Arthur N. Samios, well-known Westminster businessman

August 09, 1993

Arthur N. Samios, a prominent Westminster businessman and longtime member of the Baltimore area's Greek community, died Saturday of respiratory failure at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 91.

Mr. Samios, who was know as "Tass," remained active until his hospitalization, driving around Westminster daily to check on his family's businesses. An outgoing man, he was a fixture in the town, where he had lived for more than 70 years.

"He was extraordinary," said his son, William Samios, a pharmacist. "Everyone knew him. Everyone always knew someone who had worked for him."

A native of the Greek island of Kythera, Mr. Samios followed his two older brothers to Westminster in 1920 by way of Australia, where he spent a year with relatives.

In Westminster, the brothers operated The Candy Kitchen, a Main Street confectionery established by their father after the turn of the century.

When his brothers left Westminster for new business ventures, Mr. Samios operated the business himself until 1938 when he converted it into a restaurant, the Royal Grill.

He married Julia Pappas of Baltimore in 1939. In 1947, the couple opened the Samios Food Market, a grocery and liquor store, on Westminster's Green Street.

It quickly became a gathering place for friends. The couple operated the store while raising three sons in a Federal style home on Westminster's Main Street, where Mr. Samios lived until his death.

He was devoted to his family -- immediate and extended -- and retained close ties to relatives who maintained the family home in Greece as well as to cousins scattered around the United States.

The youngest of three sons, he was particularly delighted that he had three sons of his own and then three grandsons.

"I think he always thought more of his family and friends that he thought of himself. He didn't care about success or wealth. His friends and his family were everything," said Nicholas A. Samios, his oldest son and a Westminster businessman.

In 1967, the family opened the House of Liquors at the newly built Carroll Plaza shopping center on Route 140. He remained involved in that business after his retirement as well as in other ventures of his sons, including Country Liquors, Maggie's Restaurant and Cranberry Liquors, all in Carroll County.

He planted a bountiful garden for many years and was particularly proud of a lemon tree he grew from the seeds of a tree he had planted in Greece as a boy, and a fig tree that still flourishes.

Mr. Samios was on a number of occasions honored by his sons with large parties to mark special occasions, the most recent being his 90th birthday in 1992.

Ebullient as always, Mr. Samios and his wife took to the dance floor, where he demonstrated his considerable skills in ballroom and traditional Greek dancing.

He was active in Greek and American fraternal organizations.

He was a founding member of the Blue Ridge Chapter of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, traveling to many cities in the United States to attend its annual conventions as a delegate.

In 1965, when the AHEPA held its first convention ever in Athens, he made his first return trip to Greece. Subsequently he returned a number of times, first with his wife, then with his sons and grandsons.

He was a member of the John H. B. Latrobe Masonic Lodge and Boumi Temple in Baltimore and the Western Maryland Shrine in Westminster.

He was a founder of the Beehive Club in Westminster and belonged to the Knights of Pythias, Civitan, Elks and Loyal Order of the Moose.

He also was a member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Baltimore.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons, Nicholas A. Samios and Peter G. Samios, both of Westminster, and William A. Samios of Baltimore; and three grandsons.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Pritts Funeral Home, 412 Washington Road, Westminster.

The family suggested memorial donations to the Cathedral of the Annunciation, 24 W. Preston St., Baltimore 21201.

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