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Greek CommunityThe passing of Gus Andy, the proprietor of La Mer Beachfront Resort

The passing of Gus Andy, the proprietor of La Mer Beachfront Resort

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Gus Andy was the husband of Fotini Andy, father of four children, and the proprietor of the La Mer Beachfront Resort in Cape May, NJ. Gus was an impactful part of the community in both Miami, Florida and Wildwood, NJ where he dually resided, and his birth village of Velvento, Greece.

Gus was born Costas Antoniades on April 21, 1938 in a small northern Greek village called Velvento. He was the son of farmers and the town was teeming with peach orchards, cobblestone streets, bustling cafes and mountains vistas. At the young age of 13, Gus immigrated to Chicago, Illinois due to the distressing consequences associated with the Communist-led Greek Cold War. Along with his mother Vasiliki, father Yioryos, brother Yianis and sisters Maria and Katerina, Gus arduously worked several low-brow jobs – from dishwashing to janitorial duties to zipping around town as a paperboy – in a concerted effort to support both his family assimilate to a completely foreign place.

An education zealot, Gus graduated the University of Florida where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture. He attended the University of Oklahoma where he received a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning. During a summer at the University of Mexico, Gus studied Economics and the Spanish language. At Florida State University, he studied business. He also attended Florida International University to study Hospitalities.

Upon graduation, Gus worked at Florida’s Development Commission, the rough-and-tumble restaurant realm, and eventually settled in Cape May, NJ where he acquired the La Mer hotel, which he continued to operate until his passing at age 85. Work was his passion. Through intrepid real estate acquisitions and investments, Gus was an extremely successful businessman; yet remained humble to his simple Hellenic roots.

Gus became an important part of the fabric of Miami, Florida, Cape May, NJ and Velvendo, Greece and gave back to a myriad of causes, such as The American Hellenic Institute, Autism research, Archimedean Academy Charter School, Mount Sinai and Cooper Hospitals, The University of Florida, Stockton College, East Lynne Theater, The Cape May Chamber of Commerce, the Mid-Atlantic Center of the Arts in Cape May and his Greek Orthodox Christian churches in both New Jersey and Florida. He contributed toward Velvento’s elementary school where the library is named after him. He traveled twice a year to Greece and Cyprus as a representative of the United States Government and met with the Greek Prime Minister and President of Cyprus. And while he would never admit it, Gus was an accomplished painter and his alluring oil paintings adorn the family’s homes and office spaces.

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Gus leaves behind his wife, Fotini, and their four children Vasiliki, Vivi, Maria and Yioryos. He has four grandchildren, Dylan, Ava, Yiani and Arabella. Gus has two son-in-laws Trevor and Sebastian and a daughter-in-law, Karolina. His illustrious legacy will continue to shine through them.

As we gather here today to bid farewell to Gus, let us remember the journey of a young boy from Greece who dared to dream beyond the orchards and cobblestone streets of quaint Velvento. Let us celebrate a life that embodied the pursuit of knowledge, the love of family, the passion for hard work and the perseverance to overcome any obstacle in his path.

In Lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in his memory.

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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