Gus A. Chafoulias

Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Monday, September 16, 1935
Date of Death:
Friday, December 11, 2020
85 years old


Date: Monday December 14, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: Hilton Hotel [ view map ]


Location: Oakwood Cemetery


  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Chafoulias Family will NOT be attending the public visitation

  • There will be a private family funeral service

Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Monday, September 16, 1935
Date of Death:
Friday, December 11, 2020
85 years old
Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Monday, September 16, 1935
Date of Death:
Friday, December 11, 2020
85 years old

Gus A. Chafoulias

Gus Andrew Chafoulias passed away peacefully at Mayo Clinic Hospital, St. Marys Campus on Friday, December 11 at the age of 85 years old.

Gus was born in Rochester, Minnesota in 1935 to Andrew and Anna Chafoulias. He graduated from Rochester High School in 1953 and then completed two years of college. He also served with the United States Army for two years until 1960.

Gus’s strong work ethic began as a child with doing dishes at his father’s diner, North Crystal, and stocking shelves at his father’s other business, Andy’s Liquor. At the young age of 21 years old, he took over his father’s liquor store. This was the start of his love with running businesses and being a developer. Gus’s Greek immigrant parents instilled in him to work hard and that showed every day of his life. He loved to work and felt too busy to ever retire.

Gus was known for being a “man of vision”. He helped transform the city of Rochester through ideas like introducing the skyway system and developing premier hotels. His passion for delivering great guest experiences, building strong partnerships, and treating his employees well all aided in his success of developing over 50 properties in the city and throughout.

Gus was honored with many local awards and recognitions. He earned the national Ellis Island Medal of Honor, because Gus exemplified the mission statement; “Individuals who have made it their mission to share with those less fortunate, their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents, and selfless generosity. They do so while acknowledging their debt to their ethnic heritage as they uphold the ideals and spirt of America”.

Generosity was another admired characteristic of Gus. He was involved with numerous non-profit organizations and a faithful member of the Greek Orthodox Church. His genuine care for others and love for God was unmatched.  Gus was also an avid fan and supporter of the Golden Gopher Football team.

Family, friends, and his dog (Sarge) were a significant part of Gus’s life. He and his former wife, Ann Collins Chafoulias, raised their children in Rochester. Gus left a legacy of being an incredible community leader who innovated the city of Rochester. He made a positive impact that his family will always be proud of by mentoring many young Rochester entrepreneurs. He thrived in seeing their successes.

Gus is survived by his son, Andy Chafoulias (fiancé Kelly Miles); daughter, Ann Koury; son-in-law, Mark Fister; his brothers, Jim Chafoulias and Ted (Dianne) Chafoulias; sisters, Kalliope Chafoulias and Mary Chafoulias; and five grandchildren: Michele Koury, Marie Koury, Taylor Chafoulias, Carter Miles, and Peyton Miles. He is also survived by his former wife, Ann. Gus was preceded in death by his daughter, Cindy Fister, and his parents, Andrew and Anna Chafoulias.

A private family funeral service will be held at Sts. Kosmas & Damianos Greek Orthodox Church. The visitation will be held in the Hilton hotel, Noseworthy Ballroom, 10 East Center Street, Rochester on Monday, December 14 from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Chafoulias family will not be attending the public viewing because of COVID-19 restrictions. COVID-19 policies will be followed by having a continuous walk line.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Sts. Kosmas & Damianos Greek Orthodox Church, 703 W Center St, Rochester, MN 55902 or memorial gifts can be designated for pulmonary fibrosis research at Mayo Clinic. Memorials can be made online at or mailed to Department of Development, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905.

The Chafoulias family wishes to thank the Mayo Clinic for the great care he has received over his lifetime.

On-line condolences are welcome at


The family of Gus A. Chafoulias has received the following condolences.

Our deepest condolences to the Chafoulias family.  Gus was such an advocate for the city, church and family.  He will join all the gentlemen that have passed through our lives. 

