May 6, 1928 – March 31,2018
Nick Monios, Korean War Hero, union executive, civic leader, businessman, and inspiration to friends and family, died March 31, 2018, at the age of 89 after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. Nick was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania on May 6, 1928. He was the only child of Mary and James Monios, both from Chios, Greece, who did not meet and marry until their families had emigrated to the United States in the 1920s.
Nick spent his early years growing up in Pennsylvania during the Great Depression. At the age of 8, he took on a variety of jobs to help his recently divorced mother cope with the difficult financial realities of the time. His strong work ethic was soon apparent as he worked through an assortment of jobs from delivering newspapers and milk, shining shoes, and setting up pins in a bowling alley. Later, he worked stoking coal into the Pittsburgh steel mills.
Nick graduated from Allegheny High School in Pittsburgh and received an athletic scholarship to play football at Penn State. He later played for the semi pro team founded by Art Rooney, prior to the team gaining a franchise in the NFL as the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Nick moved to California to join his mother, who had moved from Pennsylvania in the early 1950s. With the Korean War ramping up, Nick was drafted into the Army and served with the 3rd Infantry Division as a rifleman on the front lines. He was rapidly promoted to Master Sergeant and twice shot in battle for which he received two Purple Hearts. In addition, his leadership, courage, and battlefield actions led to him being awarded the Bronze Star and Silver Star medals.
Upon his return from Korea, at the urging of his stepfather, Glen Caress, Nick became a pipefitter in the booming Southern California economy of the 1950s. His strong leadership skills and warm personality led him to quickly rise in what would become a life-long career with Local Union 250 Steam-Refrigeration-Air Conditioning & Pipe Fitters of the United Association of The United States and Canada. During his 42-year career with the union, he served multiple terms as Financial Secretary Treasurer, President of the California Pipe Trades. and President of District Council 16. He also served as Chairman of the Union Yes Federal Credit Union.
Nick’s passion for community service and recognized wisdom are reflected in the many appointments he received by elected officials including the Long Beach City Planning Commission, the Long Beach Environmental Airport Commission, the Economic Task Force, the Committee For Better City Government, and the Private Industry Council. He also committed many hours of community service through his role as Masonic Lodge Member with Lomita Lodge No 644 and Shriner as a member of the El Bekal Temple of Anaheim.
In addition, Nick was devoted to his church, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church. He was a prodigious fund raiser, which enabled the church to build its new sanctuary, school, and community center at its current location on Colorado Street in Long Beach in 1999 as part of the 50th anniversary of the church’s founding in 1949. Nick served as church president for seven terms as well as countless hours to various church committees. His leadership was key to the success of the Long Beach Greek festival, an annual event that attracts thousands of attendees every year.
Nick will be sorely missed by his many friends and extended family. Whether a group of one or hundreds, no interaction with Nick would be complete without him relating a story or joke from his vast repertoire and disarming storytelling manner. From Nick’s perspective, no conversation was over until it would end with a laugh and a smile.
Nick is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Linda. He is also survived by children Melanie Monios and Jim Monios from his first marriage to Demi and children David Hull and Melissa Monios from his subsequent marriage to Karen. His extended family includes all those who know him as “Uncle Nick,” including Jimmy, Gus, and Peter Eleopoulos, their eight children, and the many business associates he has inspired over the years.
A celebration of his life will be held on April 13, 2018 at 10 AM at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church at 5761 E Colorado St, Long Beach, CA 90814 followed by a lunch in the church community hall. Interment will follow at approximately 1:30PM at Rose Hills Memorial Park at 3888 Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA 90601.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Nick’s honor to the Building Fund of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church at the above address.