Nicholas Basileos Gekis

Date of Birth

March 16, 1952

Date of Death

June 15, 2024

City of Death

Phoenix, AZ

Nicholas Basileos Gekis, born on March 16, 1952, in Santa Barbara, CA at St. Francis Hospital, passed away on June 15, 2024, in Phoenix, AZ with his wife, brother, and friends by his side. He succumbed to non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and complications from type-2 diabetes.

Nicky attended Roosevelt Elementary School, La Colina Junior High, and graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1970. He received his cosmetology license from Santa Barbara Beauty College. After a brief stint in Hollywood styling celebrities, he yearned to return to his roots in Santa Barbara and joined his parents at the Nicholas Salon of Beauty, located at 1315 Anacapa Street. Wanting to spread his own wings, but not wanting to stray too far from home, he owned and operated his own salon, Nicky’s Good Feelings in Hair Design at 44 Arlington Avenue next door to his parents’ salon. Concurrently, the salons were in continuous operation for over 50 years. After his parents retired, Nicky first opened the Ad Astra Gallery with his artist father, William, and later, he and his brother, Theodore opened Nicky’s Unique and Eclectic Gifts, quickly becoming Santa Barbara’s premier destination for gifts and toys.

In addition to his business ventures, Nicky worked closely in the non-profit sector with local theater impresario Jack Nakano, serving first as president of the Gazebo Theater One producing Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell, and later for California Youth Theater. As a local thespian, Nicky was active with Curtain Up! Productions playing the role of Charlie Cowell in The Music Man and Sam Harris George M! In Youth Theater Productions, he is remembered for his portrayal of Luther Billis in South Pacific. He acted and directed in many Circle Bar B productions, including Bullshot Crummond and Lover’s Leap, and appeared as Barney in Last of the Red Hot Lovers. At the Lobero Theater, he played Teddy Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace and appeared with Jose Manero and the Santa Barbara Ballet in various productions. He donated his time to the Saint Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church, and helped his mother raise scholarship money for women with the American Business Women Association, Fiesta Chapter.

Nicky was an eternal optimist, always seeing the glass as half full. He was your friend, your confidant. Practically a lifelong resident and business owner in Santa Barbara, he moved to Phoenix, AZ. three years ago to reunite with his sweetheart, Lari Quinn, whom he married.

Nicky’s infectious optimism, his love for the arts, and his dedication to his family and community will be deeply missed. If you ever sat in his chair at the salon, you’d know— oh my, could that guy talk!

Preceded in death by his beloved parents, Helen M. Gekis and William N. Gekis, Nicky is survived by his brother, Theodore B. Gekis, his wife, Lari Quinn, and his former spouse, Paula Tevis.

There will be a graveyard service for Nicky on Friday June 28th at 10am at Santa Barbara Cemetary. The service will also be broadcast on Facebook Live, starting at 10 am.


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