Paul peacefully released his soul to the Lord on July 2 and left behind a legacy of love and giving spirit to everyone that had the privilege to meet him throughout his life. He is survived by his only sibling, George Voulgaris and George's wife Jackie. On Paul's wife's side he is survived by the Bangos family, Nall family, and Bayes family, consisting of many nieces, nephews, and cousins here in Tampa Bay, Detroit, and in Greece. Paul came from humble surroundings in Volos, Greece near Mt. Pelion (the home of Jason and the Argonauts and the Centaur (the half-man half-horse teacher of all kings of Greece)....
Paul peacefully released his soul to the Lord on July 2 and left behind a legacy of love and giving spirit to everyone that had the privilege to meet him throughout his life. He is survived by his only sibling, George Voulgaris and George's wife Jackie. On Paul's wife's side he is survived by the Bangos family, Nall family, and Bayes family, consisting of many nieces, nephews, and cousins here in Tampa Bay, Detroit, and in Greece.
Paul came from humble surroundings in Volos, Greece near Mt. Pelion (the home of Jason and the Argonauts and the Centaur (the half-man half-horse teacher of all kings of Greece). Paul's father, Demetrios, and mother, Filomila managed their own grocery store where Paul grew up helping his father bring fruits, vegetables, and olives from his grandfather's mountain properties carried by their donkey. Paul's personality was like his father in many ways--soft, gentle, kind and giving to everyone. He acquired his business savvy from his mother.
As a child, he experienced first-hand the horrors of war during WWII with bombings, destruction, and death. First the Italians came, then the Germans. After the war the Communists invaded and kidnapped children to take back to Russia and brainwash them against their families in Greece so they could return to fight their own blood. He managed to survive all these invasions and keep his loving personality in tact.
His parents divorced when he was 16. Then Filomila moved to Pireaus, Greece with George. Paul followed shortly after. They were very poor and suffered many hardships. They lacked warm clothes, and In the cold rainy and snowy winters, he only wore sandals without socks on his feet. These times were difficult but helped him develop his "street smart" skills which he kept with him through all his remaining years.
He served in the Greek Navy between 1958-1960 earning a whopping $1.50/month. Upon his honorary discharge, he worked on merchant passenger ships between 1952-1962 as a stewart. In 1961, he met his wife, Anna, who was a passenger on the ship TSS Olympia. She was currently living in Detroit, Michigan earning her living as a professional tailor and seamstress.
They married in 1961 in New York. After obtaining his visa, he left Greece on the TSS Olympia, disembarked in New York, and joined his wife in Detroit. While there, he worked at two very prestigious restaurants, Kings Inn and Joe Muer as a maitre d, from 1961-1972.
Like so many immigrants, he and Anna worked hard and saved their money patiently for a better life. They purchased their first motel in Clearwater Beach, FL in 1972 and named it Ann's Edgewater Motel. Paul later obtained his real estate and broker license and sold commercial and residential properties under the name of Paul's Real Estate from 1976 to 2006. During that time, he purchased his second motel next to the first.
He and Anna sold their motel in 2006, the same day he was having quadruple by-pass surgery and moved to their condo in Island Estates, Clearwater where they remained until their illnesses forced them to go into Assisted Living and Nursing Homes.
His wife, Anna, being Macedonian, Paul adopted her heritage as his own with all the zeal of a true patriot. He helped to create the Macedonian Society-Florida, Inc in Clearwater. He was a proud and very active participant in the Society. He served as Assistant Vice President from about 1980 to 1990, and as Governor for another 15 years until 2006. While there, his dedication and hours of service were recognized by many people covering all the southeast states of the United States. His "family" was always growing.
After his wife died at Suncoast Hospice, Paul later sold his condo and moved to Mease Manor until his death. During all this time, he had to endure dialysis 3-4 times a week. At this time, Jackie and I would like to express my thanks to all the people who became important additions to his always growing "family". You showed him much love and gave him and us so much support during his years with you. He enjoyed the teasing and attention and felt safe and at home with all of you. This new "family" includes the people at the Gulfcoast Dialysis Center, the Mease Manor Assisted Living and the Mease Manor Continuing Care, Bill Kimpton's law office, Mease Dunedin Hospital and Suncoast Hospice. You all helped him maintain independence and quality of life to the end. Thank you so much.
Paul was a man who loved to party and loved people He especially had a tender place in his heart for the ladies, but always remained a gentleman. Paul and Anna gave many parties in their home in Detroit and at their Clearwater motel. There was always an abundance of homemade Greek food and sharing with family and strangers. They loved to celebrate and share their Greek hospitality (Filoksenia) with everyone.
He also loved to go the Casinos and pull the arms of the slot machines. He took many trips to Las Vegas, Biloxi, Hard Rock, and the Greek casino of Thessalonika. He loved to travel with friends and family, and many times generously paid for their travel and hotels.
He was also a member of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Clearwater.
Wherever Paul was in his life, he was a giver. He remembered everyone. He never complained, even though during his last several years, he was very sick with so many terminal diseases. As a business negotiator, he was tough and as strong as they come. He never lost his sharpness when it came to money even to the end. Yet he was so childlike in many ways--loving, mischievous, stubborn, gentle, trusting, and innocent. It's his childlike qualities, gentle fatherly voice and love for people that made him so endearing to everyone.
So I say to you, Paul, you were and are so loved by so many. You and Anna were truly "The Diamonds of Greece" as you had it engraved on your tombstone. You always wanted to be surrounded by love, and you succeeded beyond your wildest imagination. We know you are in heaven and you have a banquet table set for all your family and friends, old and new, up there overflowing with all your favorite food: lamb, goat, bougatsa, baklava, tiropita, moustokouloura, Greek coffee, Retsina,Tsipouro, and all the gallons of water your big heart desires! We celebrate your life with us here and up there in heaven. Good bye, our dear brother. Until we meet again. Opa!
DONATIONS IN LIEU OF FLOWERS
Macedonian Society-Florida, Inc.
1895 Virginia Ave
Clearwater, FL 33763
Checks payable to: Macedonian Society-Florida, Inc.
in memory of Paul Voulgaris
Suncoast Hospice Foundation
5771 Roosevelt Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33760
Checks Payable to: Suncoast Hospice Foundation
in memory of Paul Voulgaris
or online at