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Peter N.'s Story

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Peter Nicholas “Petros” Lillios, 88, a longtime Belvidere resident, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 4, 2017, after a short illness, with his loving family by his side. He was the husband of Lynda L. (Daily) Lillios, with whom he shared over 60 years of marriage.
He was born in Athens, Greece, on August 5, 1929, and was the son of the late Nicholas Lillios and the late Victoria (Balos) Lillios. He spent most of his early years in Athens, but also spent time living with his beloved grandmother in Albania. Following the death of his father when Peter was around age 12, his mother arranged for him to be secreted across the border to live with relatives in the mountain village of Labove, Albania, in order to escape the near starvation conditions in Athens due to the Nazi occupation of the city. He lived in Albania until age 17 and regained his health. The outbreak of the Greek Civil War and its resulting instability and violence exposed him to further harsh conditions. He came to the United States in 1947, living in New York City and then Concord, N.H.
Despite only receiving a 5th grade education in Greece, Peter achieved many things in his life. Notably, he achieved the rank of Sergeant in the United States Army during the Korean War. In 1956, after serving in the Korean War, he met his wife, Lynda Daily, at Fort Dix in New Jersey. She was a U.S. Army Private serving in the Women's Air Corp. Soon after they met, they settled in Boston, where they raised their four children.
In the early years of his family life, he worked as a waiter and maitre d’ in some of the finest restaurants in Greater Boston. However, he always nurtured a passionate entrepreneurial spirit, and despite several early, disappointing ventures, he ultimately founded, owned, and was president of International Totalizing Systems (ITS), a cash accountability business for coin-operated machines. He recruited a team of talented engineers from MIT who, along with many dedicated employees, helped to develop and execute his idea. Together they built a successful electronics design and manufacturing business that operated for over 40 years at locations in Newton, West Roxbury, and Haverhill.
Peter had unparalleled linguistic abilities. He was fluent in Greek, Albanian, and English and he could turn a phrase like no other. He developed an entire lexicon that showcased wit, imagery, humor, and an incisive view of human nature. He also had an impressive gift for performing complicated mathematical calculations in his head.
Peter always said that he got a tremendous education from watching television, and he enjoyed viewing nature, history, and cooking programs on the largest TV screen he could buy. He was a huge boxing fan and was a regular at the Golden Gloves at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. He enjoyed frequent and extended long-distance phone calls with his brother, and visiting casinos with his grandson. He was an outstanding chef who prepared feasts for his family and business associates, but always required a kitchen clean-up crew. He was an active member of the Haverhill Korean War Veteran’s Association, marching in many parades over the years, and he participated in establishing the Korean War Monument in GAR Park in Haverhill. He loved visiting his homeland of Greece and travelled there as often as he could.
Besides his wife, Lynda, he is survived by his four children, Victoria St. Hilaire and her husband, Timothy, of Portland, Maine, Loretta Lillios and her husband, Sam Wolman, of Natick, Nicholas Lillios of Lowell, and Christina Nolan and her husband, Bill, of Natick; his four grandchildren, Peter N. Lillios II, Maria McBride and her husband, Ben, Sofia Wolman, and Violet Nolan; his three great-grandchildren, Joseph, Winna, and Theo McBride; and his brother, William (Vasilis) Lillios and his wife, Amy, of Cleveland, Tenn. He is also survived by extended family in Concord, N.H., Tennessee, Greece, Albania, and France.
You are welcome to attend his Vistation and Memorial Service on Saturday, Dec. 2. His Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Mahoney Funeral Home, 187 Nesmith St., Lowell, MA (978-452-6361). His Funeral Service will follow and be held at 12 p.m. in the funeral home. Please visit www.mahoneyfuneralhome.com to send the family an E-condolence at any time.
Published on  November 26, 2017
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