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Vale: John 'Chopper' Katsanis - Australia

 
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Carps
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PostPosted: Mon, Mar 28 2011, 8:35 pm    Post subject: Vale: John 'Chopper' Katsanis - Australia Reply with quote

It is with much sadness and regret that I type this.

At around 11:15 this morning John Katsanis lost his battle with Cancer and slipped peacfully away, to be with his beloved soul mate Tina.

Chopper fought the mongrel disease to his last breath and was looking forward to The Rumble in a couple of weeks.

There's so much I want to say about John, but right now I'm a little stuck for words and there's much needs to be done to help the boys close out his time with us. Suffice to say John was a great and loyal friend. A man who lived the hot rodding life with a passion that was sometimes beyond comprehension, a man who just wanted everybody else to appreciate and enjoy the same things he loved and thus a man who worked tirelessly to try and achive that.

The hot rodding community will not be the same without him as he has had a profound effect on many of our lives even if we don't know it.

Condolences to Dean, Luke Tom and Damon, brothers Peter, Max and John's greater family.

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PostPosted: Mon, Mar 28 2011, 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad news.
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PostPosted: Mon, Mar 28 2011, 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to read about this.

Cancer is a nasty disease

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PostPosted: Mon, Mar 28 2011, 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear about that. I never met him, but have heard much about him over the years. He was a very talented person in many ways. I am sure he will be missed by those who knew him.
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PostPosted: Tue, Mar 29 2011, 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts go out to Family and friends....
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PostPosted: Tue, Mar 29 2011, 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thoughts and prayers for him, his family, and all who knew and cared about him.
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PostPosted: Tue, Mar 29 2011, 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad to hear, always heard lots of good things about him. Rest in peace.

Charlie

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PostPosted: Tue, Mar 29 2011, 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

R.I.P john you were one of those true nice guys Sad
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PostPosted: Tue, Mar 29 2011, 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I met John n Tina back in the early '80's at a Rock n Roll Dance I was running and formed a life long friendship.

John went on to open John's Rod n Kustom Shop and many many sucessful Hot Rod events

Tina's passing broke Johns heart.
.
I had many buisness dealings with John and all were without any problems infact his mail order dealings were swift and always correct.

John was always the gent with a smile and a handshake and a word of encouragement to the younger rodders as my son TJ will attest to , John always found time to chat to TJ and showed genuine interest in his life.

John will be sadly missed by the Australian rodding fraternity ...

Condolences to the Katsanis Family and John's many friends.


RIP John 'Chopper' Katsanis.


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PostPosted: Wed, Apr 06 2011, 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John was farewelled today with a great turnup of Hotrrods and Kustoms to say goodbye on his final journey. Chopper's boys burnt the midnight oil to get his Y block powered channeled 32 coupe there as well. Sounded awesome! It was great to see so many of John's friends attend the service and join the cruise to celebrate his life.
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PostPosted: Mon, Apr 11 2011, 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Appreciate there's not a lot here who knew John, but there's a few, so thanx to all who took time from their lives to help us celebrate and close the final chapter of John's. It was a sad day but one he would have enjoyed.

John and I became freinds around 25 years ago. However, we figured that we did cross paths long before that time, since we both told similar stories about certain things that happened late at night after a burger at Esrays or Hippos.

John was born in Thessaloniki, Greece On the 9th of April 1948, yup, he would have been 63 on Saturday. So we had a party to celebrate.

Johnís Father was a Mechanic, which probably explains why he was always fascinated with cars, even as a young boy.

His family migrated to Australia in1960, settling in Springvale, where John went to school and developed a love of hot rods, kustoms and rock n roll music.

He was a regular at the weekly Rock n Roll dance at Springvale Town Hall, which somehow often ended up with a couple of bloody nosed young fellows making up and sharing a cool refreshment outside the dance or at one of the aforementioned burger joints.

John couldnít believe his luck when the best looking girl at the dance agreed to go out with him and it wasnít too long before he and Martine Eliza Boon, or Tina as we knew her, were married.

Four years after their wedding in October 1973, John and Tina purchased their first home in Ferntree Gully.

Sadly, that was the same year that Johnís hero, his brother Tom passed away.

Johnís first experience at smash repair was at Tomís shop, Venus Bodyworks in North Richmond.

His first effort at customising a car was to form and install a rolled rear pan on brother Max's single spinner.

In 1978 John and his brothers Max and Peter opened Tasso Auto Engineering and slowly started to reap the rewards of their talent and hard work.

In 1988 John and Tina moved their young family to Berwick, where John also established a new business, Berwick Central Smash Repairs.

But Johnís heart wasnít in simply repairing broken cars!

His passion was customised cars!

So, in 1989 the retail parts store known as John's Rod & Custom Emporium was established, as the first step to fulfilling his dream.

The Smash repair business was soon overwhelmed by Johnís Rod & Custom and instead of repairing wrecks, customising and hot rod building became the first order or business.

However, that wasnít enough for John and a few years later, from a simple idea was born the first Johnís Rod & Custom Picnic.

John and Tina figured since there wasnít much by way of organised activity, why not get a few of the gang together and have a picnic.

Back in those early days, Tina did all the organising and preparation while us blokes had all the fun.

Today almost 20 years on, Johnís Rod and Kustom Picnic is one of the premier gatherings of Hot Rod and Kustom car enthusiasts in the country.

Around the same time, John and Tina started the Friday night Ďcruise and BBQí at the retail shop in Beaconsfield. It later moved to the Kustom ship in Industrial Avenue and then when the whole deal out grew that space, it was moved to John and Tina's 7 acre residential property.

They were truly the good times and Johnís vision was to make these good times last forever.

Sadly, that wasnít to be and in July 2001 Tina was suddenly taken ill and passed away, leaving John heartbroken.

Despite immersing himself in his work, such was his love for Tina that he never really recovered from her death.

However, he also knew that his young family needed him.

So commenced their intense education in the art of customising and hot rod building.

Some might call it tough love, but it was through his love that John taught his boys Luke, Dean, Tom and Damon everything he could about life, business and building kustom cars and hot rods.

Even in this past year, despite his rapidly failing strength, he was very much focussed on ensuring he left them with the knowledge and skills to continue the lifestyle that we all love.

John was immensely proud of his boys and confident in their ability to carry on and put their own signatures to his legacy.

He was also a very shy and humble man, who did what he did not for any self gratification, but so others could enjoy the things that most of us here today cherish.

John was very much camera shy, Iíve been trying to find a picture of him alone but all I have is images of him busy customising or encouraging young people to become involved in his favourite pastime.

Thatís what he did.

His great vision was to create an event that would showcase the Kustom car and provide a venue for newcomers to become involved.

It had to be special and most of all it had to be fun.

Six years ago the first Kustom Nationals saw a few hundred special cars gather at an equally special venue and like the Picnic, The Kustom Nationals will continue to grow!

Yup, Iím proud to have called Chopper my close friend and to have shared the good times and the bad with him.

I will never forget him!


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