Chris N. Petrow loved to make ice cream, and that passion created memories for many Omahans.
Think of him if you like the cinnamon, black walnut, chocolate chip or cookies-and-cream flavors at Petrow's Restaurant. He created those best-sellers for his restaurant.
His funeral will begin at 10 this morning at All Holy Spirit Greek Orthodox Church, 9012 Q St.
Petrow, 86, died Wednesday at Parsons House Assisted Living & Memory Care after a long illness, said his son, Nick Petrow of Omaha.
Chris Petrow's father owned several food establishments and in 1950 opened Petrow's Drive-In at 59th and Center Streets. Chris started running the drive-in in 1952 when he was discharged from the Army. Five years later, Chris built Petrow's Restaurant next door to the drive-in, which then was demolished.
He owned and operated the restaurant until he retired in 1992 and turned the business over to his son, Nick.
In October 2012, Chris Petrow was inducted into the Nebraska Restaurant Hall of Fame.
“The number of people that dad interacted with was large,” Nick Petrow said. “He loved being around people in his professional and personal life. He liked helping people. … He was involved in festivals and all things church.”
Chris Petrow served many years on the board of St. John Greek Orthodox Church and was a member of the American Hellenic Educational and Philanthropic Association for 65-plus years.
A Cornhusker season ticket holder for 40 years, he became especially interested in the team in the 1970s when nephew George Kyros played.
Chris Petrow was born and raised in Omaha. He played basketball for Omaha Central High School before graduating in 1945.
Petrow immediately enlisted in the Navy, served aboard the USS Iowa in Japan and was discharged. The Army drafted him for the Korean War. He became a master sergeant who, because of his restaurant experience, headed the mess hall at Fort Riley, Kan.
Petrow's survivors, besides son Nick, include his wife of 57 years, Theodora G. “Teddy” Petrow; daughters Maria Knowles of Omaha and Sia Carlile of Kansas City, Kan.; and eight grandchildren.