In memory of a gentle soul.

I never planned to add a memoriam to anyone on these pages, but on occasion someone passes that has added meaning to life that must be recognized. Not everyone is a celebrity for people to fawn over after their passing. Many live lives of quite anonymity and touch people in ways that last after their passing.

One such person was Jimmy Chris Pourlos who passed away several days ago. Jimmy was a gentleman in every sense of the word. Gentle by nature, kind, soft spoken with a warm smile for everyone. I want to tell you a little about Jimmy.

Born on 1932 in Domianous, Greece, one of seven children of Chris and Efrosini Pourlos, four of his siblings died during the Greek Civil War. Only 18 years old, Undeterred, by his lack of the English language and determined to make a better life for himself, Jimmie immigrated to the United States alone and with only $11 dollars in March of 1951. During his first two years in America Jimmie worked at the Central Drive-In in Charlotte, North Carolina. Across the street from what was then Central High School. In 1953 he acquired the restaurant, renamed it Jimmie’s Restaurant. As Central High was later transformed into Central Piedmont Community College untold thousands of students ate at Jimmie’s for 50 years.

Jimmy was an avid outdoorsman and loved to hunt and fish. That’s how I really got to know Jimmy, at the Surfside Pier in Surfside Beach, SC. All the fishermen at the pier got to know Jimmy, and always were happy to see him arrive, especially fishing for Whiting. Jimmy, always soft spoken, and with a warm smile and never a bad word about anyone. Helpful to everyone, short in stature but tall in his humanity and concern for others. As Jimmie fell ill, many would ask me, “how is Jimmy”. I hate to have to tell them now about Jimmie’s passing.

Jimmie’s legacy will always be his kindness to all, his modesty, his soft spoken ways. Jimmy never flaunted his success and wished for all to live life to the fullest and never take for granted what tomorrow may bring.

Jimmy is an example for all that with hard work and determination, even an 18 year old immigrant, alone, without knowing English, and with only $11 in his pocket can make it in this great country we call America.

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