James S. Fanakos

January 10, 1932 ~ November 30, 2018 (age 86)

James S. Fanakos


Our beloved brother and uncle James S. Fanakos died November 30, 2018 at Good Samaritan Hospital.  He was born in Villa Grove, IL, January 10, 1932, and was the son of Steve and Marie Fanakos.  While he was still in grade school, his entire family took a trip to Greece which lasted 8 years; they were caught in World War II and endured great hardship under the Fascists, Nazis, and Communists. 


Upon surviving the War, James and his family returned to their home in Villa Grove, where Jim graduated from Villa Grove High School.  He was a terrific football player and all around athlete.  Jim always had a lot of friends and was voted Homecoming King.  After a few years, they moved to Rock Island, IL, which became the center of the family home. 


Jim later attended Eastern Illinois University (Charleston, IL) and Augustana College (Rock Island) and earned a BA in accounting.  He worked as an accountant for businesses in Rock Island and San Jose for over 40 years.  He was also devoted to his church parishes, especially St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in San Jose, where he served and held office in the Parish Council for many years.  So successful was he, that he is listed in the Canon of Faith church magazine as emeritus member James "Star" Fanakos.  Though he had no children of his own, the Sunday school children voted him Father of the Year.  In the former Moline St. George Parish, Jim sang in the choir, served in the Parish Council, belonged to Goya, and served in other capacities.  He was active in Assumption Parish, East Moline, as well. He was also a member of AHEPA.


Besides his Church, Jim enjoyed sports of all kinds, Greek culture and music, cooking, travelling, and reading.  Jim was very handy around the house and enjoyed taking on projects with his brother Tom and his brother-in-law Jim. He was a wonderful uncle who read Bible stories to his oldest niece and instilled in her a love of reading, literature, and theology. He also took his niece to classes and to other appointments when she lived in California, and he taught her to do her taxes. He was known for taking his younger niece and his nephew fishing, to Santa's Village, and other fun places.  He was a devoted to his family, and was always there for his parents, brothers, and sisters. Jim was the knight in shining armor and the voice of reason during many a crisis.


Left to honor his memory are his sister, Constance Fanakos, Nieces and nephews, Ellen Tsagaris (Dino Milani), Kate Holland, and Steven Street (Lisa).  Also left are great nieces and nephews Mitchell Milani, Victoria and Carol Ann Holland and Christopher Street and cousins, Chuck and Linda Fanakos. He also leaves behind his godson Manolis Pirakis and his family, Chris, Maria, and Eva Pirakis, as well as his beloved caregivers Tai, Lorna, and Anna, and his many friends.


James was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents, sister and brother-in-law Clara and James Tsagaris, brothers Tom Fanakos and George Fanakos, and one baby sister and one baby niece. 


A Mimosino in his memory was held December 9th at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, San Jose.


Trisagion service and funeral will be held 10:00am Saturday December 22, 2018 at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Rock Island, IL, with visitation from 9:00am to service time at the church. Interment will be in Rock Island Memorial Park.  

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