Solemn farewell to an icon of the community

He was known by many in Warren and Trumbull County as that friendly face that for decades could be found at the front counter of his iconic downtown Warren Saratoga Restaurant and Catering.

But what patrons of the restaurant may not know is that the role Jim Economos played in the community was so much more than restaurateur.

Economos, 76, died Monday after an extended illness. His wife, Joan, passed in 1995, after 33 years of marriage.

Aside from being a great friend to many and the beloved father of four, Economos’ level of community involvement was no less than amazing.

That involvement was brought to the forefront in 2009 when Economos was selected as a Trumbull County Community Star, an award and banquet honoring residents who routinely give their time and energy to make the local community a better place.

Economos, a lifetime Warren resident, was recognized for his service on parish council at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church and his work on church fundraisers and building projects.

He also was honored for his involvement with philanthropic group Trumbull 100, Trumbull Mobile Meals, for service as a trustee of the Warren Football Association, Packard Museum and Packard Music Hall Foundation among other organizations that some say numbered into the dozens.

At the time his friend, Sam Lanza, described Economos like this: “I know he is a businessman and in it to make a living, but along the way he seems to find the time and energy to help others who are in need of help themselves.”

He also was a recipient of several awards during his lifetime, including the Mahoning Valley Chamber of Commerce Pendelton Business Achievement Award and the Warren City Schools Distinguished Hall of Fame.

And while doing all that, everyday he could be found with a smile on his face inside the restaurant his family has operated for 80 years.

Economos loved his community and dedicated himself to it. He will be sadly missed by those that knew him, and probably also by those who didn’t but still benefited from his charitable work and volunteerism.