Harry Misthos, Grocery Chain Owner, Dies Of COVID-19

Harry Misthos was generous to a fault, his family says. Even in his final days.

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Harry Misthos was a born storyteller, his family said.

One of his go-to favorites was how he not only walked across the Golden Gate Bridge the day it opened in 1937 at the age of 5 but he also walked across the bridge half-a-century later as part of its 50th-anniversary celebration.

Misthos loved the city of San Francisco ... but not nearly as much as he loved his family. They are mourning the loss of Misthos who, at age 87, died of the coronavirus on April 5.

"My dad was Harry Misthos," said Alexandra Koutsogeorglas. "I hate saying was. Just an incredible man. His family meant everything to him. You've heard people say, 'my big fat Greek family?' That was us."

It was from that perspective, in the middle of that big Greek family, that Koutsogeorgas says she saw the generous side of her father he didn't always like to publicize.

"His passion was taking the underdog and help them," she said.

Misthos was best known as the owner of the Bell Market grocery chain, seven stores in San Francisco and on the Peninsula. Still, his family knew him as the man, who, upon the death of his wife, Bobbie, more than 20 years ago, took on the role of mother and father, grandmother and grandfather to all.

Misthos' granddaughter, Andrianna Cortez, says her grandfather would end every single phone call with every single member of his family the same way.

"Every time he'd say, 'I love you. You're my favorite," to all of us," Cortez said. "He just made me feel so loved."

Perhaps the ultimate testament to who Misthos was, though, came in the final days of his life.

While in the hospital, his body losing the fight to COVID-19, Misthos was given the option of being put on a precious, possibly life-saving ventilator.

He said no.
"My dad wanted to have someone younger to have that opportunity, to have the ventilator," Koutsogeorgas said. "A hero until the end."

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