New York – Spiros Nicholas Milonas, a pillar of the Greek New York Shipping community, died Tuesday October 24th 2022, of natural causes. He was 94.
Spiros was born on November 13th, 1928 on the island of Zakynthos, Greece, the son of Nicholas and Sofia Milonas, a local farming and shop keeping merchant family. His father passed away when Spiros was 12 years old. He graduated from the Athens University of Economics and Business (ASOEE) while working to support his widowed mother and two sisters, Lily and Rene.
In 1953, an earthquake devastated the island of Zakynthos and at 25, young Milonas sought work abroad as an accountant in Panama. It was there that he got his start in the maritime trade. Fascinated by the sea, he instead became a local clearing agent for Greek ship owners transiting the Panama canal before emigrating to New York City.
In New York, he initially worked for the National Shipping Company founded by fellow Zakynthian John Theodorakopoulos until he branched out on his own. In 1966, he formed his own ship management company, Ionian Shipping and Transport, overseeing many vessels of different sizes, primarily product tankers. A shrewd businessman, in the 1980’s he directed the group into real estate in New York and oil and gas investments internationally.
For 60 years, he was a leading member of the global shipping community and a proud advocate for Hellenic causes. He served as a Director of the New York Shipping Cooperation Committee, a board member of Navigator Gas Transport (NVGS), an Advisory Board Member of Atlantic Bank, and a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of honor. Furthermore, he was a proud advocate for Hellenic causes. He was a member of Greek Orthodox Leadership 100 and a founding contributor to the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center.
Spiros was charming, engaging, ever optimistic with a flair for all things nautical. In addition to being a dedicated businessman and father, he put faith in people. Spiros helped many individuals get their first start in business and took chances on them just as he did with his own entrepreneurial ventures. No one was too big or too small to have an audience with him, and he liked to receive people in his elegant office at 5 Columbus Circle overlooking Central Park, impeccably dressed in suits and Hermes ties, in his signature blue chair surrounded by models of ships with a cup of Greek coffee.
In 1965, Spiros married Anastasia Tatiana Milonas and they had two children, Sofia and Claire. They were married for twenty five years. In 2001, he married Antonia Kotovos, who had two daughters Nicole and Korinne Kotovos.
Antonia and Spiros together traveled between the United States and Greece supporting Hellenic interests and the Greek Orthodox Church.
Spiros is survived by his wife, of 21 years, Antonia; his daughters Sofia and Claire Milonas; his grandchildren Alexandra Dingle, Nicholas Dingle, and Tatiana Zoe Milonas; his sister Rene Horn and Step daughters Nicole and Korinne Kotovos.
Visitation at Frank E Campbell 1076 Madison Avenue, NYC on Thursday 2-4 and 6-9. Funeral service will be held at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral at 1:30pm on Friday.
In memory of Spiros Milonas and in lieu of flowers, please use the following link https://gofund.me/3819b5bf to donate to the “Home for the Elderly” (Gerokomion Zakynthou), in Zakynthos, Greece, a cause that was very dear to his heart and located at his place of birth.