NEW YORK – The news of Father Joakim D. Valasiadis passing on April 6 caused grief to relatives and friends on both sides of the Atlantic. Always thoughtful, disciplined, and steadfast in his values, he was considered by the members of his congregation and all those who knew him to be an ideal priest.
Throughout his life he impacted those around him by reaching out to his entire community. His dedication to everyone in need was evident in the many positions he held and the good work he did. He served on the Archdiocesan Youth Committee, the Archdiocesan Spiritual Court, the Youth Commission of the Incorporated Village of Freeport and the Nassau County Interfaith Commission. Additionally, he used his efforts and abilities by serving as Chaplain to the Veterans Hospital, Immigration and Naturalization Service in New York City, the Freeport Police and Nassau County Medical Center. He was also one of the founders and a member of the International Conference of Police Chaplains and Fraternal Order of Police, Empire State Lodge. He served as Treasurer of the Nassau/Suffolk Clergy Fellowship and then served as president for four years.
Valasiadis was born in Athens, Greece on May 1,1932 and attended Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he pursued his studies in Theology and Classical Greek. He was ordained a deacon in Manchester, New Hampshire in November, 1954 and on December 12, 1954, was ordained a priest at St. Spyridon in Worcester, MA.
Fr. Valasiadis served as pastor at St. Demetrios Church in Biddeford, ME; St. Barbara Church in New York City; St. Demetrios Church in Newton, MA; St. Demetrios Church in Freeport, NY, and the Cathedral St. Paul's in Hempstead, NY. In April of 2005, Fr. Valasiadis began serving the community of the St. Nicholas Shrine Church in Flushing, NY until 2017.
Bishop Athenagoras of Elaia bestowed upon Fr. Valasiadis the Offikion of Sakellarious in 1959. His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos bestowed upon him the Offikion of Economos in March 1966, and May 1979, he was elevated to Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne. In April, 1988, the Reverend was elevated to Ecclesiarch of the Archdiocese.
Fr. Valasiadis’ many decades of service and loyalty were honored with citations by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Greek Government and the American Red Cross. He was also the recipient of the Cathedral of St. Paul's Golden Leaves Award and the Gold Medallion. Fr. Valasiadis had appeared in American Hellenic Who's Who of Business and Professionals; Who's Who of the East. On March 7, 2004 he was also honored with the Prophet Elias Emblem by the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas and The Orthodox Scouting Commission.
After 65 years of maintaining the highest standards for his priesthood in the many parishes that he served, the Very Reverend Father Joakim D. Valasiadis, 88, fell asleep in the Lord on April 6.
Fr. Valasiadis is survived by wife of sixty-five years Bessie Pierrochakow of Somersworth, NH, and their three married children, Peter and Dr. Lorraine Valasiadis, William and Claire Valasiadis, and Deborah and Michael Frahlich and seven grandchildren- Joseph (Lydia), William (Jessica), Danielle, Michael, William, Nicole and Victoria. He is also survived by his two sisters Kalliope Kemos and Anna Antoniadis, his cousin Jack N. Agrios and nieces, nephews, and cousins in the United States, Greece, and Canada.
The funeral for Fr. Valasiadis was held on April 24 at the Church of the Holy Resurrection in Brookville, NY and the interment took place at Locust Valley Cemetery for the immediate family.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made in memory of The Reverend Father Joakim D. Valasiadis to the Saint Nicholas Shrine Church 196-10 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11358 or www.stnicholasflushing.org.