. Suite B102, Danvers, MA 01923 or via caredimensions.org. To share a memory or offer online condolences, please visit www.eustisandcornellfuneralhome.com.

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