The Greek America Foundation is proud to honor the life and legacy of Michael E. Yakumithis.
Michael Yakumithis was born in 1938 to Manuel K. and Minnie Yakumithis. He attended Sherman School, Woodward High School and the University of Toledo.
The youngest of four children, Michael’s strong sense of family lent itself to joining his father in the restaurant business, and together they established Travel Concessions. The robust food service business catered to Trailways and Greyhound Bus Lines across the Midwest and was an accomplishment Michael took great pride in his entire life.
As both his own business and public demand for bus travel expanded, Michael also tapped into the vending industry, along with real estate and others which equipped him with keen abilities in many different areas.
Michael’s legacy will perhaps be most notably perpetuated in his development of local restaurants, including the beloved Monroe Street hotspot, Michael’s Bar & Grill (formerly the Baltimore Cafe, which opened its doors in 1922).
Alongside his wife and partner in life, Vasilike “Koula” Mastrogiannis, whom he married in 1962, Michael’s humility and authenticity made customers from all walks of life feel like part of the family. Customers and friends frequently stopped in for a meal accompanied by Michael’s sagely advice, which was sought out by many in the back corner with a cup of coffee and pearls of wisdom accumulated from decades of his wide-reaching experiences.
Advice drawn from his own experiences was supplemented by an obsession with history and general knowledge, which gave him the ability to discuss most topics (especially political history and science) in the most specific of terms.
As a voracious reader, Michael had recently moved his collection of hundreds of books to a digital format and loved showing off that he synced them to his phone, tablet and computer.
Michael’s Greek Orthodox faith was also central to his life. The lifelong member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral served on its Parish Council, and he was also a former member of AHEPA in roles including President of his local Chapter.
Although his lifetime saw significant contributions to the church and Toledo community, Michael never sought acknowledgement for his generosity. As his sons recall, when asked as to why he didn’t publicly promote his charity, he would simply say, “I know, your mother knows… who else needs to know?”
He is survived by his adoring wife Koula; sons Dean (Yanna), Emmanuel (Kelly), George (Julie) and John (Camilla); and also his nephew Emmanuel (Branwen) Diakonis, who attended to Michael like his own father.
Michael and Koula’s family grew to include eight grandchildren: Anna Maria Yakumithis (Scott Geiger), Whitney Yakumithis, Michael (Marika) Yakumithis, Vasilia (Jeffrey) Kim, Alex Yakumithis, Marilyn Yakumithis and Sophia Yakumithis, along with one great grandchild, Maria Yakumithis.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded by his beloved granddaughter, Elena; his siblings and their spouses, Karl (Virginia), Irene (William) Diakonis, John (Mildred); and his nephews, John and Nicholas Diakonis.
Visitation will be at Coyle Funeral Home, 1770 S. Reynolds Road, on Tuesday, May 25 beginning at 2:00pm with Trisiagon Prayers at 7:00pm.
The funeral will be held on Wednesday May 26 at 11:00am with the body lying in state at 10:00am at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Fr. Larry Legakis presiding. The funeral will be streaming via YouTube here.
All proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the Greek America Foundation’s Scholarship Endowment Fund. Our Endowed Scholarships foster a love for Greece and Hellenism in students who are passionate about making a difference in the world. These scholarships aim to accomplish more than making a trip to Greece affordable — they aim to provide a life-changing experience which inspires the recipient to transform his or her community.
Please click below to make a donation to our Scholarship Endowment Fund in memory of Michael E. Yakumithis.Donate
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The Greek America Cultural and Educational Foundation [Greek America Foundation] is a 501c3 non-profit corporation in the state of New York. Federal ID #81-1672793. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Reference IRS Publication 526.
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