Charles William Pappas

Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Sunday, October 4, 1925
Date of Death:
Saturday, February 3, 2018
92 years old


Date: Monday February 12, 2018
Time: 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home [ view map ]

Second Visitation

Date: Tuesday February 13, 2018
Time: 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Location: Co-Cathedral of St. John The Evangelist [ view map ]

Funeral Mass

Date: Tuesday February 13, 2018
Time: 10:30 am

Location: Co-Cathedral of St. John The Evangelist [ view map ]


Location: Calvary Cemetery [ view map ]

Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Sunday, October 4, 1925
Date of Death:
Saturday, February 3, 2018
92 years old
Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Sunday, October 4, 1925
Date of Death:
Saturday, February 3, 2018
92 years old

Charles William Pappas

Charles William Pappas, long-time restaurant owner and civic leader, died Saturday February 3 at the age of 92 in Rochester, MN.

Mr. Pappas was born in Worthington, MN on October 4, 1925. He later graduated from Rochester High School in 1943 and then proudly served in the US Army in the Pacific theater during World War II.

Upon returning from the Army in 1946 he joined his older brother George to operate the Old Covered Wagon Restaurant in Rochester, beginning a distinguished and successful career in the restaurant business that lasted close to 70 years.

In 1949 Charles married Mary Jo Gerlicher and in 1950 he entered Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. While at Cornell he played on the varsity basketball team and graduated in 1954 with a business degree from the School of Hotel Administration. In his sophomore year of 1951 he joined together with brothers George, Jim and Paul to open Michaels Restaurant of Rochester. Charles and Mary Jo traveled often between Ithaca and Rochester during the first three years of the restaurant. Charles remained active with the restaurant until retiring at age 88 when Michaels closed in 2014.

Mr. Pappas was a committed local business-owner and strong supporter of the Rochester community. He served on numerous boards and committees with a special focus on the development and vitality of downtown Rochester.

Mr. Pappas was particularly proud of his Greek heritage. He and Mary Jo traveled to Greece on several occasions to visit family and the village where his father was born.

In addition to being a great family man and business owner, Mr. Pappas was a life-long supporter of the University of Minnesota athletic department and men’s basketball and football teams. In the 1970’s and ‘80s he was Chairman of the Rochester Williams Fund to raise money for student athletes.

Mr. Pappas is survived by his wife of 68 years Mary Jo, son Brian Pappas (Brenda) of Winchester, MA, daughter Laurie VanDerHeyden of Rochester, daughter Barbara Hexum (Tom) of Rochester, and son Charlie Pappas (Brian) of Minneapolis.

He is also survived by grandchildren Mary Ellen (Bryan), David, Emily and Madeline VanDerHeyden, Abigail and Charlie Hexum, and Nicholas and Charlotte Pappas. He was preceded in death by parents Michael and Mary Pappas, brothers George, Jim and Paul Pappas, and sister Mary Jane De Concini.

A funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church (11 4th Ave SW, Rochester, MN 55902) with Rev. Msgr. Gerald Mahon officiating. Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Monday, February 12  in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home and one hour prior to the Mass  at the church on Tuesday. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

The Charles Pappas family would like to thank the amazing staff of Seasons Hospice and the dedicated care-givers from Home Instead Senior Care.

The family prefers contributions to either Seasons Hospice or St. John’s Catholic Church, both of Rochester.


The family of Charles William Pappas has received the following condolences.

Charlie was a wonderful man--everyone felt so special to be greeted at the entrance to Michael's or to have him stop by your table to chat or share a funny story.  I will always remember being his tennis partner for alittle doubles at Copper Mountain, CO where the Thatcher's owned a condo.  My thoughts are with his family.

Sheryl Warfield

Rochester, MN/Mesquite, NV

We want to thank Charles for his many cntributions to the city of Rochester. We enjoyed many wonderful meals at Michaels with delicious food and lovely staff. It was the place to go!

Dear aunt Mary -Jo, 

We are very sorry to hear uncle Charles passed away. I, George, and our sons Alexandros and Fanis, send you, Brian, Laurie, Barb and Charlie our sincere condolences. May his soul rest in peace, and God gives you strength to face such a loss.

My mother, Matina, always remembered yr kind hospitality while my parents' visit in Rochester.

