EULOGY John written by his grandaughter
John was of 100% Greek ancestry. He said that Greeks build great buildings; look at the structures of Ancient Greece, look today at many of our Greek Orthodox churches. John, however, was not a building builder. John built organizations.
Concurrent with his success of restructuring and bringing Garden City Supply from a company of less than $100,000 a year to one of over $4 million, he was one of the four founding members of the Pride buying group. This group was the first member-owned buying group in the food service supply industry and quickly became one of the most effective and admired in that industry. He also was on the ground level of developing Trade Advantage, an importing company for restaurant equipment and supplies. He supported these organizations and FEDA, another professional industry organization, by serving on the boards and committees.
John also helped found churches. The first project John was involved in when he moved to San Jose and to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was the founding of St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church. John served as chairman of that group. He was inspired in that process upon attending a conference at Holy Cross Seminary, jointly sponsored by the newly formed OCMC, Orthodox Christian Mission Center. His request that memorial donations be made to OCMC comes from his desire that the Word of God be spread, the Church be strengthened and grow.
After serving as psalty at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church for seven years, God called John to a new challenge. There was need for a new organization. John joined the San Jose Mission which was beginning to have services, a group which soon merged with a Vineyard church to become the present St. Stephen Orthodox Church. John was the first Chairman of the Parish Council, serving as such for the six years that he was a member of that body. During that time he also led the committee to find church property, resulting in the present location. He is grateful to God that his name is sealed in the altar as one of the founding members. Any memorial donation to St. Stephen in his name will be a fund for future procurement of property, either next to the present location or for a new, larger facility.
But John was also a builder of relationships. John built strong relationships with his family. His marriage, based on his and Roberta’s faith in God, is one of great unity and joy. His daughter and her family are a source of comfort and delight.
And he built relationships with choir members who served God in song under his direction, with the chanters that he trained, with fellow chanters across the country and with foodservice industry people nationwide.
John has always shared his time, his common sense advice, and his resources liberally with these loved ones. He was a great problem solver for many--focused, reliable, with a faith that did not waver. Even in his last struggles with disease there was a peace about him. He was always sure that God was with him; he was always seeking to follow God’s Will.
When John was courting Roberta, he wrote to her a line which convinced her that this was her man. He wrote, “I will love you as much as is humanly possible, but I will always love God more.”
John’s life is dedicated to the ones he loves, ultimately to our Triune God.