Fr. Theodore S. Kyritsis

April 25, 2022

CHARLOTTE – Fr. Theodore S. Kyritsis passed away, peacefully surrounded by his family on Monday, April 25, 2022.  He was born in Northern Epirus, Greece on December 29, 1929, to Spyridon and Evdoxia Kyritsis.  Fr. Theodore received his degree in Theology from the Hellenic College at Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, MA in 1952.  He also attended St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York, where he also served as adjunct professor.  He received his master’s degree in 1957.

In September 1953, Bishop Germanos sent him to Charlotte, NC where the Greek Orthodox Diocese headquarters for Southern States were located.   Fr. Theodore served as Executive Secretary and Chancellor and Director of Education for the Sunday School and Greek School at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.  He and his lovely wife, Maria, were the very first couple to be wed at the newly built Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in 1954.

Three years later, he was ordained into the priesthood in New York City at the Church of Holy Transfiguration.  His first assignment as a young priest was to serve the communities of Port Arthur and Beaumont, TX and Lake Charles, LA.  During his time in Texas, he also hosted a weekly religious television program, comprised of a panel of guests who discussed community issues and religious topics.   He also served as a Chaplain in the United States Air Force and the Civil Air Patrol.  While in Texas, he presided over one of the largest Epiphany services ever held in the United States at the time, with the United States Navy and the Blue Angels flying in a cross formation.

Fr. Theodore went on to serve as Priest at St. George in Memphis, TN for 20 years.  While in Memphis, he was often a guest of Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  From there he went on to serve as priest at St, Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church in Sarasota, FL, where he was also responsible for the Sunday School and Greek School.  With his guidance, he helped the parishioners achieve their dream of building a new edifice for their place of worship. Since 1950, Fr. Theodore had broadcast religious sermons on the radio, that were heard in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts.  He also hosted the Greek Orthodox Church Radio Pulpit for many years.  During his priesthood, he had been invited by numerous churches of other denominations to educate others about Orthodox Christianity.

Throughout his life, Fr. Theodore unselfishly and generously donated his time and aid to those less fortunate.  Having lost his mother at a young age, children always held a special place in his heart, and he considered himself a friend of orphans.  In the 1980s when Communism was lifted, Fr. Theodore was one of the first priests to go to Albania, where Christianity had been oppressed for many years.  He held liturgies, baptized children, and preformed weddings in churches. 

Upon retirement, he and his wife returned to Charlotte, NC where he continued to serve the community and donate his time to others.  Since 2005, he had been instrumental in helping to organize and bless meals that were given to hundreds for Thanksgiving each year at the Skyland Restaurant.  It was also his pleasure to help the Serbian Orthodox community build their own church, where he often served as priest.  Held in high regard for his sermons, he was most recently invited to speak at the 8th World Forum Humanitas in Athens Greece in 2016.  Fr. Theodore was proficient in several languages which allowed him to connect with many people.

Fr. Theodore is survived by his wife of 68 years, Presbytera Maria Kyritsis; his children, Evdoxia (Eve) Liapis and her husband, Peter, Niki Chomick and her husband, Steven and Spiros T. Kyritsis.   Also surviving are his grandson, Stamati Liapis; his brother, Evangelos Kyritsis and his wife, Anthoula; nieces, Dr. Evdoxia Kyritsis and Eleni Kyritsis and sister-in-law, Joanna Adrinopoulos and her children and their families.   He was predeceased by his parents, Spyridon and Evdoxia Kyritsis.

Funeral Services for Fr. Theodore will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd. in Charlotte beginning with a Divine Liturgy at 9:00 AM. The funeral will immediately follow.  Interment will be at Evergreen Cemetery. The family will greet family and friends for thirty minutes prior to the Divine Liturgy beginning at 8:30 AM at the church.

Memorials may be offered in memory of Fr. Theodore to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203 or St. Simeon Serbian Orthodox Church, 7609 Mallard Creek Road, Charlotte, NC 28262.

May His Memory Be Eternal.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

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Comments

  • Maria Diamaduros

    My condolences to the Kyritsis family. Farther Kyritsis was a man who made a difference in so many lives. His wonderful personality will forever live in our hearts.
    I know you will miss him. My thoughts are with you all.

  • Elena Briand

    My sincere condolences to the family and specially to Spiros. I know how much his father meant for him. Hugs!

  • markr murphy

    I am so glad I got to meet this wonderful man and spend some time with him at his end I am so grateful that he was able to let his hands on me and pray for me he will always be remembered thank you father

  • Steve & Robin

    Our hearts and prayers are with and for all tfamily and friends. Peace be with you.

  • Irini Manousakis

    My thoughts and prayers to the family!!!

  • Sladjana Novakovic

    May his memory be eternal. Deepest condolences to family . Vječnaja pamjat Oče Teo, You will always be in our hart.

  • STAVROULA POLITIS

    May his memory be eternal my thoughts and prayers ??? with the family!!!

  • Theresa Finocchio-Balaouras

    This man was one in a million. My condolences to Spiros, Maria, and family.

  • Scott Stockdale

    My deepest condolences. I pray for God's strength and comfort for the family and friends.

  • Claudia and Rob Priest

    May his memory be eternal.
    May you, Spiros, and your family, be given strength to bear your loss.

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