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General News

Dimitrios Gavalas, 56, Passed away from Coronavirus

May 5, 2020
By Matina Demelis

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Dimitrios Gavalas passed away on April 19 at his home in North Brunswick. He was 56.

Born in Heraklion, Crete, Greece, he lived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with his family before moving to the United States and settling in North Brunswick in 1996. He was manager and maitre'd at Pines Manor in Edison for the past five years.

Gavalas was a member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway.

He was predeceased by his mother Maria (Maris) Gavalas. He is survivedby his wife Katherine Kourti-Gavalas, a professor in the Department of Modern Greek Studies at Rutgers University; his father, Nikolas Gavalas of Montreal; sister, Xeni Gavalas of Montreal; and two brothers, John Gavalas and Mano Gavalas, both of Montreal.

Private funeral services with burial in Elmwood Cemetery in North Brunswick were under the direction of Selover Funeral Home, 555 Georges Road in North Brunswick.

Gavalas and his wife were described by the Rutgers University community as "the adoptive parents" of all Greek-American students who studied there over more than 25 years. "All these years, Dimitris was by Katherine's side and helped her, while he did not miss a single event organized by the Department of Greek Studies. Also, every year he participated in the group ‘Study in Greece’ and shared with our students his enthusiasm and love for life and Greek culture,” said Panos Georgopoulos, a professor at Rutgers University.

He added that it is unfortunate that no one will be able to attend the funeral. "We send our love and our condolences to his wife. It really hurts that because of the pandemic we will not be able to be by her side in these difficult times, but I know that everyone's thoughts and prayers will be with her. Dimitris' heart couldn't stand it, but we will always have his smile. Look up and I'm sure you'll see his big smile,” said Georgopoulos.

The funeral of Dimitris Gavalas took place on April 25 in the parish of St. George in Piscataway.

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