MILAN - Laughter filled the air Saturday evening at Nick Georgiafandis' toast and roast.
It was a packed house in Edison High School's auditorium as family and friends of Georgiafandis paid tribute to the man who retired after 36 years as a teacher and band director at the school.
Though some tears were shed, everyone smiled and laughed as the speakers told stories of their experiences with him.
Among the speakers were class of 1975 graduates Wayne McCoy, Kurt Hansen, Kerry Westcott and Judy Ludwig, who presented him with a flag and a parka, along with memorable stories from their senior year.
Others teased the Pittsburgh Steelers fan, but they all came back to how much Georgiafandis affected the school and community.
Don Gfell, a former superintendent, said that at times "almost 50 percent were involved in music programs."
A former student, Wendy Reeves, said "Mr. G is a constant inspiration to me."
C.J. Lindecamp, the superintendent who hired Georgiafandis, said: "You're already a legend Nick. Your legend is going to grow and possibly take different directions."
Though Georgiafandis will be missed greatly, he will not be forgotten.
His wife, Kelley, said, "I'm just so touched and impressed with the number of people showing affection ... It's a wonderful outpouring of warmth ... I'm so proud of him."
Edison High School hired Denise Reilly to take over the band program.
She has worked with Georgiafandis for 18 years and said she is "very excited to take over for him. It's a pleasure."