Ioannis (John) Ambatzis
February 15, 1929 – May 16, 2020
Ioannis (John) Ambatzis passed in peace, with his loving son Peter by his side, at the age of 91.
On May 16th, 2020, he joined his devoted wife, Andriana, and eldest son Dimitrios, who preceded him in eternal rest.
John was born in Corinth, Greece, in 1929. He spent his youth working alongside his three younger siblings in their family vineyard in Zevgolateio. As a young man, he lived through the Great Depression and World War II during the German occupation of Greece. At that time, John was obliged to work as a cook for the German military. After long days in the kitchen, he would coax the head chef to several rounds of drinks in hopes of intoxicating him just enough to bring his guard down. At that point, John would seize the opportunity to distribute food from the kitchen to the nearby villagers. Though the position was humble, he used his role heroically.
In 1955, John immigrated to Montreal, Canada, where he married his lovely wife, Andriana Alexiou. Together, the couple had three children Jimmy, Peter, and Daisy. John began supporting his family by working in the restaurant industry. He then went on to establish several of his own restaurants. Even after he retired, he continued to share his love of food with his family and friends. "Μπάρμπα Γιάννης" never shied away from critiquing one's cooking based on his rating system. Thumbs up equaled excellent, thumbs down equaled disaster. He was often found hosting barbeques in his backyard. These gatherings were filled with music, dance, badminton, and of course, the obligatory game of cards. He was a jokester whose zest for life was undeniable to all who knew him.
John will always be remembered by his children, Peter and Daisy. His son-in-law Costa. His grandchildren, John-Andrew, Emily, John, Jacob, Jasmine, Petro and Maria, Maria and Michael. His great-grandchildren, Costantinos, Vasilios, and Alexandros.
Given the health restrictions placed on public gatherings at this time, the service will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church or the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
St John the Baptist Church: