Ted Poulos — a man that helped Manteca residents stay healthy as well as playing key roles in building the community and its economy — passed away Wednesday at the age of 89.
Poulos for 42 years served the community as a pharmacist at Manteca Drugs that was located in the 100 block of West Yosemite Avenue until he retired in March of 1994.
Poulus along with Andrew Rossi and Joe Freitas — two longtime Manteca residents who have since passed away — founded Delta National Bank in 1973. The bank was sold last year to F&M Bank.
While he touched the life of countless Manteca residents as the quintessential small-town pharmacist, it was his community involvement that left his biggest legacy besides raising two daughters — Elisa and Alexia — with his beloved wife Antonette.
He served on the Manteca District Ambulance board for more than 30 years playing a key role in the non-profit agency’s status today as not just one of the state’s few community-based ambulance services but also one of the most effective.
He was appointed to the Manteca Elementary School Board in 1969 and then to the Manteca Unified School District board when it was formed 50 years ago in 1972. He was elected in 1978 to the Delta College board and subsequently was re-elected four more times, Poulos never faced opposition in any of his races.
He also served on the governing board of Doctors Hospital of Manteca. Poulos was involved with numerous civic endeavors such as helping form the downtown parking district. The one that has the biggest impact was as an active member of the Manteca 120 Bypass Committee. He played a major role in that group that was led by Jack Snyder by making many presentations to the California Transportation Commission to secure state funding.
Poulos was part of the group that secured the city’s first business park — the Manteca Industrial Park. he was actively involved in numerous boards including the Manteca Jaycees and the Manteca Chamber of Commerce. He was inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame in 1998 for community service.
In an interview after he retired, Poulos recalled what he was told by the late Les Wilson— the former owner and partner with Poulos in the Manteca Drug Store — on his first day at work.
Poulos recalled Wilson telling him, “’Son, if you are going to be in business in a small community there is one thing to remember, Make sure you give more back to the community than you take.”
Poulos, who is described by those who knew him as always being a gentleman, graduated from Manteca High in 1945.
His father and mother migrated to the United States in 1910 and ended up settling in Manteca when it had just 50 residents. He had a sister Effie Paponis and James Poulos.
Funeral services are planned for Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Basil’s Greek Orthodox Church on March Lane in Stockton.
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