Konstantinos “Gus” Kapnisis, West Union, Iowa, May 9, 2022

Gus Kapnisis, 69, owner and operator of Gus and Tony’s Town House restaurant in West Union, Iowa, died Monday, May 9, 2022, at his home in West Union. Konstantinos “Gus” Kapnisis was born March 16, 1953, to Spiros and Panagiota (Fotopoulou) Kapnisis in Lasteika-Ilias, Greece. He attended school in Lasteika-Ilias, later studying mechanics at a technical school. Gus joined the Greek Air Force and served from March 29, 1973 to March 29, 1976.

He operated a successful restaurant in Klini, Greece, before coming to the U.S., where he owned and operated a number of other restaurants, including the widely known and very popular Gus and Tony’s Town House in West Union, Iowa.   It was while traveling on restaurant business to West Union that he met Deb Schmitt in 1984. According to Deb, it was “love at first sight” and the beginning of their life together.

She and Gus lived in Florida from approximately 1988 until 1991. While there, Deb joined Gus as he continued his career in the restaurant business, owning and operating a Miami Subs restaurant in the Fort Lauderdale area.

On October 14, 1991, the couple were married in West Union.

Shortly thereafter in 1991, Gus and Deb moved to Gus’s hometown in Greece, where they made their home until 2004. Their two daughters, Panagiota “Yiota” and Victoria, were born there.

While living in Lasteika-Ilias during this time, Gus owned and operated a number of successful businesses, including a gun store/feed store and a family hotel business, Hotel Ionion Sea.

In 2004, the Kapnisis family returned to West Union, where they continued to serve Gus’s renown hot beef sandwiches and delicious homemade pie to patrons from all over northeast Iowa and beyond. Former area residents made Gus and Tony’s a requisite stop during their visits back to West Union, as much to enjoy some conversation with Gus as for the tasty food. A very personable man and friend to all, Gus loved talking with people. His restaurant was “his baby,” according to Deb, and he dedicated himself wholeheartedly to it. A hard worker all his life, he believed in always doing the best he could in whatever he attempted.

Gus was gifted with the ability to come up with creative solutions to challenges he faced, whether it be something mechanical or a situation in life. He was fondly known as “the mástoras,” fixer of all things.

When he was able to find some leisure time, Gus looked forward to spending time with loved ones. He also loved hunting in the great outdoors. He amazed his hunting buddies with his keen eye and sharp shooting.

He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, customers, and his community, of which he was a beloved member.

Gus’s survivors include his wife, Deb, of West Union; his two daughters, Panagiota “Yiota” Kapnisis and Victoria (fiancé Kyle Kirkestue), both of West Union; his siblings, Jim Kapnisis, Paul Kapnisis, and Andy Kapnisis, all of Pyrgos-Ilias, Greece, and Tony Kapnisis of Naples, Fla.; sisters- and brothers-in-law Gloria Wagner, Sally (Mike) Hensley, Susie (Ron) Kuennen, Kathy (Brian) Dunt, Mike (Janet) Schmitt, Mary (Ken) Bouska, Mark (Karen) Schmitt, Marlene Bouska, Marvin (Traci) Schmitt; many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Spiro and Panagiota Kapnisis; an infant brother, John; his parents-in-law, Bernard and Victoria Schmitt; and brothers-in-law Paul Wagner and Terry Bouska.

Visitation will be held from 4-7 pm on Sunday, May 15, 2022 at Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in West Union, Iowa. There will also be a half- hour visitation before services at the church on Monday.

Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 am on Monday, May 16, 2022 at Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Mason City, Iowa with Father Nichalas March as the officiant.

Burial will be at 2:00 pm on Monday, May 16, 2022 at West Union Cemetery in West Union, Iowa.

Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of West Union, Iowa is assisting the family with arrangements.

Grau Funeral Homes has been honored to serve the families and loved ones of these individuals. By presenting this information we hope to assist those close to these families with planning for their service. If you have questions or comments about any of the information found on this page, please let us know by email or telephone.