I personally, and George, remember often yr visits in Athens and Haraka. We were very pleased to meet uncle Charles' family. Also, I remember my father Fanis teasing Laurie...

I would like to hear from you !

God bless you all !

Chrysanthi Rovatsou

George, Alexandros, Fanis Grammenos

We send our condolences to, and prayers for the family of Charles William Pappas.  May his love for you, his family, be an everlasting memory that will be with you forever and always.  "STAND''

The world would be a better place if there were more of the mold of Charles Pappas.  May all in his family and his many friends find comfort in remembering the good times, the countless positive interactions and the many fond memories that he left us  as you celebrate Charlie’s  life.

Our condolences to the Pappas family on the passing of Charles.  Every time we went to Michael's he greeted us warmly.  He was truly a gentleman and will be missed.

I worked for Charles for more then 10 years and loved it. Learned a lot about family and how much family meant to the Pappas family. I Will always remember at Christmas everyone received a ham a turkey how thoughtful is that. Charles was a class act. Rest in peace


Debra Arch



He was a class act and one of the sharpest men I have ever met.  Rest in peace Charles

Mr. Pappas was a great man, and will be missed.  Michael's was always the place to eat in Rochester, and Mr. Pappas was always kind enough to stop by the table to say hello.  I send my prayers, blessings and condolences to this great family.  What a wonderful man with memories stretching worldwide.  -Marina Elwood Carson, Omaha NE

Mr. Pappas was a true caring human being who left a positive mark on those who knew him.  I am grateful for giving me a job at his famous restaurant which allowed me to attend college in Rochester.  Thank you for being a caring person and treating me and everyone else with respect.  I hope your children and grandchildren follow your exemplary life.  I remember you being a devoted fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.  This is not mentioned anywhere, why?  

We are saddened by the news of the passing of Charles.  He was a special person to all of those in Rochester.











I was so sorry to read and hear of Chuck's passing. My parents Marva and Bill Minor were friends of his and loved going to Michael's Restaurant to have a wonderful meal, and I recall many celebrations we'd go there to enjoy. When I was doing my pageants he wanted to sponsor me and I was so grateful, and when I won he was so proud and told me so. That I'll never forget.He was a dear, sweet, personable soul and he will be dearly missed.

I read Mr. Pappas being referred to as "the consummate host." How very appropriate. I will always remember Mr. Pappas for warmly greeting my family whenever we dined at Michael's (I learned to love Greek food because of that great restaurant). Always a smile on his face, Mr. Pappas was a very personable, classy man. My sincerest condolences to the Pappas family.    

Mary Jo,

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Chuck. Our family loved and adored him.

Mary Jo, if you remember, you visited my mother days before her passing. You played tennis with her during her final months. She was Betty Kincaid.

Our family feels you pain at the loss of a truly wonderful gentleman.

Libby and Brian Stinson.


I am saddened to hear of Charles passing away. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. When I sold liquor and wine to him at Michaels, he treated me with respect, trust, and fairness. I could always count on him stopping at our table at Michaels and sharing a few words with us. He will be missed.

Heartfelt sympathy in the loss of your dear Charles! 

Mary Jo, Brian, Laurie, Barb, and Charlie - I have fond memories of growing up on 13th Ave, and of many meals, events, and celebrations at Michael’s. Charles was always so gracious and kind...a true gentleman.

Blessings to all the family. Carol Hiley Fitzgerald

I worked for Charles Pappas many years ago at Michaels Restaturant.  He was a manager/owner I deeply respected.  He was the type of boss that would roll up his sleeves and help out where needed, whether it was to set tables after we bussed them, clean dishes on the line when there was a back-up, deliver food to help the service staff.  Not alot of leaders like Charles Pappas.  He will be missed in the hospitality industry.  He will be missed by many family and friends.  My condolences to his family!!

Charles was a fountain of knowledge. Omar and I were both very fond of him. He was old school hospitality that you don't encounter any more. Rest in Peace, dear man.

Charles was my boss for 17 years and also was a man I have always respected so much, I have been greatly affected by his influence in my life, such a class act! God bless Charles!

Sorry to hear of Charle's passing. Condolences to the Pappas family. Charles was a high school classmate of my mother, always treated my family very kindly.