Tarras Gregory Onischenko

April 9, 2024

CHARLOTTE – Tarras Gregory Onischenko, 75, passed away on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in his home in Charlotte, surrounded by loved ones after a long battle with cancer.

While it would be tempting to print just exactly what Tarras thought about cancer in accordance with his legendary humor, we will refrain from doing so as children might be reading.

Tarras was born to Irina and Gregory Onischenko on January 11, 1949, in São Paulo, Brazil. Both Irina and Gregory were Nazi concentration camp survivors, who had fallen in love in said camp amid its horror.  Tarras’ exact thoughts about Nazis will also not be spelled out in this obituary, but we trust that you can imagine them.

After his family settled in the United States with the aid of his intrepid uncle, Tarras excelled in both athletics and academics.  He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at Bucknell, where he also ran track and played football, and his PhD in psychology at Duke University.

Tarras’ lengthy, brilliant career involved working in clinical psychology, consulting, and business.  He was a dogged, successful professional who was as comfortable consulting at Fortune 500 companies including IBM and Nucor Steel as he was treating patients from all walks of life.

While he abhorred cheap sentimentality, instead preferring it to direct action, it must be said that Tarras was a kind, generous, and hardworking man who leaves behind a tremendous void. This void can only partially be filled by recalling his deadpan humor — which earned him the nickname “Uncle Terrorism” from his nearest and dearest — tremendous sense of style, and love of this world, imperfect though it may be.

Tarras adored the music of the Beach Boys and John Denver, the Carolina coast, both fluffy and short-haired cats, sneaking away to Burger King to the chagrin of his health-conscious relatives, and making fun of life’s little banalities.

He is survived by his grieving relatives: his widow, Nataliya Nistratova; his sister-in-law, Tatiana Antonova; nephew, Vladimir Antonov; niece, Natalia Antonova, and his grand nephew, Lev Zhiryakov.

Funeral Services will be held 10:00 AM on Friday, April 12, 2024, at St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, NC.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.  Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of Tarras to his beloved St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church, 5108 Kuykendall Road, Charlotte, NC 28270.

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.

Share your memories & condolences


  • Michael Helbein

    He was a kind man who wasn't afraid to tell you what he thought . He was a great listener and could talk to anybody. A great human being. I will Miss him. Rest in peace T.

  • Kim Sheree' Braswell

    I am thinking of you at this time and praying for God to comfort you. We will all miss Tarras' sense of humor and kindness. May his memory be everlasting.+

  • Sean McIntire

    Even as a high school student, Dr. T had always been someone to look up to. He was so kind and was a great person to just sit and talk to for hours while enjoying his humor. Thank you Dr. T for being apart of my life and may he rest in peace.

  • Chris Pappas

    I met T.O. (Tarras) at St. Nektarios church one day, when my wife and I arrived here in 2016. Tarras was a regular at our “coffee hour” table, and I will forever be grateful for this man who could make you laugh, make you cry, make you think, and make you love. We share many aviation related stories that we both related to. This man never seemed to wear the same tie twice, as he had many, that were truly unique, just like himself. Tarras, you will surely be missed. May your memory be eternal.
    Chris Pappas. Charlotte, NC

  • Silva Awaimrin

    I will miss him stopping by the office to get votive candles and praying with us during Paraklesis.
    May He Rest In Peace and May His Memory Be Everlasting!