Paul Harry Thoutsis, 85, of Worcester passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, April 13, with the people he cherished most in life—his family—close by his side.
Paul is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 58 years, Georgia (Petropoulos) Thoutsis; his son, Paul Thoutsis Jr. of Oak Bluffs; his daughter, Lana Saucier and her husband Paul Saucier Sr., his adoring grandchildren, Alana Saucier and Paul Saucier Jr., all of Worcester; a brother Nicholas Thoutsis and his wife Joanne of Worcester; a sister-in-law Carole Thoutsis of Dennis, and many nieces, nephews, and godchildren.
The youngest of five children, Paul was born in Worcester on May 27, 1937, the son of Harry and Helen (Liazos) Thoutsis. He was predeceased by his parents, and also by his brothers Timotheos and William Thoutsis, and his sister Mabel Valentgas.
Paul attended Commerce High School in Worcester, excelling in baseball and basketball, and playing for a number of school and church teams. He was especially proud to have been in the starting line-ups of three championship basketball squads in the same season—the YMCA Community League (The Jets Team), the Inter-High Freshman Loop (Grafton Street Junior High), and the Y Church League (St. Spyridon Church).
Paul worked several jobs throughout his life, starting from the age of 10 shining shoes at Union Station in Worcester. He later owned and operated Mike's Market on Lamartine Street, and Shop 29, a sandwich shop on Pearl Street. His lifelong love of feeding people continued as he worked at multiple area restaurants, including Holden Pizza in Holden, and the Eden, Shorah’s, and Viva Bene in Worcester. Paul also worked as a clerk at Central Shoe Repair where he loved being in the bustle of downtown Worcester, meeting people, telling stories, and talking politics.
When he wasn’t working, Paul loved being with his kids, spending endless hours with them playing catch, throwing batting practice, and shagging balls. Mr. T, as he was known by the kids in the neighborhood, would often facilitate neighborhood pick-up baseball games, which typically included a march up to Blithewood Park, warm-ups, batting practice, announcements of each player and their positions, and the singing of the National Anthem.
Paul’s dual love of sports and his children collided when his son started playing baseball professionally. Paul Sr. went from being in the dugout as his son’s coach to being in the stands as his son’s biggest fan. He traveled to games near and far to see Paul Jr. play, and along the way got to meet and become friends with Ted Williams, his favorite player and idol.
Though Paul was a Worcester man to the core, a big part of him was on Martha’s Vineyard, which he visited for the first time when he was 15 with his good friend and future brother-in-law, John Petropoulos. Trips to “the island” continued when he married the love of his life, Georgia, and they spent as much time as they could in Oak Bluffs, on the porch, at the beach, strolling around town, or visiting with family.
The memories continued once Paul and Georgia became grandparents, a role that Paul enjoyed with enormous pride. It was not uncommon to see Papou Paul and Yiayia Georgia with Alana and Paulie at the Flying Horses, or enjoying ice cream with them on Circuit Avenue—truly in his glory. Back in Worcester, as the grandkids got older, Paul could be found cheering them on at their games, preparing family dinners with Georgia, and reminiscing about the good old days. Or, he might be hanging out with his daughter’s dog Lola, who, truth be known, he spoiled just a little bit (they were certainly the best of friends).
Paul will be remembered by one and all as a fun-loving family man whose greatest joy was in telling stories and making people laugh. His fondest memories were of hosting and attending large family gatherings, with great food in abundance, and the sharing of many laughs. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 20, in Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 102 Russell Street, Worcester. A visitation will be held in the cathedral from 10 am until the time of the service. A private burial will be held at a later date in Oak Grove Cemetery, Oak Bluffs. Callahan Fay Caswell Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Paul’s name be made to Shriners Hospital for Children, or the Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Chapter.