Nota Z. Dukas, 79, restaurateur known as ‘the Costume Lady from Wilmington’ is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Nota Z. Dukas
Nota Z. Dukas

Nota Z. Dukas, 79, of Wilmington, fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. She was born in Athens, Greece, on November 21, 1936, the daughter of the late Konstantinos Zafirakopoulos and Despina Kazaglis. Also remembered is her stepfather, Demetrios Kazaglis, who preceded her in death.

Surviving are three daughters, Antonia Ioannou, and her husband, Yiannis, Debbie Dias, and her husband, Tony, and Christina Wetherington, and her husband, Mickey; the loving father of their three children, Kostas Dukas; seven grandchildren, Lexi Dias, Christian Dias, Helena Ioannou, Dino Ioannou, Dimitri Ioannou, Niko Wetherington and Christopher Wetherington; one sister, Maria Lekas, and her husband, Tommy, and their children, Anastasia Hays and Despina Sayegh.

Nota was born in Athens, Greece, where her love of music and dance began. Even her namesake, when at age four, her incessant whistling prompted her stepfather to call her ‘Nota,’ the Greek word for musical ‘note.’ At age 20, Nota met and was swept off her feet by her handsome Greek-American U.S. Soldier, Kostas, stationed in Germany. After a beautiful courtship, they married in Athens and moved to New York City and began raising their three loving daughters. In 1973, the family moved to Wilmington, where Nota immediately began a lifelong involvement with the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and as a restaurateur in the Wilmington community.

Nota and her husband owned and operated White Front Breakfast House and built and operated the MacCumber Station Restaurant. Nota’s love for Greek dance and music flourished and eventually that passion led to the formation of the St. Nicholas Dance Program in 2000. More than a dozen Hellenic Dance Festival (HDF) competitions and St. Nicholas Greek Festivals later, this dance program is still a staple in the Wilmington Community. Indeed her stunning costume creations garnered four Best Costume awards given by the Atlanta Metropolis HDF.

What once began as a passion for hand-stitching matching outfits for her young daughters became Nota’s cherished and prized role as costume designer for her beloved St. Nicholas youth dancers. But it did not stop there, her role blossomed into a deep and loving relationship with so many of these youth who adored their ‘Miss Nota,’ or, as she was well-known across the nation’s Southeastern HDF Community, ‘the Costume Lady from Wilmington.’ This love for the St. Nicholas dance youth was only surpassed by her adoration of her grandchildren. You had only to mention one of their names to see the light and love shine in Nota’s face. She will be deeply missed and her memory held dear by all of her family, children and grandchildren.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 22, at Andrews Valley Chapel with the Trisagion celebrated at 8 p.m. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Wilmington. Burial will follow in Oleander Memorial Gardens.

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