Beneath a Blue Sky, Family and Friends Bid Farewell to Michael Jaharis

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 – 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, who 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, pointed out that “at this very moment” the concrete was being poured for the floor of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox 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. James 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.






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