John P. Vellios, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and godfather, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, November 6, 2022, at the age of 88, in Manhasset, New York.
Born on September 21, 1934 to Lambrini and Panayiotis Vellios in the small village of Diplatanos in the mountains of central Greece, John had to grow up fast. As a young boy, he witnessed poverty and hunger as Greece went through World War II and then the Greek Civil War. During this time, at the age of 8, he also suffered the death of his mother. He managed to graduate from high school and then high school while working to survive and help his younger siblings in the midst of war, famine, and instability. Called by his uncles who immigrated to the United States and driven by the desire to find a better life for himself and for generations to come, John went to America in April 1957. Here, he made the American dream his reality.
After sailing from Greece to New York, John initially lived and worked for his mother’s cousins, learning the florist trade on which he would one day build his own successes and a good life for his family. It was during this time that he also discovered his passion for New York and for theater, moving to Hell’s Kitchen with a group of his friends and performing in the evenings with a small New York theater troupe while serving tables during the day (and otherwise). live “la dolce vita”, as he said, with an ironic smile and a twinkle in his eyes). He proudly became an American citizen on June 13, 1961.
After some time in New York, John decides to return to Greece and get married. In August 1968 he was introduced to and married (two weeks later) Irene Maroudas, taking his young bride with him to Brooklyn, New York. Having developed an entrepreneurial spirit, John quickly embarked on a new adventure, purchasing Rosedale Florist and a home with his wife in Manhasset, New York, where they ran their business, raised their family and lived for over 53 years . Never one to seek accolades, John sacrificed and worked tirelessly and selflessly for his family for the more than 40 years he ran the company. Although he worked six days a week and on every major holiday, John enjoyed socializing, frequently hosting parties, family and friends at his home over the years.
Gentle, generous and soft-spoken, John was a man of strong faith, giving himself to the Church and the Greek-American community. Along with a handful of other local Greek-American families, John helped establish Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church in Roslyn, New York, in 1981, where he was a longtime member and past president of the parish council. He remained involved in the Church throughout his life. It was also important to John to instill kinship within the Greek-American community. To this end, John has also been a long-time member and past president of the Diplatanos Society-Agia Marina, Inc., a non-profit corporation dedicated to helping its members and their home village of Diplatanos, as well as a member of the Order of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association), the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek origin.
John was a voracious reader (there was rarely a significant historical fact, philosopher, or important work that he could not remember or quote from memory); a lover of languages, antiques and butter pecan ice cream; a lifelong fan of “The Gipper” (his politics and films); and a lover of classical music (he was particularly enamored of Maria Callas, Pavarotti and Joselito’s “Granada,” whose voice in this song, he often marveled, “sounds like an angel”). With his dry sense of humor and good-natured penchant, John also had a gift for conversation, often resorting to charming, old-fashioned expressions that belied a quiet wisdom and, at times, also helped him deal easily with potential conflicts (” For example “). shout out loud” being among his favorites in such scenarios). And if you’ve ever met him at a Greek wedding, baptism or social event, you know that he loved Greek folk music immensely and was the first to hit the dance floor dance for zeibekiko.
(“O Aetos” or “The Eagle” by Sfakianakis was and will forever be his song). In his spare time, John also worked on his family’s genealogy and history, documenting oral histories and researching his ancestors and distant relatives. During the last decade of his life, John endured numerous health problems, including cancer and heart disease. Even though his heart ultimately failed, his spirit remained stubbornly strong and he always fought to recover enough so that he could travel to Greece every summer, where he loved spending time with family and friends by the sea in his apartment in Kamena Vourla. a seaside town on the outskirts of Athens.
Jean was preceded in death by his sister Maria and brother-in-law Athanasios Tsintzelis, as well as his brother Theofanis Vellios. John is survived by his wife, Irene; their children Lambrina Mathews (husband Nikiforos) of New Canaan, Connecticut, Constantina Vellios (husband Andreas) of West Hollywood, California and Peter Vellios (wife Shirley) of Port Washington, New York; his grandchildren Alexandra, Luke, Alexander, Alvaro, Kimberley (husband Mike) and Luciana; his sister Stavroula and brother-in-law Fotios Gournelos, brother Chris and sister-in-law Christina Vellios and sister-in-law Maria Vellios of Brooklyn, New York; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and godchildren.
John was a very humble man, but he was extremely proud of his grandchildren, whom he loved dearly. John will be deeply missed by them and all those who truly loved him. In them, the kindness of his immense heart, the twinkle of his eyes and the stubborn strength of his will will live forever.
Family and friends will gather on Friday, November 11, 2022 at the Fairchild Sons Funeral Chapel in Manhasset, New York where a short memorial service (Trisagion) will be held.
The funeral will take place on Saturday, November 12, 2022, preceded by an additional hour of visitation at the church. Interment followed at Locust Valley Cemetery in Locust Valley, New York, with a luncheon (Makaria) immediately following at Limani Mezze, 1512 Old Northern.
Boulevard, Roslyn, NY, where family and friends are invited to gather to celebrate John’s life.
In his memory, donations may be made to the Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church
Icon Fund in Memory of John P. Vellios, 100 Fairway Drive, Port Washington, New York 11050. Those wishing to share a memory or send condolences via
The online tribute book can visit https://fairchildsons.com/tribute/details/2713/John-Vellios/obituary.html#tribute-start.