He will be eternally missed ....

Koula, Maria and Eleni Magaritsidis

Our families have a long history.  I remember Gus telling me how much he admired my grandfather, John Demetrius Pougiales.  He grew up with all the old Greeks who did so much for Rochester.  He and I were privileged to know so many of them.  Gus has now joined their ranks - gone but never to be forgotten.  May he rest in peace. 

Andy and family,

I am truly sorry for your loss.  Your father Gus was a giant of a man in Rochester, and the community is ever grateful for his help in making it the place it is today.  He instilled a sense of compassion and support that you bring for those who are in need.  Blessings to your family as you say your goodbyes to your father.


Cindy Russell

The Reading Center/Dyslexia Institute of MN


Dear Andy and family,

We extend our heartfelt sympathy to you and your entire family. Your dad was a long-standing friend and neighbor.

He was a generous charter donor to the annual Neel Distinguished Research Lecture fund of the American Academy of Otolaryngology (ENT) and attended the inaugural lecture in 1992. He understood clearly the value of research and education.

He was kind and generous to his many friends and was genuinely modest, despite his great and innovative professional success. We shall miss him.

Very sincerely, Ingrid and Bryan Neel

My sincere condolences to the Chafoulias family.  I had the opportunity to work with Gus on various development projects in the community, and always appreciated his willingness to work together to make Rochester a great community. At different times, we may have seen things from a different perspective, and could be discussing something and not necessarily agree, but I could see Gus shortly after a meeting and he would greet me like a long lost friend.

He will be missed.

Chafoulias Family, 

Our prayers are that God will life you up in your deep grief and sadness. We will miss our beloved Gus, who we loved and respected. May he rest in peace with our heavenly Father. 

Love and Sympathy, 

Dena and Tessie Mamasis

Dear Chafoulias Family, 

I unfortunately was only able to meet Gus once during my time in Rochester, but I experience his work and impact downtown every day. I hope we will all continue his legacy of lifting up and supporting Rochester. He loss will be felt downtown for a long time to come. 


Holly Masek

Gus was the most kind man I’ve met in 30 years. His business acumen will never be surpassed. He helped my mentally challenged brother get housing many years ago.  His donations to charities were amazing.  What a kind, and good man. I’m sure he had his faults(Don’t we all?), but he was a unique character that made a huge impact on people’s lives.  And an impact on Rochester, Minnesota.

I can’t believe you are gone, but I know that you are with God, and that makes me so happy! God bless you and your children!!

Ted, Diane, Jimmy, Cal, Mary, Andy, Anne:

Our deepest sympathy’s to all of you. I (Annie, Diane’s sister) remember seeing Gus at many of Diane and Teds Christmas Eve parties years ago, it seems like only yesterday. He was a big part of Rochester’s growth and helped making it the beautiful city it is today. You have so much to be proud of. All our prayers with all of you and your families in this time of loss. 
All our love, Ann Doring-Archer and Wes Archer

Our hearts go out to your family during this difficult time. Wishing you all peace and comfort. 

Hello Dad!

This is a sad time right now, I will miss the time we had. They were times always filled with laughter and love. I will miss the small thing like you coming into eat and telling everyone I was you son and putting me into head locks, whisper in my ear to ask me someone name because you didn't want them to feel forgot. I wish we could've spent more time together, there are so many questions i still have. Things won't be the same but I will always remember how you treated me and the respect you gave. Rest easy big guy!

Gus was a very important person to many, including me.

I always liked referring to Gus as “Rochester’s Godfather” as he helped so many and was so highly respected and revered by everyone. 

Throughout my career Gus has actively gone out of his way to help me and to provide advice, encouragement and guidance. 

I will forever be grateful for Gus helping us bring West Bank to Rochester and also serving as a founding West Bank Rochester Director. Gus was also our very first West Bank Rochester customer.  

