Frank's usually closes only for two weeks in August. So his regulars were surprised this February to find the restaurant dark for several days. Charlene, Pete's wife of fifty years, had died of leukemia. She'd been a lively, behind-the-scenes partner who helped keep the restaurant supplied and their home in order.
"She was quite the lady," Poulos says while cleaning up at the end of a recent day. "There was nothing she could not do."
Then he shakes his head in disbelief.
"She was with me since the age of eighteen till today," he says. "I miss her so much."
For fifty years, Charlene cared for the oldest of their five children, Theophany, who became severely brain damaged from meningitis at the age of eighteen months.
Friends told the couple to institutionalize the child, but they wouldn't hear of it. Now another daughter, Athena Garland-Poulos, takes care of her sister during the day.
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