William C. Dilios, 74: Escaped communist Albania, established local eateries
PORTLAND — William C. Dilios, 74, of Portland, died Sept. 18, at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice in Scarborough with his family by his side.
The son of Christos and Ekaterina Dilios, he was born on April 17, 1939, in Politsani, Albania, an ethnic-Greek town near the Greek border.
In 1957, after a challenging childhood in communist Albania, Dilios and his brother James escaped over the mountains into Greece on their third attempt. Reuniting with his father in America, Dilios owned and operated Christy's Restaurant on Cumberland Ave. with his brother until 1975.
Dilios purchased Patsy's Country Store in South Windham with his wife Pat, and they enjoyed a close relationship with their employees and customers for over 15 years. He was proud to help his sons, Chris and Andrew, establish The Pizza Barn in Buxton. Dilios worked with his sons until his retirement in 1997. In 2009, he put his apron back on to cook with his son Andrew at Olympic Pizza in Scarborough.
Dilios had a zest for life, and he will be remembered by friends for his quick wit, humor and occasional sarcastic quips. He was very proud to be an American citizen and was forever excited about all this country had to offer, but his heart was always with his family and friends in Politsani. He felt blessed to finally be reunited with his sister, Marianthi Cala, and her family when they emigrated to America in 1991. Dilios returned to Politsani with his daughter Kathy for a memorable homecoming in 1992.
He was an avid Boston sports fan and enjoyed many trips with his sons and their friends to watch games at Fenway and the old Garden. He indulged in following harness and thoroughbred racing, and he even tried his luck with golf. He was a fantastic candlepin bowler, where his powerful shot and scattering of pins earned him the nickname “Wild Bill.” In his later years, he enjoyed watching his grandson Matthew play baseball, soccer and hockey. Dilios loved to cook for family and friends, and especially enjoyed passing along those traditions and recipes to his granddaughter, Arianna.
Dilios was a Past President and 50-year member of the H.W. Longfellow Chapter of the Order of AHEPA. He was a 50-year member of Triangle Lodge, No. 1, A.F. & A.M. He was a communicant of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Portland, where he was a former board member and fixture at the annual Greek Festival.
He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Patricia; children Christos and wife Sheila, of Portland, Andrew, of Scarborough and Katherina, of Gray; brother and best friend James Dilios and wife Jean, of Windham; grandchildren Arianna and Matthew Dilios and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to convey their sincere thanks to Dr. Thomas Ryan, Heidi and the staff at MaineHealth Cardiology for their outstanding care, compassion and guidance over the past 17 years. Thanks to Dr. Robert Fraser and Beth at InterMed. A heartfelt thank you to Carrie and Annie at VNA, as well as the staff at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House.
At his request, services will be private. Donations in his memory may be made to: American Heart Association 51 US Route One, Suite M Scarborough, ME 04074.