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Friday, October 22, 2021

Remembering Andreas Moshopoulos: Who Gave Lasting Memories Through Entertainment

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Andreas Moshopoulos, owner of Laterna catering establishment passed away on August 7, 2021. He was 68 years old. Andreas was a man who gave people happy moments even losing money in the process. I became friends with Andreas and his wife Eleftheria through
his children, Ismeni and Dennis, who were my students at the university.
Dennis said “Professor, I will cater a testimonial dinner for you for free. My father will help me.  Everything I know is from my Dad. He trained me.” His generosity is legendary.
Andreas gave a luncheon to a local Junior High School class when every local restaurant refused. I was there when the teacher paid him $52 for a luncheon that was worth more. Andreas said, “We must help the kids.”

Andreas Moshopoulos with son Dennis

He helped persons give parties when they had financial problems, telling them “You can pay me slowly.” Andreas gave people memories to remember. He was more of a missionary than people who claim to help in nonprofit organizations.
He was a businessman who wanted profits. Making persons happy came first to
Andreas. He was a tough, no-nonsense immigrant. Andreas hid his heart of gold by talking tough and not letting clients know he went that extra mile to make them happy.
He cared about the struggling middle class. I saw him make brides happy with his parties when their families had economic difficulties.
The 1953 Ionian earthquake (also known as the Great Kefalonia earthquake) struck the southern Ionian Islands in Greece on August 12. This natural disaster shaped his philosophy of life: giving anonymously and not letting persons feel indebted. He was poor, when he came to the USA, legally with papers. No government handouts. Andreas worked 7 days a week and became affluent, always showing love for America. National and international leaders from business, education, and religious organizations dined at Laterna.
He molded his wife Eleftheria, a devout Greek Orthodox Christian, and three children Niko, Ismene, and Dennis in his way of thinking. All his family has helped everyone in their happy and sad events. I can only talk for myself. The steaks for my daughter’s medical school graduation party were not good. He went himself to the NYC meat market at 5 am in the morning to pick better meats. Andreas did this for everyone.
His legacy lives on in everyone whose life he touched. His love of music brought the finest Greek singers to Laterna family restaurant. The best rebetika (Greek Blues) were played at our numerous parties at Laterna. I wanted to remember the Mikrasiatica(western Anatolia Music} at my granddaughter’s baptism.  He pleased me not because I was paying him, but because he wanted to make me happy. Andrea in his tough way always thought of his client’s happiness first. His entire family follow his philosophy
There is no one to replace Andreas. He was one of a kind. We are all lucky we lived to know this unique, self-made man. Andreas will be a golden memory to all who were lucky to know him.
References:
2.     All Photos from Dennis Moshopoulos Facebook account
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