April 22, 1940 - May 06, 2016
Johnny Savas Joannou, 76, of Portsmouth, Virginia passed away on May 6, 2016 after a brief, but courageous battle with lung cancer. Born on April 22, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, he was treasured son to the late Savas “Tommy” Joannou and Bessie Joannou.
Joannou moved to Portsmouth in 1945 with his family, subsequently forming a bond with the city and its citizens. Over the course of his years as a Portsmouth resident, he opened a private law practice that is still active today. Johnny also selflessly served the people of Portsmouth in the Virginia State Legislature’s 13th and 79th districts for more than 30 years. Among numerous civic and fraternal organizations, Joannou was a 33rd Degree Mason with the Portsmouth Scottish Rite Bodies. He was also a member of Naval 100 Masonic Lodge, and the Robert E. Lee, Chapter 122, Order of AHEPA.
Johnny touched many lives and will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Chris Joannou, of Portsmouth, daughter Dr. Stephanie Joannou Menefee, son-in-law Keith, and granddaughter Athena. He is also survived by cousins Michael Kalesperides and wife Helen, Katina Lipford and husband Lester, Savas Kalesperides and wife Nitsa, and Nitsa Yianni; sisters-in-law Helen Savalas, Bess Decker and Ann Kolantis; and many beloved nieces and nephews. Joannou is predeceased by brothers-in-law Anthony P. Kolantis, and Peter G. Decker, Jr.
There will be a Trisaginon at Foster Funeral Home in Portsmouth on Monday, May 9, 2016 at 6:30pm. Funeral services are private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or to The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Norfolk, Virginia.