Nicholas Karant

December 6, 1934 ~ February 3, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Nicholas Karant Obituary

Nicholas Karant, 89, of Mountainside, NJ, passed away peacefully on February 3, 2024, at Morristown Medical Centerafter contracting a rare debilitating auto immune disease that began with a bad fall early October. 

Nicholas was born of Greek parents December 6, 1934, in Constantinople, Asia Minor, now Istanbul, Turkey. Nicholas was an intelligent, good conversationalist, self-made, and self-educated man. He had a tough exterior but was known for his kindness and generosity. He consistently rooted for the underdog and was always willing to lend a helping hand.

Memorial Services:

In lieu of an immediate burial, a memorial service, in the Greek tradition, will be held close to the 40th day after death on Sunday, March 10, 2024, with a church service for Nicholas at this time. As tradition has it in the Greek-Orthodox religion, it is believed the soul lingers on Earth until the 40th day while some use the 40 days to pay their respects to the one who passed away.  The 40-day tradition is a way to bring families and friends together. 

After the service, there will be a celebration of life done Nicholas style. Details to be announced at a later date. We hope all who knew Nicholas as a relative, in business, a neighbor or knew Nicholas as the good guy he always was, will attend Nicholas’s Celebration of life.

Charitable Donations:

In lieu of flowers, we chose a charily that speaks Nicholas' sentiments. We chose the Food Bank of Elizabeth that feeds the hungry and the poor to receive all offerings made to celebrate Nicholas's life.  Donations can be made online, in person or by mail:

St. Joseph Social Service Center

118 Division Street

Elizabeth, NJ 07201

Growing up in Greece, Nicholas lived through the brutality of the WWII Italian and German occupation followed thereafter by the Greek civil war, which was in many ways worse than the Axis occupation.  Nicholas went hungry for weeks because the occupying soldiers confiscated the family's food to feed their own troops. Little food was left when the soldiers came callingand one winter the family survived by eating acorn bread handmade by Nicholas’s grandmother.

Telling the story, Nicholas would always end the recollection with, "You will never know what it is like to have hunger pangs, it hurts, and it hurts a lot."   He never wanted to see anyone go hungry.  

What Nicholas was Like:

Nicholas was the man who would give the person in need the shirt off his back. Nicholas was the life of a party and you felt his presence when he entered the room by his stature, booming voice and laugh that could not be missed. Nicholas loved life and always said, "Every day is a gift." Nicholas outwardly appreciated the gift of life. Every day he was thankful for this gift as his health began failing since 2009. 

Nicholas's passion was cooking. He said he developed the passion in his 20’s because it was a way to impress dates when he was too poor to wine and dine them at restaurants. Nicholas’s love for cooking, all types of cuisines and his obsession with the kitchen was a result of admiring his grandmother’s simple agrarian cooking skills, going hungry as a child and when he first arrived as an immigrant in America.

Nicholas was a self-made, self-educated, highly intelligent man. His forte was selling. He made his living selling vacation properties in the Poconos in the early 1970's, then selling dreams on Wall Street (commodities) in the late 70's through the early 80's. Beginning in 1985, he sold Body Wrappers Dancewear.  He was a consistent Body Wrappers #1 salesman for 25 years who adored and treated his customers as his extended family. There are factual stories where Nicholas loaned his customers money so they could either go or stay in or stay in business when times were tough for them.  In business, Nicholas often followed his heart and why he was adored by many.  

Occupation/Career Highlights:

Nicholas served in the US Army at Fort Bragg, NC from 1957 to 1959 after being drafted. Leaving the military where he ran the canteen and was the first to hire the famous Amos and Andy comedians. Nicholas had a variety of jobs throughout his younger years. In the late 1950’s he had various acting jobs in the TV series, Dragnet, Coronet Blues, The Nurses, etc. This line of work lasted nearly a decade. Nicholas served in the US Army at Fort Bragg, NC from 1957 to 1959 after being drafted.  Nicholas was a sommelier at the Balboa Club in Newport Beach, CA., had a kiosk selling candy, magazines, and newspapers in Central Park (1960's), a NYC taxi driver while taking college classes, a camera salesman, maître ‘d at the famous Copa Cabana in NYC where he met and socialized with Frank Sinatra and his cronies, a salesman for Poconos Vacation Properties were among some of his various jobs. From the late 1970’s to the mid 1980’s he was a commodity broker on Wall Street serving his own clients.  Finally, from 1985 to 2013 he was a sales rep for Body Wrappers dancewear, Elizabeth, NJ.  Nicholas was also part owner of Attitudes In Dressing, Inc. (the parent company of Body Wrappers) from 1981 till his passing.

Hobbies & Activities:

Nicholas loved cooking and eating the fine gourmet meals he made from scratch. One of the things that gave him the zest for life was the challenge of finding new recipes to try for his familywith the help of his valued Home Health Aides due to his handicapped condition.  Nicholas prided himself on never making the same meal twice.

Surviving Family:

Nicholas is survived by his wife, Marie West, his sons, Nicholas Alexander Karant and Christopher James Karant; his siblings, Philip Karantazalis of Newark, CA, wife Melitza son Alexander, son and daughter Athena. Daniel Karant of Norton OH, wife Lynn and children, Theodore Karant of Las Vegas, NV and family, Billy Karant of Southlake, TX and family, and sister Aikaterini Aygerinoy of Athens, Greece; his brother and sister-in-law James W. West and Vivian Bagares-West and their two children, Chelsea and Collin West. Nicholas was preceded in death by his mother, Anastasia Argiriadis, Mother (1956), and his father, Tilemahos Karant, Father (1995).

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Services are to be announced


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