It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Peter Aristou on September 7th, 2020. Peter is survived by his loving wife, Lisa, of 43 years, and five children: Sophia (37), Alexander (35), Philip (33), Olympia (30), and Aphrodite (30); his son in-law (Sophia’s husband), David McLean (37), and granddaughter, Matilda McLean (4), as well as extended family in Greece and Australia.
Peter was born in Greece on Mount Pelion on January 17th, 1948. He grew up in the small village of Pouri; the youngest of four children. He will be lovingly remembered by his older brother, Manoli, who lives in Sydney, Australia with his son, Bill.
After his father, Vassili, died, Peter left school at age 14 to run the family apple farm. As a very young teenager he then left Greece to join his older brother in Australia where he spent five years learning the ropes of the restaurant business. After his time spent in Australia he then returned to Greece to complete his Greek military service.
Peter met Lisa on the small Greek island of Skiathos. Peter had opened the first scooter rental business on Skiathos, an island that only boasted one road. Lisa was a young traveling hippie who was swayed by Peter’s charm. They quickly fell in love and it wasn’t long before Peter asked Lisa to be his wife.
In 1976, Peter travelled to Canada with his soon-to-be wife, speaking limited English and with only the bags on his back. Lisa and Peter first settled in Montreal near Lisa’s sister and her family but together they sought warmer climates and moved to Vancouver where they were married in 1977. Peter (formally, Panayotis Kokalaglou) proudly became a Canadian citizen in 1981. He treasured his status as a Canadian citizen but never lost sight of his Greek heritage.
Peter was proud of his roots, and taught his children about his Greek heritage, language, and origins. He often took the entire family to Greece to meet relatives and learn about their culture. He will be greatly missed by the many cousins, nieces, nephews, and their families in Pouri.
Peter was a successful entrepreneur, running Spinnaker Restaurant in Parksville for over thirty years. He worked very hard and dedicated many hours, morning, noon, and night to support his family. The restaurant, along with his family, was his pride and joy. It became a family affair; everyone worked, even if it meant giving up weekends for the family business. Spinnaker Restaurant was dubbed the best fish & chips and Greek food in Parksville.
Peter was a loving, caring, kind and gentle soul. He was an innovator, inventor and entrepreneur, constantly finding fixes and new ways of doing. He was always curious and inquisitive. He was a philosopher and a spiritual man. He was self-motivated, ambitious and driven. He was a well-travelled man with an awareness and an acute interest in current global affairs. He always had a hunger for new knowledge, saying to his children frequently, “don’t you ever watch the news?” He loved astronomy and nature. He never ran out of ideas including opening a small bamboo, maple, and fig hobby nursery. He was a chocolatier, making his own chocolates and even enjoyed panning for gold. Peter was also active in the community where he joined StreamKeepers, walking groups, played pickleball and supported local community charities.
His neighbourhood community of Madrona Drive kept him going over his last years and he received much joy from his conversations and greetings from friendly neighbours on his daily walks.
Peter passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family. He enjoyed his last meal, his favorite Greek food while sitting on the back deck, overlooking the ocean.
Although Peter had not lived in Greece in over 50 years, the church bells rang in his home village of Pouri over the mountaintops to honour the passing of one of its beloved citizens. Peter is, and always will be, much loved and much missed.
Rest In Peace dear Peter Aristou (formally Panayotis Kokalaglou.)
We encourage anyone who would like to share their fond memories of Peter to leave a comment (eg. anecdotes, memories, warm wishes, condolences).
To send flowers to Peter's family, please visit our floral store.