Washington, DC – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America announces the passing of Rev. Dr. John Tavlarides, retired pastor of Saint Sophia Cathedral, Washington, DC. Fr. Tavlarides passed to the Lord on September 21, 2015 in Berlin, MD. He was 84.
Fr. Tavlarides served as the Dean of Saint Sophia Cathedral in Washington, DC for more than 50 years. Born in Stamford, CT in 1930, he attended seminary at Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, MA and received his Doctor of Ministry from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in upstate New York. His first assignment was to serve as Assistant Dean of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City. In 1956, he was assigned to be the first American-born priest to head Saint Sophia Cathedral.
At Saint Sophia Cathedral Fr. Tavlarides oversaw the transformation of a young church of immigrants and their offspring into one of the most well-known Eastern Orthodox houses of worship in the Nation and helped establish Greek Orthodoxy as a major faith in the DC metropolitan area.
Under his tenure Fr. Tavlarides grew the number of parishioners by focusing on their religious education. He also served on the religious committees for the inauguration of several US Presidents, and hosted and interacted with members of Congress. He also ministered to the poor, indigent and those who had fallen of difficult times, impacting many generations of parishioners who lived in Washington and its suburbs.
He is survived by his Presvytera Harriet, children Theodore (Eleni), Mark, Nia (Steve) Stratos, Demetri, Christopher (Dana); and three grandchildren Stephanie and Phillip Stratos and Eleni Tavlarides, and a sister, Mary (Apostolos) Kyriakoudis.
Visitation will be Sunday, September 27th at St. Sophia Cathedral from 4-8 p.m. with the trisagion service at 6 p.m.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America will preside at the funeral service assisted by Cathedral and local clergy, on Monday, September 28th. Orthros will begin at 8:00am, followed by the Divine Liturgy and the Funeral service.