Columbus, OH — Efstratios Thomas Nikitas, 81, of Geneva, Fla., died March 27, 2023.
Mr. Nikitas was born in New York, N.Y., on Jan. 26, 1942.
He was a great auto mechanic in his early years as well as a Standardbred owner, trainer and driver, campaigning his stable throughout the Midwest, New England, and Florida. One of his favorite horses was the 1991 Florida-bred 3-year-old Colt Trotter of the Year, Salems Warlock.
Mr. Nikitas branched out into the tack business in the 1970s and from there he started in the harness manufacturing business, creating the company Rich Tack. Two of his most popular designs were his “Rag On A Pad” lightweight harness and his “Cool Pants” pacing hobbles. He designed many other quality-made products that were very popular in the harness industry and are still in demand today.
Along with auto mechanics and harness racing, he also had a passion for baseball, football and playing cards.
He is survived by his loving wife, Julia, who remained by his side to the end and has worked tirelessly alongside him for many years in the harness making business. He is also survived by two stepsons, Mike Lee Richards and Steve Allen Richards; five step-grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren; and his sister, Theano.
Funeral services will held on April 3 at 10 a.m. at St. Stephen Orthodox Church, 1895 Lake Emma Rd., Longwood, Fla.
To leave an online condolence to the family, you may visit the website www.dignitymemorial.com.