I will deeply miss Gus. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to learn from him, be inspired by him and to be entertained by him.  Gus was a lot of fun to laugh with and just a really great guy. 

Dave Nelson



My heart felt condolences to the Chafoulias family. Gus a significant friend to the DAV Mayo Southeast Chapter 28. With out Gus's support for veterans in Southeast MN many of the financial and outreach programs could not have been accomplished. Gus honored our veterans in so many positive ways. Gus never gave helping a veteran a second thought and he instilled that in all his employees as well as anyone that had the opportunity to work or meet Gus.

Gus rest in peace you have service your Community and Country with honor and dignity. God Bless. 


My heart felt condolences to you and your family.  I have so many fond memories of your dad, especially Saturday afternoons and Holidays when he would greet people at the store. 

I also remember very well when he walked me through the Radisson construction site and how excited he was to change the face of downtown Rochester.  Having a new restaurant like Meadows with a high end wine list was another dream come true.


Also remember a fund raising dinner he helped sponsor with Charlie Trotter at Tom and Elon Harmon's house for Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that Elon suffered from.  I helped do prep work in the kitchen and with clean-up, it was quite the spread!  It is a strong memory, as it was on my 40th birthday.


I want to thank you and Gus for every opportunity you have provided me through Andy's Liquor.  He was a great man that accomplished many things in his lifetime.  Rochester would not be the city it is today without people like Gus.

Best regards,

Jeff Swantko

My prayers are with your family during this time. Gus was truly a man among men; I was given the opportunity to work for him for a short time not long ago and was able to see how kindly he treated everyone around him this was truly amazing. There is not a person that worked for him that ever wanted to let Gus down; out of true respect for him and how he treated everyone they always wanted to make him proud. He will be truly missed in the communities and lives he has touched throughout his many wonderful years. 


Gus, you will be missed by all and forgotten by no one.  You were a man of integrity and were greatly respected by all that came in contact with you.  My deepest regrets to you and the entire Chafoulias family.

My sincere condolences to The Chafoulias family.   I met Mr. Gus Chafoulias when I was approximately 16 years old while working in the Galleria Mall.  He always was a kind person to me and my Mother,  who also worked within the Galleria Mall and helped him with his suits at Juster's.  I looked upon him with great respect since I was young and started working.  Saddened to hear of his passing, as he was truly a generous and legendary man in the Rochester, MN area.  My sympathies and peace for healing during this time.  Respectfully, Amy Mayer 

First off condolences to the Chafoulias family during this difficult time. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. I can honestly say I don't remember much of my childhood without Gus's presences. My dad and Mike started Prosthetic Labs when I was just 4 years old, needless to say there were countless hours spent sitting around during meetings with the 3 of them. I still can remember Gus's office back in the 80's! I was always greeted with a open arms and a big hug; and always extra tootsie rolls when going to Andy's. The world was definitely a better place because of Gus!

My most sincere condolences, 

Andi (Amundson) DeBoer

Sincerest condolences on the recent loss of Gus. May all of your sadness be lifted by the multitude of loving memories of your time together here on earth. He will be missed for too many reasons to count by those of us grateful for his contributions to the Rochester Community. Have faith that you will see him again. 

With Kind Regards, 

Leslie McGillivray-Rivas

Andy, Ann and Mark you have my sympathy. Gus was one of a kind - compassionate, caring, and full of energy. He truly cared about not only his businesses but his employees. He always had time for them. I truly loved working for him the 4 years I did. Gus had not only a love for Rochester but also Mayo. He was a great partner with many there. R.I.P. Gus - you will be missed.

A friend of mine and so many others.  Rest in peace Gus!

My condolences to the family as Gus was a true mentor and inspiration for me. My brief encounters were educational, humorous and life changing. My debt of gratitude to Gus for allowing me to learn from him was priceless. I wouldn’t be surprised if the gates of heaven will be remodeled to better suit the angels.  God bless you Gus and family...Kurt Jorgensen-Denver CO

I am so sorry to hear Gus’ passing. Gus was a dear friend who will be missed. Rest In Peace. 

