Jerry Kanakis Obituary, Death – On March 20, 2023, Jerry Kanakis, who was 86 years old and a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, passed away. His mother, Matina Balabanos Kanakis, and his father, Peter Constantine Kanakis, passed away before he was born. He was named after his parents. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jo Ann Kanakis; his daughter and son-in-law, Matina Kanakis Graffeo and Barry Graffeo; his son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Rhonda Kanakis; his sister-in-law, Dee Pihakis; his grandchildren, Cal and Anna Constance Graffeo, Gia and Alec Kanakis; as well as a large number of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Connie was born in Birmingham, Alabama on October 24th, 1936. He first received his education at Georgia Military Academy and then continued his education at Auburn University, graduating in 1959. He was a member of the Alabama Air National Guard for a total of four years. He was a devoted husband and papou in addition to being a proud parent. He has been attending Holy Trinity Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral throughout his entire life.
He was the proprietor and successful operator of a number of well-known restaurants in the Birmingham area for a number of years, including Michael’s, Rossi’s, and Connie Kanakis’ Cafe, among others. During the course of his life, he dedicated himself to serving on a wide variety of organizations and groups, including The Auburn Alumni Board and The President of the Parish Council of Holy Trinity Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Connie was a member of the Auburn Baseball Letterman Club, the Auburn Alumni Association, and The Auburn All American Society. She was also a lifetime member of both organizations. His appointment as an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is the highest distinction that can be bestowed upon a member of the laity in the Greek Orthodox Faith, was the source of his greatest sense of accomplishment. His undying devotion to Auburn, the game of golf, and his family will never die.