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Stephen A. Paninos, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, reposed in the Lord on September 18, 2023, having lived a long and cherished life centered around family and community. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Tina (Lascarides) Paninos, his sons Gregory (Lisa Nickell), Mark (Keri Clarke) and daughter Presvytera Christine (Rev. Anthony Salzman), and grandchildren Andrew, Jason, and Alexander Paninos, Stephanos (Anastasia Peristeraki) and Maximos Salzman, Elianna, Kiara, and Chrysanthe Paninos and great grandchildren Amalia and Silas Salzman and Lucas Paninos.
Steve was born on November 11, 1928, in Philadelphia to immigrant parents, Athanasios and Sophia (Christakis) Paninos. His mother needed to return to Greece for health reasons and took her two young sons, Stephanos and Constantinos with her. The boys were soon orphaned and raised by their maternal uncle Dr. Aristidis Christakis and maternal aunt Eutychia. During WWII, their town of Servia, in the northern region of Kozane, was attacked and burned by the Germans, and all the family, including his first cousin Dr. Anna (Christakis) Cornwell, fled into the mountains, surviving with the help of the monastic communities. At the end of the war, the two brothers, were Identified as US citizens and boarded onto the Gripsholm ship as part of the exchange and repatriation program from 1942 to 1946 and returned to the United States to live with their father and the Stamoulis family, relatives of his paternal grandmother. His relationship remained strong with his four first cousins from the Stamoulis clan: Helen Fotiou, Niki Maropoulos, Paula Abramides and John Stamoulis and their families. He also remained close to the Christakis clan both in the US and in Greece: Christos Christakis, Sanna Kallis, and Thanasi Christakis and their families.
He graduated from West Philadelphia High School, then from a vo-tech school to become a TV repairman for RCA, working on the 1950's state of the art TV picture tubes. In 1956, he met his sweetheart Tina at a wedding where he was the best man for Manny Leventelis, and she was the maid of honor for her sister Becky (Lascarides) Leventelis. They were married in 1957. Steve eventually went into business, opening Perk Up Coffee Service. He realized the American Dream through his hard work, quality service and good coffee. He sold Lacas Coffee, which the Lacas family agreed to package for him with his own Perk Up Coffee Service label.
Steve was a founding member of St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church in Broomall, PA, he was a dedicated member of the Upper Darby AНЕРА chapter and the Pan Macedonian Association of Greater Philadelphia. He served many terms as president, treasurer and Auditor for his beloved organizations and was an ardent advocate of the identification of Northern Greece as the true Macedonia. Steve and Tina were hard working loukoumades-makers at the St Luke Greek Affair for many, many years. When they moved to Athens, Georgia in 2013 they fit right in, winning the hearts of their new friends at St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church. Steve valued, above everything else, a home full of memorable family gatherings, and social events between good friends as often as possible. Steve will always be remembered for his genuine happiness and his thoughtful interest in whoever he met.
Friends and family are welcome to join us in remembrance of and prayer for Stephen.
Visitation will be Sunday, September 24 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, with Trisagion prayers at The Lord and Stephens Funeral Home at 1211 Jimmy Daniel Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677
Funeral will be Monday September 25 at 11:00 Am at St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church, 3761 Mars Hill Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677 Interment at Oconee Memorial Park Cemetery and the Makaria Luncheon back at the church hall.
Donations in his memory can be made to St. Philothea GOC 3761 Mars Hill Rd, Watkinsville GA 30677 or to St. Luke GOC 35 N Malin Rd, Broomall PA 19008
May his memory be eternal!
Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, WEST, Watkinsville, GA is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com