WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) mourns the passing of the former chairman of the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee (AHIPAC) and advocate for Cyprus, Dr. Dean C. Lomis. He passed away on February 13 at the age of 89.
“During his many years as a community advocate that began shortly after Turkey’s illegal invasion of Cyprus in 1974, and especially during his four terms serving as AHIPAC chairman from 1984 to 1992, Dr. Lomis worked relentlessly with AHI Founder Eugene Rossides to bring justice for Cyprus under the rule of law,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said.
“He is credited for raising awareness and ‘educating’ then-Senator Joe Biden about the Cyprus issue and as AHIPAC Chairman, he presented in-person witness testimony to key congressional committees on our positions regarding foreign aid to Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey on several occasions.
“Dr. Lomis was one of my strongest mentors from whom I learned tremendously beginning from my time at AHI in 1987. We travelled the country together advocating on behalf of policy issues impacting Greece and Cyprus and informing and educating communities.
“Dr. Lomis will be remembered fondly by the American Hellenic Institute and its members as an exceptional individual who worked diligently to promote Hellenic ideals and values in addition to advocating for Hellenic policy issues. Our prayers and deepest sympathies are with the Lomis family, especially his wife, Toula; and sons, Van, Nicholas, and Michael. May his memory be eternal.”
AHI presented Dr. Lomis with the Hellenic Heritage National Public Service Award in 1997.
Dr. Lomis also actively promoted the teaching of Modern Greek in American universities and cooperated with AHEPA and the University of Thessaloniki to establish courses for Greek American students. He promoted Hellenism in the United States for which Hellenic News of America recognized his efforts, and he remained committed to the promotion of Greek culture and language among Greek American youth until the time of his passing.
Dean C. Lomis, native of Gary, IN, was the son of Greek immigrant parents Angelo Tsolomitis from Leonidion, Arcadia, and Helen from Naphlion. In 1955, he received his BA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, and attended flying training in Houston, TX. In 1956, he was assigned overseas to United States Air Force Intelligence Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany and in 1957, to the Office of the Air Attaché of the American Embassy in Athens, Greece.
In 1960, Lomis began his teaching career at Mesquite High School in Mesquite, TX while pursuing graduate studies. He received his MA in 1965 and his PhD in 1967 in Educational Administration from East Texas State University. From 1959 and until his retirement in 1991, he served as the director of the International Center at the University of Delaware where he taught three courses.
Dr. Lomis served as reginal Chairman of the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs, Delaware State Chairman of the American Association of University Administrators, President of the Delaware Division of United Nations Association, President of the Delaware Branch of the English-speaking union, member of the Board of Directors of the Wilmington (Delaware) World Affairs Council, Delaware Council of International Visitors, and Delaware Chapter of People-to-People International, as well as member of various civic and public organizations.
Dr. Lomis received the AHI Hellenic Heritage National Public Service Award in 1997 and Greek honorary awards: the 1972 Santa Clara, California Recognition of Achievement; the 1978 Oscar Award of Merit by the Philadelphia Exclusive, and the 1991 Award of Appreciation by the National Council of international Visitors. He was included in the 1976 Who’s Who in North America and was nominated twice for the University of Delaware Excellence-in-Teaching Award.
He was a member of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Wilmington, DE and a 35-year member of the Order of the AHEPA. He served as President of the Hellenic University Club of Wilmington and four two-year terms as the Chairman of the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee. He also served as the Chairman of the United Hellenic American Action Societies of Delaware. Dr. Lomis’ military and international education assignments have taken him to 50 countries and all 50 states of the United States. He authored two books and numerous articles.
Dr. Lomis is survived by Toula, his spouse since 1959, sons: Dr. Van Lomis and wife Deme Ann, Dr. Nick Lomis and wife Dimitra, and Dr. Mike Lomis and wife Kimberly, and the joy of his life, eight grandchildren: Constantine A., Evan, Luke, Constantine N., Vasilios, Katerina, Alexander, and Lindsey, and by his sister and nephew Matina and Evan Spiliotopoulos.
The funeral service will be held on Friday, February 19 at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 808 N. Broom St. Wilmington, DE 19806. Visitation is at 10 AM, which will coincide with the church’s Divine Liturgy. Guests are encouraged to be mindful of the Divine Liturgy as they pay their final respects to Dr. Lomis. Funeral service will begin at 11 AM.
Interment will take place following the funeral service at the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church Cemetery, 2504 Cub Hill Road Baltimore, MD 21234.
Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic the traditional Makaria will not be held.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Wilmington, DE, or to the American Hellenic Institute, 1220 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036.