NEW YORK – Diplomats, America’s top educators and businessmen, and leaders and members of the Greek-American community joined the family and friends and admirers of Michael Jaharis to bid the industrialist, philanthropist, churchman, and patron of the arts a warm and heartfelt farewell at his funeral in the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan February 20.
Beneath a sky that was often clear and blue, the clergy and laity who filled the Cathedral’s solea chanted the hymns Everlasting be Your Memory and Blessed be the Way for the man who was described as a devoted husband and father, ideal friend, extraordinary entrepreneur, and dedicated and hard-working Orthodox Christian.
The day’s warm temperatures – it was perhaps the nicest day of the year so far – made a remarkable coincidence possible.
Archbishop Demetrios led the funeral service assisted by Metropolitan Methodios of New England, Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh, Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, and a dozen local clergy, including Cathedral Dean Fr. John Vlahos and Dean Emeritus Rev. Dr. Robert Stephanopoulos.
The Archbishop pointed out that “at this very moment” the concrete was being poured for the floor of the St. Nicholas National Shrine in whose construction Jaharis was instrumental.
Permission was granted for eulogies to be given, which is not traditional in the Orthodox Church, permitting the guests to go beyond the media biographies and to learn more about the human side of the dynamo.
Jaharis’ son Dr. Steven Jaharis, his daughter Kathryn Jaharis and Kevin Ferro, the CEO of Vatera Healthcare Partners LLC that Jaharis founded in 2007, noted the sense of humor, integrity, and humility that complemented the success of all his endeavors. Hints were offered that the philanthropic activities he undertook with his beloved wife Mary far exceeded what was known to the public, indeed he was a second father to numerous individuals whose college education he paid for.
The speakers, including the Archbishop, expressed what was known to everyone in attendance who knew the inseparable couple, that Jaharis always explained that his achievements would have been impossible without the love, support, and contributions of Mary Jaharis.
Two of Jaharis’ five grandchildren, daughters of Dr. James Jaharis, sang Amazing Grace at the conclusion of the service.
The Cathedral was also filled the night before during the Trisagion service led by Archbishop Demetrios, assisted by Metropolitan Methodios of New England and Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey. Jaharis served for many years as Vice Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church or the Cancer Programs at Columbia University Medical Center, nevertheless the Cathedral’s St. Nicholas Chapel were filled with flower displays reflecting the esteem in which Michael Jaharis was held.
Among the countless outpouring of condolences regarding the passing of Michael Jaharis last week are the following paid notices, which appeared in the New York Times in the days following his death.
George Cioffi, MD, Chairman Stanley Chang, MD, Chairman Emeritus Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University Medical Center
We are greatly saddened by the loss of Michael Jaharis, whose incredible leadership and innovations in the pharmaceutical industry enabled many patients to enjoy a better quality of life. He was a man of great integrity and sensitivity for others, whose exceptional generosity extended to those in need, the arts, and medical research. We were lucky that he and his wife Mary shared an interest in conquering eye diseases. This special, unique man will be greatly missed. Our sincere and deepest condolences to his wife, their children, Steven and Kathryn, and extended family.
Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, Dean; Dr. Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., Dean Emeritus, Overseer; Jessica M. Bibliowicz, Chairman, Board of Overseers Weill Cornell Medicine
Weill Cornell Medicine is deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend and benefactor Michael Jaharis. An Overseer since 2008, Michael was a gracious and dedicated leader, serving on the Special Committee on Research and enthusiastically supporting the Board’s efforts to celebrate our physicians’ distinguished service. Michael was committed to advancing scientific understanding of cardiovascular disease and lipid disorders, a legacy that endures through the Mary and Michael Jaharis – Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., M.D., D. Phil, Atherosclerosis and Lipids Research Fund and the Mary and Michael Jaharis Cardiovascular Diseases Laboratories, which he and his wife Mary generously established. We are honored and grateful to have enjoyed his wise and insightful counsel, friendship, benevolence, humor and warm spirit. Our heartfelt condolences to Mary, his children Steven and Kathryn, and their family and friends.
The Board and staff of The Little Orchestra Society
The Little Orchestra Society mourns the passing of Michael Jaharis. Michael, his wife Mary, and their family have been generous benefactors over many years. We extend our condolences to Mary, Kathy, and the Jaharis family.
Lee Goldman, M.D. Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine Chief Executive, Columbia University Medical Center Roy Vagelos, M.D. Chair, Board of Advisors Columbia University Medical Center
Columbia University Medical Center celebrates the life and mourns the passing of our good friend and advisor Michael Jaharis. He and his wife, Mary, and their family have been extraordinarily generous benefactors of many programs across the Medical Center, including our new Medical and Graduate Education Building, which will open later this year. Mr. Jaharis served as a member of our Board of Advisors, where his friendship, candor and wise counsel will be greatly missed. We extend our sincere condolences to his wife, their children, grandchildren, and the extended Jaharis family.
Daniel Brodsky, Chairman Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO Daniel H. Weiss, President., Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Trustees and staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art mourn the passing of Michael Jaharis, a treasured friend and generous Benefactor to the Museum with his wife Mary, an Honorary Trustee. Together they have been steadfast supporters of the Department of Greek and Roman Art and the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters since 1984. Their multi-faceted giving has touched on many areas of the Met, from gifts of works of art to funds in support of acquisitions, capital projects, education initiatives, publications, and special exhibitions. In recognition of their generous contributions toward the masterplan for the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Galleries, the Museum’s grand vaulted gallery for the display of classical art and the galleries for Byzantine art were designated the Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries. Michael was an unfailingly warm and committed member of the Met family, and he will be deeply missed. We offer our condolences to Mary and to the entire family.