James "Babe" Couvelis

James “Babe” Couvelis, 84 of Benton Harbor, passed away, Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Pine Ridge Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Stevensville.

Celebration of Life Services will be held 11:30 A.M. Monday at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, with Fr. Paul Martin officiating.  Burial will follow at North Shore Memory Gardens in Coloma.  Friends may visit with the family from 2:00 until 6:00 P.M. Sunday at the funeral home.  Memorials may be made to the Annunciation and Agia Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church in New Buffalo or Hospice at Home.  Those wishing to sign Babe’s Memory Book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

Babe was born December 27, 1930 in Benton Harbor to William & Jennie (Mouses) Couvelis.  He graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1949.  On January 17, 1958 he married the former Pauline Emma.  Babe started in the restaurant business at an early age working with his Father at Harbor Lunch on Main St. in Benton Harbor.  On August 1, 1958, Babe opened Babe’s Lounge on Main St. in Benton Harbor.  Popularity & patronage forced a move to a larger facility, also on Main St.  When that building was destroyed by fire, Babe relocated to the present location on Riverview Dr. in February 1975.  Babe was an avid sports fan, sponsoring & participating in many a golf, bowling or softball team or league.  He was very interested in Benton Harbor history & the history of his Greek Heritage.  Babe was known for his pranks & practical jokes which could happen anytime or anywhere.  He was a member of the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Elks Lodge #541 in Benton Harbor.  He was truly a friend to all who ever met him.

Babe is survived by his wife Pauline; two sons-William J. (Roxanne) Couvelis of Riverwoods, IL & James P. Couvelis of Chicago; two grandchildren-Pauline & James  Couvelis; his brother Steven Couvelis of San Diego, CA; his brother-in-law Rocco Emma of Mesa AZ; and three nieces.  He was preceded in death by his daughter Julie Anne Couvelis in 1987, his parents and a niece.

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