John Spiros Poulos, 89, passed away peacefully on July 19, 2020 at home surrounded by his loving family. John was born on April 23, 1931 in Nostimo, Evrytania, Greece the eighth child of the late Spero John and Eugenia Antonopoulos Stathopoulos. John was preceded in death by five brothers Ioannis, Demetrious, George, Gus and Chris, and two sisters Maria Stathopoulos and Konstandia Kakouras.
John left the village in 1947 and moved to Athens where he found work in a pastry shop. On September 1, 1951 John came to America where he joined his brother Gus in Fayetteville. John quickly began working in the restaurant business until he saved enough money to purchase his own restaurant in March 1953. Within a year, he purchased a second restaurant. In 1956, John learned of a bankrupt bakery and knew he’d found his perfect business venture. He added Superior Bakery to his daily workload, eventually selling the restaurants to focus on the bakery.
In 1958, John married Kay Paliouras who had also immigrated from Greece and lived in Weldon, NC. John and Kay spent the next 30 years building the bakery into a thriving wholesale/retail operation and raising their three children. After retirement John enjoyed spending his time volunteering and fishing at Wrightsville Beach.
John was always very involved in his beloved church, Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. He was very active in the Parish Council serving as President for eight years and he was instrumental in the church’s growth and standing in the community. He chaired many of the parishes Greek Festivals and sold thousands of tickets to the annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser. John was a member of the AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) where he served the local chapter as President and served on the national level as well. He was also very involved in the Velouchi Association where he served as President for six years and held offices on the national level as well.
The Cape Fear Kiwanis Club has been an important part of John’s life since 1967. John served as President and Board Member and was elected Life Member of Kiwanis International in 1992, having earned every distinction awarded by Kiwanis for community service. John was a founder of the Kiwanis Annual Pancake fundraiser selling thousands of tickets each year and making it into one of Fayetteville’s signature events. Kiwanis honored John by establishing a scholarship in his name for high school students. Even though he himself had no formal education, John understood the value of education and the opportunities it provided youth. John also served on the Board of Directors as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Highlands Chapter of the American Red Cross and he volunteered for the United Way as well. He also was Chairman of the 1997 annual International Folk Festival when his native Greece was the host country. In 2003, John was honored to receive the Esther Dept and Mary MacAllister award, given by the City of Fayetteville in recognition of his dedication to the betterment of the lives of the citizens in his community and his commitment to race improvements and inclusion in Fayetteville. In 2004, John received the American Business Ethics Award given by Methodist University.
In 2007, Governor Michael Easley awarded John the highest civilian honor bestowed in our state, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. John dedicated his life to serving the community he loved in his beloved adopted country.
John was also known for his caring and generosity. He was grateful for his many blessings and was quick to share his blessings with others.
John is survived by his loving wife Kay of the home, three children and six grandchildren; son Stephen J. Poulos (Debbie) of Boone, NC and their children Ethan G. Poulos and Travis J. Poulos; daughter Cynthia P. Fox (George) of Boone, NC and their children Michael J. Fox and Alex B. Fox; and Nicko J. Poulos (Kathie) of Fayetteville and children John N. Poulos and Lily N. Poulos; and sister-in-law Melba Poulos and numerous nieces, nephews and godchildren.
Due to COVID-19, a private Trisagion and funeral service will be held on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church Building Fund 614 Oakridge Ave. Fayetteville, NC 28305 and Kiwanis Club of the Cape Fear Lake Waccamaw Boys’ and Girls’ Home PMB #12 439 Westwood Shopping Center Fayetteville, NC 28314.
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Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church
614 Oakridge Ave, Fayetteville NC 28305
Kiwanis Club of the Cape Fear Lake Waccamaw Boys’ and Girls’ Home PMB #12
439 Westwood Shopping Center, Fayetteville NC 28314