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Published: Sunday, 10/3/2010

Virginia Barlos, 1926-2010: Eatery owner known for her Greek cooking

BY MIKE SIGOV
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Virginia Barlos, formerly of Maumee, a former co-owner of several restaurants in downtown Toledo and an ardent volunteer for her church and community, died of Alzheimer's disease Friday in the Parkcliffe Alzheimer's Community in Toledo. She was 83.

Ms. Barlos co-owned several restaurants in downtown Toledo from the 1950s through about 1980, including the former Lorraine Coffee Shop in the Lorraine Hotel on Jefferson Avenue and Apollo Restaurant on North Superior Street. Her business partner was her husband, Michael Barlos. He died in 2002.

She also was the regional secretary for the Ohio Lottery in Toledo from 1974 until retiring in 1994.

“Whatever she did she did with passion,” said her son Harry Barlos, a former county commissioner and clerk of courts and mayor of Maumee.

“She was probably one of the best Greek cooks in the area, so she cooked with passion and she worked hard all her life since the age of 12 and it wasn't uncommon for her to work 15 hours a day at restaurants.

“And she also worked for all my campaigns and fundraisers. I never had a fundraiser without her baklava,” Mr. Barlos said.

A native of McCaysville, Ga., Ms. Barlos, a first-generation American who was bilingual in Greek and English, moved to Toledo's Old North End as a baby with her family. She was raised in the neighborhood, graduating from Woodward High School in the mid-1940s.

In 1947, she met her future husband at a Fourth of July celebration in Los Angeles, where she was visiting her aunt and he his godfather. Mr. Barlos then followed her to Toledo, where they got married a year later, her son said.

Ms. Barlos was a lifelong member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

She was an active member of the Greek Ladies Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity Cathedral, where she was on the board of directors, led a variety of events, organized memorial luncheons, and delivered gift boxes to the homebound.

Her memberships also included the Daughters of Penelope, Tenedian Brotherhood, Holy Trinity Young at Heart, Lucas County Democratic Party, Maumee Democratic Club, Federated Democratic Women of Ohio, Democratic Business and Professional Women, Lourdes Auxiliary, and the Opera Guild.

Surviving are her daughter, Margo Foldes; son, Harry Barlos; brother, Pete Morris, and five grandchildren.

Visitation will begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home where Trisagion services start at 7 p.m.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Thursday in Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The family suggests tributes to the Alzheimer's Association.

Contact Mike Sigov at:sigov@theblade.com or 419-724-6089.



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