John Kallias, 83, a longtime Minot resident and retired businessman, died Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, in a Mohall nursing home, with his family at his side. John was born on Oct. 7, 1928, in Berwyn, Ill., to James and Mary (Vitrachenko) Kallias. John moved as a youngster with his older sister and brother to central North Dakota, accompanied by his mother. They lived with her parents on the farm south of Benedict in the early 1930s. His father returned from the Chicago area and this young family moved to their first home in the city of Minot. He received his education in the Minot school system.
As a young adult, John's first employment was with Mandan Creamery. His job at the creamery was his first exposure to the poultry business. He received his first license to drive, allowing him to make deliveries to grocery stores and restaurants in the Minot area. He worked until fire damaged Mandan Creamery and other businesses in the area. This was in July 1947 when Westland Oil had a fire in downtown Minot, near the Third Street Viaduct.
He moved to employment with GTA in Minot and worked in the retail sales room and helped in the hatchery department. His education with the incubation and hatching cycles found him more involved in hatchery operations.
John married Darlene Johnson on May 8, 1949, in Minot. After working at the GTA Elevator in Minot for many years, John was offered an opportunity to move to Williston and manage the hatchery. He accepted the offer and moved his family to Williston. A fire destroyed the elevator and hatchery in Williston. After GTA decided not to rebuild a hatchery in Williston, John left GTA and returned to Minot. In the early fall of 1964, John and Darlene broke ground for a new business. It would be called Magic City Hatchery. He opened the doors for his new business in early 1965 with his first hatching season. They ran a successful business for many years, retiring in 1997, with the sale of the hatchery.
John worked with many poultry customers in the four-state region and Canada. It was his great fortune to have crossed paths with so many different people over his years in business. He enjoyed people and many became very good friends over his career in business.
John was very proud of his family. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the love of his life. Holidays, birthdays and important family events had many, large family get-togethers. John and Darlene attended many special school activities and sporting events of their grandchildren over the years.
John had a real enjoyment with gardening for many years. He planted some very large gardens and was lucky enough to harvest some pretty dandy results. It was a family affair with lots of help. He had some special passions with the outdoors. He loved to hunt and fish. He enjoyed sharing these outdoor activities with his family. In his early years, he spent his time on North Dakota lakes and in the fields of this area with his brothers. As he got older, the participants included his son and grandsons with annual deer hunting, fishing and ice fishing events. He also entered into Canada, traveling to many different lakes by land or air, for different species of fish and game.
John was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church, Minot, as well as a former member of the Elks Lodge and Moose Lodge, both Minot.
John's loving family includes: his wife of 63 years, Darlene; children, Larry (Debbie) Kallias, of Minot, Gary Kallias, of Phoenix Ariz., Vicky (Don) Davison, of Minot, and Cheryl Borstad, of Minot; son-in-law, Gary Wunderlich, of Minot; grandchildren, Brett (Jodi Ziegelman) Kallias, Alyssa (Jason) Proper, Heather and Erica Wunderlich, Amy (Ralf) Glowna, Cory (Elisabeth) Davison, Stacy (Josh) Christner, Tyler Borstad, Andrea (Darryl) Cross; eight great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Shirley Zeller, of Roseville, Calif., Leona Kallias, of Minot, Gloria Kallias of Minot, and Jan Johnson, of Ulm, Mont.; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
John was preceded in death by his parents; son, John A. Kallias, daughter, Kathy J. Wunderlich; sisters, Irene Aardahl and Dorothy Aspaas; and brothers, Leo, Phillip and Richard.
Celebration of the Life of John Kallias service: Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, at 1:30 p.m., in Bethany Lutheran Church, Minot.
Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Today, Aug. 22, from 2 to 7 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: In lieu of plants and flowers, memorials are preferred to Metigoshe Ministries, Bottineau, or Bethany Lutheran Church, Minot.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).