January 23, 1927 - November 23, 2020
On Monday, November 23, 2020, Rev. Fr. John D. Protopapas, loving husband and father, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family. Rev. Protopresbyter John D. Protopapas was born in Pano Zodhia, Cyprus on January 23, 1927 to Demetrios Protopapas and Panagiota Katsaris. In 1949, he came to the United States and enrolled as a student at Holy Cross Theological Seminary in Brookline, Mass. After graduating in 1952, he continued his studies at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, Mass., earning a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1954 and a Master of Sacred Theology degree majoring in Pastoral Clinical Psychology in 1955. On June 5, 1955, he married Catherine Lianides of Worcester, Mass. Fr. John was ordained to the Diaconate on June 26, 1955 and to the Priesthood on July 9, 1955. His first assignment as a priest was at the Parish of St. George in Bangor, Maine. In 1965, Fr. John was transferred to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, where he served for two years as the secretary to Bishop Theodosios, assisted in the formation of the Dormition of the Theotokos Church, Oakmont, Pa., and then served the Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church, Aliquippa, Pa. for eleven months. In 1967, he was assigned to the Annunciation Church of Cleveland, Ohio. Fr. John’s most important accomplishments at the Annunciation were with spiritual and intellectual growth of the faithful: the Greek School became recognized by the Greek Ministry of Education of Greece, church membership doubled, the choir flourished, and the church sponsored patients from Greece to receive open heart surgeries at local hospitals. Upon retiring in 1997, Fr. John and Presbytera Catherine moved to Clearwater, Fla. where he accepted temporary assignments throughout Florida and also Montgomery, Ala. Afterwards, the then Bishop Alexios of Atlanta requested that he come out of retirement to start a mission church in Palm Harbor, Fla. On February 6, 2000, Fr. John celebrated the first Divine Liturgy in honor of Saints Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene. Fr. John always extended the hand of spiritual guidance to all he could reach. His legacy was showing the unconditional love of Christ to all. His desire to cultivate vegetable gardens and fruit trees and to share their bountiful harvests with his communities began in Maine and continued well into his retirement years in Florida. On Sunday February 3, 2013, Fr. John celebrated his last Divine Liturgy with about 250 worshipers in attendance. Fr. John and Presbytera Catherine began their second retirement season with God leading the way. Glory be to God who leads our footsteps. Fr. John is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Catherine (Lianides), his son, Christopher (Fran) Protopapas of Columbus, Ohio, his daughters, Paula (Jim deceased) Manos of Greensboro, North Carolina and Mira (Andy) Kipker of Dublin, Ohio, his grandchildren, Rebecca Manos, Derek (Abby) Protopapas, Elizabeth (Christopher) Schumann, Sarah Manos, Andrew Protopapas, and Nathan Kipker, his great grandchildren, James and Luke Schumann, and his sisters, Helen Liasidou and Emilia Solomonides of Cyprus. Fr. John is preceded in death by his parents, Demetrios and Panagiota (Katsaris) Protopapas, and his uncle, Rev. Christopher Argyrides, who sponsored his immigration to the United States. Services will be held on December 3, 2020 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Clearwater, Fla., with Divine Liturgy at 9am followed by the funeral service at 11am. The services will be available via live stream at https://www.htclearwater.com/live-streaming and then archived on the church website. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial contributions be made to the capital campaigns of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Clearwater, Fla. or Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene Church in Palm Harbor, Fla. Due to COVID, the family is delaying the traditional reception.
On Monday, November 23, 2020, Rev. Fr. John D. Protopapas, loving husband and father, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family. Rev. Protopresbyter John D. Protopapas was born in Pano Zodhia, Cyprus on January 23, 1927 to Demetrios... View Obituary & Service Information
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