FAIRVIEW, N.J. -- Funeral services were scheduled for Friday for Sam Athanas, who owned the landmark Fairview diner The Point for 55 years.
Athanas, 86, died suddenly at his Edgewater home early Tuesday as he was planning to leave for a vacation in Greece.
Athana was born in Thisvi, Greece in March 1930.
He bought the Point in 1961 and, over the years, adorned it with nostalgic images -- including a huge Palisades Amusement Park mural in the main dining room and another enormous painting above the main entrance.
There's also the smiling caricature of him that greets all customers.
Athanas boasted of "top quality food at affordable prices and service with a smile" at The Point, which survived competition from Bergen Boulevard diners to both the north and south -- in Fairview and Ridgefield -- and was a longtime after-hours stop for generations of club-goers from both Bergen and Hudson counties.
President of the Pan Thisvian Society, Inc., Athanas was predeceased by his wife, Amelia, in 1995.
He leaves a daughter, Tina Giannaros, and her husband, Arthur; a son, George Athanas, and his wife, Joanna; five grandchildren (Samantha, James, Samuel, Thomas and Emilie) and two great-grandchildren, as well as a a brother, Louka, and his wife, Mary Athanas. George and Arthur co-managed the diner.
Visiting is scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at the A.K. Macagna Funeral Home , 495 Anderson Ave., Cliffside Park.
The funeral is 11 a.m. Friday at Ascension Greek Orthodox Church in Fairview, followed by interment in George Washington Memorial Park Cemetery in Paramus.