George J. Pantazopoulos, 86, of Salem, NH, passed away on May 21, 2020 while in his sleep at Wingate at Haverhill Nursing Home after several years of declining health from Lewy body dementia and cancer.
He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Chryssa Pantazopoulos, and his children John Pantazopoulos and his wife Nancy Pantazopoulos of Salem, NH, and Kathy Coufos and her husband Stephan Coufos of Salem, NH. He is also survived by his four grandchildren: George Pantazopoulos, Chrysanthe Pantazopoulos, Panayiotis Coufos and Chrisanthe Coufos.
Additionally, he is survived by his siblings in Greece: Haralambos Pantazopoulos of Chalkis, Christos Pantazopoulos of Athens, and Paraskevoula Priftis of Kalamata. He was also predeceased by his parents John and Ekaterini (Hatzis) Pantazopoulos of Chalkis, Evoia-Greece.
George was a sailor having traveled around the world several times. He served in the Greek Navy, the merchant marines and in the Greek cruise lines as a chief radio officer. He sailed under the midnight sun, survived an oil tanker crash, and eventually would call on the port of Boston. Having seen the opportunities for a prosperous and closer family life that would not involve travel, he, his wife and two young children immigrated to the United States in June 1969. They called Lawrence, MA their new home and would later become proud American citizens in 1976.
He began work as an electrical technician and draftsman. This led to a rewarding career as operations director and technical director in software development, network management and communications for Concord Computing, Citicorp, Tandem and Sungard.
As a devoted husband to his wife, Chryssa, they were blessed with health and the company of each other listening and dancing to Greek music, enjoying dinners with friends, and traveling every summer to their second home in Greece to visit their parents, siblings and friends.
He taught his children by example the importance of rich family and cultural traditions, the value of education, and his industry in carpentry, craftsmanship, painting, sewing, and countless home improvement projects. He was often called “Mr. Owl” because of his intelligence and well thought out planning. His ingenuity and creativity spawned the phrase “It’s ok, no need to buy it because dad will make or fix it instead”.
He took part in his grandchildren’s Greek cultural and religious upbringing spending many long nights tutoring them in the Greek language and Orthodox faith, helping them with their homework and being there for them in dance recitals, school plays, parades and cultural events.
We will forever miss and remember his warm and affectionate smile, his bursts of comedic parody, and the kindness and help he extended to others.
A visitation practicing social distancing will take place on Tuesday May 26, 2020 from 9 am to 10:15 am at the Goundrey & Dewhirst Funeral Home, 42 Main Street, Salem, NH. A private funeral liturgy will be celebrated in Sts Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Andover. Burial will be in Bellevue Cemetery, Lawrence. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in his name to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Road, S.W.Lilburn, GA 30047. To view George’s tribute page, please visit www.goundreydewhirstfuneral.com.
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