On behalf of the Williams family, my sincere condolences to the Ann and Andy and the entire Chafoulias extended family on the loss of Gus. My father (David E. Williams), was Gus' physician and Gus was so friendly to my brothers and sister and me as kids when we were with my dad as customers at Andy Liquor Store. Gus always made sure to give us Tootsie Rolls when we were with my dad (who passed away in October 2019) at Andy's. Getting that great candy, as well as a smile and friendly words from Gus was always a fun way to spend a Saturday morning. I always remember studying Gus' picks of that weekend's college and pro football games each week during the football season. Gus' kindness to our family extended to hiring my two brothers (Dave and John) and me to work at Andy's. He was a great boss and such a friendly man. May your happy memories of Gus help ease the pain of your loss. Rest in Peace Gus.

I have been working as a banquet server at Doubletree for 10 years and have admired Gus since the first time I saw him interact with guests and employees there. He always placed the needs of the guests above his own. He showed appreciation and care for his employees. Our last interaction was at the new Hilton and it was a joy to talk with him there. I am praying for you all as you grieve such a big loss. 

Dear Ann, and the entire family, I’m sending my deepest condolences and light during this difficult time. Gus there will never be another you. I will never forget your kindness, honesty & integrity. Thank you for being a mentor and a true friend. I know your in a better place though I can see your face. 

Dear Ann, Andy, and family,

My heartfelt sympathy in the passing of Gus.  It was my honor to have known him for over 20 years. It meant so much to me that no matter how busy he was, whenever I saw Gus, he took the time to say "Hi Patty." It didn't matter if he was having a casual lunch, working in his office, or attending to clients; he always took the time to offer me a friendly hello and smile. We shared many a chuckle over the years. I shall miss those spontaneous laughs with him.  I pray for Gus's peace in eternal rest. And I pray for God's comforting peace to be with all of you during this difficult time and for days to come.

Most sincerely,

Pat Ridout

A competitor

A gentleman.

A visionary.

A mentor.

A friend.

A life we’ll lived.

Rest in Peace.


PJ & Barb Schaefer 

What a remarkable man Gus was, and it was a great pleasure to work for him!  When you would see him, he of course would want to know how business was going,  but more than that he would take the time to visit, to ask how you were doing.  His kindness extended to everyone, and you would frequently see him in the hotel talking to someone that was newly hired and making sure he got their name for next time.  Sometimes when I would bake cookies I would take some to Gus, and you can be assured that a few days after I would drop off the cookies a handwritten note from Gus would be on my desk, I was always so impressed by that.  I enjoyed his stories, his big sense of humor and his kindness to everyone!  I had the greatest respect for this man, he was one of a kind and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him. 

Gail Tostenson  

On behalf of the Cokinos family, we send our deepest condolences and sympathies to the Chafoulias family. Gus was a luminary and visionary of Rochester and a good friend to our father.  We know his memory will be eternal. May God welcome him to his kingdom 

John, Lisa, George, Olivia and James 


Gus and his hotel staff made Rochester one of my favorite stops as I traveled through the area over the last 20+ years. Gus always remembered my name and and made a point to go out of his way to shake my hand and thank  me for staying at his hotels. A real class act. Rest in peace my friend.

Gus was a true friend. He loved Rochester and he loved walking through  the downtown. He didn't expect to be noticed, but always was. He could meet and greet fellow citizens from all walks of life and always treated them as equals whatever their status. He created the modern commercial Rochester we know today, essentially over the last thirty years. He addressed the Senior Citizen Housing needs of Rochester over that period of time and was regarded as a hero  by the residents. He was a wonderful employer, a friend to his employees and well respected. Gus will be missed by everybody who knew him. His driving force in development will be greatly missed in our city.

Rest in peace Gus. You deserve it.