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Biographies K-M

Karcanes, John

Information from Andover News and family

Pictures from family

Submitted by William Greene
 
On December 22, 1894 in Nopolis, Greece, John G. Karcanes was born.  He was the son of George & Fotine Karcanes.  He left Greece in 1912 and arrived in New York City on May 29, 1912 and then traveled to Urbana, Ohio where he worked for his uncle for three years.

Upon his arrival to this country, he immediately purchased Greek-English language books and proceeded teaching himself to speak, read and write English.

In 1915, John came to Andover and with his uncle, James Karcanes and purchased the Sugar Bowl from Nick Cretekos.  The Sugar Bowl was a store that was built in 1908 and was part of the Theatre Block that was built by Scott Prest, which stood on the corner of Greenwood and Main Sts.

On May 26, 1918 John was inducted into the U.S. Army and assigned to Co. 36, 9th Training Battalion, 153rd Depot Brigade. John fulfilled his military requirements and was discharged at Camp Dix, N.J. on September 14, 1918.

In 1919, John went back to Ohio and married the former Penelope Rozakis, bringing her back to Andover to establish their home.

In 1922, John assumed the business alone from his uncle James as James went back to his native Greece.  Shortly afterwards, John purchased the entire business block from the owners, C.E. Brown and Raymond Snyder.

In 1926 he installed an ice making plant and also operated the theatre, which featured stage shows and silent movies.

In 1927 a new era was ushered in when “talking pictures” were presented in the local theatre along with weekly dances being held at the dance hall as well as roller-skating.

In 1931 when the depression rolled around, John was forced to relinquish the business block back to the former owners Brown & Snyder, but still continued his business of making candy, ice cream and running a restaurant that served cold sandwiches of every kind.  In 1933, with the repeal of prohibition, John was the second applicant in Allegany County to receive a beer license.

The Sugar Bowl was always a friendly place. When you came through the front door, John would greet you with a friendly “Hi” and a smile. 

On August 2, 1965 John had been in business for 50 years at the same location, and was recognized in the Andover News with a front-page spread. All of page 3 of the same paper was composed of over 30 other businesses in Andover thanking John on his great success.

Besides his wife and three children George, Fotine and Kaliopy helping him in his business he also had the following people helping; Sadie Vickers, Harry Joyce, Lenford Horton, Everett Clair, Carl Hann, James B. Mulholland, Art Downer, Joe and Charles Manroe and Rilma DeRemer through out the years.

In July of 1968 John was made Grand Marshal of the 4th of July Parade, an honor that was well deserved.

Then on September 16, 1969, John was awarded a certificate from the Lynch-Burgett Post 397 of Andover, N.Y. for having served 50 years in the Andover post of the American Legion.  John loved his country and made sure his children did along with their children. Two of John’s children served in WW II.  George served in the Navy and Kaliopy served in the Coast Guard.  His granddaughter Penny Hames served in Viet Nam as a nurse, and grandson Chris Karcanes was in the Army from 1979-1983.  Great grandson James Karcanes serves as a Capt. in the Army.

On September 24, 1969 John G. Karcanes passed away and was buried in Valley Brook Cemetery by his lovely wife, who died October 30, 1958.

John always took an active interest in the local community, joining in programs for civic betterment, and his cheery smile and “Hello” were a permanent fixture on Andover’s Main Street.  He always put in long hours at his place of business and his place of business was always busy.

After John’s death, his two daughters, Fotine and Kaliopy ran the business.  Then on May 6, 1980 Fotine died and Kaliopy sold the business to Fred Baker and John Hyland.  In 1982 the Corner Bar was sold to Dee Dee Wallace, who ran a bar there until the building was torn down in 1983. 

I’d like to know how many Andover school graduates could remember going to John’s for an ice cream or a bottle of soda after a basketball game.  I’m sure the number is very high.

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