Angelos James Vlahakis

Restaurateur, Educator

Caring husband, father, grandfather, friend and mentor, left our world April 1, 2021, at the age of 93.  Born to James E. and Penelope (Skoumbis) Vlahakis in 1927, he was a life-long Lansing area resident.  He was preceded in death by his loving and devoted wife of 53 years, Betty (Yeotis) and is survived by his children, Angela (Gary) Bigelow and James C. (Stacy) Vlahakis; grandchildren, Evan and Ian; sisters, Joann Tarlidgis and Lorraine Behan; brother-in-law, Judge Thomas (Meg) Yeotis; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.

Angelos was a 1945 graduate of Sexton High School and a 1951 graduate of MSU with a BA from The School of Hospitality Business.  He proudly served in the U.S. Army Air Force and the National Guard.

After a successful 40-year career at Lansing’s award-winning Jim’s Tiffany Place restaurant, he was recruited to join the faculty of MSU’s renowned School of Hospitality Business (SHB) to share his industry knowledge.  He established SHB’s nationally recognized Student and Industry Resource Center (SIRC) and retired from MSU as SIRC Director Emeritus.

Angelos had three families…his immediate family whom he dearly loved and his extended families of former employees and students, with whom he kept in contact.  Among the honors he most cherished were the Travel/Holiday Magazine Award for Fine Dining; SHB Faculty of the Year; Michigan Restaurant Association Teacher of the Year; SHB Wall of Fame Honoree and Distinguished SHB Alumnus.

He was a founding director, past president and life member of the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum.  Angelos was a life member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and the Order of AHEPA (American Hellenic Progressive Association).

The love and support of his wife, Betty, children, and grandchildren were paramount in his life.  He often commented on being the luckiest man alive for being married to Betty.  Known to many as Ange or Angie, his love of music had a deep impact on his son James who shared his love of jazz music, where both Ange and James attended concerts together.  Over the years both James and daughter Angela followed his lead by combining their mother’s cooking skills with Ange’s love for entertaining friends with hospitality. He will be missed by so many friends and family.   Like all grandparents, he adored his grandsons Evan and Ian and was proud of their accomplishments.

The funeral service will be held at 12:00 p.m., on Friday, April 9, 2021, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1701 E. Saginaw St., Lansing, with Rev. Fr. Mark Sietsema officiating.  Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery.  The Trisagion will be held at the Church starting at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.  The funeral will be available by live stream at  In lieu of flowers, friends who wish to join in celebrating this life so fully lived may remember Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church or the MSU/SIRC Angelos and Betty Endowment Fund c/o The School of Hospitality Business, 232 Eppley, MSU, East Lansing, MI  48824-1121.

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2 Messages to “Angelos James Vlahakis

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Patricia Willard
April 2, 2021 at 8:13 pm

Even at 93, Ange’s passing came as a shock to me. I called and spoke to him this past Tuesday just to chat. As always, his attitude was upbeat, happy and grateful. “It’s a beautiful sunny day and it’s great to be alive” was his response when I asked how he was doing. Ange shared on this call as with other calls how thankful he was to have daughter Angela taking such great care of him. I ended the call by saying that everyone from church misses and loves you – I was able to sense his huge, beaming smile.
We still do Ange, love and miss you! May your memory be eternal.
Pat Willard
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

Nancy Vogl
April 6, 2021 at 11:32 am

James and Angela… This is Don and Sally Randall’s oldest child, Nancy. My deepest condolences for the loss of your amazing father, Angie.

As our parents were dear friends, I have the fondest memories of all of them together. Your dad and mine were particularly close.

Sending you the warmest of thoughts and prayers as you mourn the passing of your dad… as well as celebrate a beautiful life well-lived.


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