Gus Coutrakis, 75, entered into rest August 31, 2014 at his self constructed hillside home near Lake Don Pedro. His beloved wife and best friend of 30 years, Vicki (Seagraves) Coutrakis was embracing him as he left his finger prints on our world. Also by his side, his devoted dog of 12 years Tula, who protected him, followed him and unbelievably understood him when others had no idea what he was saying…..
He was predeceased by his parents Joseph & Maria Coutrakis and his prideful youngest brother George (19) who gave his life fighting in the Viet Nam war in 1967, and his first wife of 24 years Carol (Cardoza) Coutrakis.
On the island of Crete,Greece, Gus was born in his parents’ home on June 3, 1939. He began his life in the United States at the age of 8 when his family immigrated to San Francisco. Shortly thereafter they made their home in Ripon, CA. Gus & his brothers Steve, Tony and George with their two Sisters Despina (Silva) and Helen (Caetano) all attended Ripon Elementary & Ripon High Schools.
Gus was a hard worker holding down 2 jobs for many years, until he decided to become a business owner/operator. His love for cooking led him into a small deli business. Eventually that evolved into a restaurant but a few years later he scaled his business down to just event catering.
Gus was also an outdoorsman. He couldn’t wait for his next fishing trip or out-of-state hunting excursion. He had shelves of photo albums filled with pictures of friends, family members and a wide variety of trophied animals. He would tell stories and repeat the stories, about the hunts, the catch and the ones that got away. The “only” time he would sit in front of a television was to watch hunting videos, cleary the reason that the rewind button was worn out on every remote.
Sixteen years ago Gus had his first stroke, leaving his left side partially paralyzed. At that time he started collecting antique whiskey bottles, growing his collection of decorative whiskey bottles to hundreds, maybe even the thousands. Although he was partially paralyzed he
slowly managed to build shelves and cabinets so his collection could be strategically displayed throughout his home and out buildings.
The finger prints Gus left behind as a caring, sharing, loving father, by living his life as a hard worker, an emotionally strong individual, never ever a quitter and be generous to others while encouraging us to make our world a better place for “the next generation”. His children, Gus Coutrakis Jr. (Anna), Joseph Coutrakis, Arlene Machado (Joe) & Julie Mayfield (Steve) are alive with your memories.
“The next generation” as a family inherited the fun times, good food, strong mind, loud gatherings and stubborn nature of the Greek’s from one man. You may think it’s Hercules or Zeus, but for our family it was Papa Gus our Pappou (Greek) any way you say it, there are many reasons we are proud to call him Grandfather. Alive and loving you forever, Kalie w/baby (Daniel), Evin (Cortni), Emily, Kamie, Keaton, Kristopher, Brandon, Kaitlynn & Bryce.
The Coutrakis family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff of the Susan B. Cohen Hospice House and United Samaritans Village. Their dedication and effort to provide quality care over the last 2 months has been a heartfelt blessing during this difficult time.
This extended Obituary is the families way of sharing a part of Gus with you as they honor his request to have a private family service.
In lieu of flowers please make donations in his memory to Susan B. Cohen House or your favorite charity.