Rev. Father Elias Velonis
May 20, 1948 – August 17, 2022

It is with sadness yet with hope in the Resurrection that the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco announces the passing of Rev. Father Elias Velonis, who reposed in the Lord on August 17, 2022. Father Elias was a dedicated priest in the Archdiocese, who came to the west coast upon his retirement in 2011.

“Father Elias was a faithful servant of the Lord, and even though he faced health challenges, he remained fervent in prayer, and was always eager to share the love of Jesus Christ through his interaction with others. I have many fond memories of our time together as schoolmates at Hellenic College Holy Cross, and I will miss his friendship,” remarked His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “I convey my deepest condolences to Presvytera Mary, their children, grandchildren, and all those who mourn his passing. May you find comfort knowing that he has been restored to wholeness and is now rejoicing in heaven with the Lord he so faithfully served throughout his life.”

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, August 23 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., with the Trisagion Service being prayed at 7:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy will be held on Wednesday, August 24 at 9:00 a.m., followed by the funeral at 11:00 a.m. Services will be held at Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, 3655 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA. The interment will be at El Camino Memorial Park, 5600 Carroll Canyon Road, San Diego, CA. A Makaria will be offered at Saint John of Damascus Orthodox Church, 16905 Espola Road, Poway, CA 92064.

May his memory be eternal!

Father Elias Velonis, age 74, fell asleep in the Lord on August 17, 2022 in San Diego, CA.

Father Elias was born on May 20, 1948 in Philadelphia, PA to Thomas and Evandra Velonis and joined his sister Elaine. While attending Hellenic College and Holy Cross Seminary he met his wife, Mary Stylianopoulos. They married on May 28, 1972 (50 years of marriage!).

After spending time on his postgraduate studies at the University of Thessaloniki in Greece, Father Elias was ordained a Deacon on September 6, 1975 and a Priest on September 13, 1975 at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral is Philadelphia.

His first parish assignment was Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Baltimore. After four wonderful years along with celebrating the births of his daughter Margo and son Thomas, he was assigned to St. Luke in East Longmeadow, MA in 1979.

At St. Luke, Father guided the parish through its ground breaking ceremony, the building of the Church, and then the Church Consecration in 1988. Father served St. Luke for 22 years.

In retirement, Father spent time at Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, MA as a mentor to a future generation of Greek Orthodox priests and their families. In 2011, Father and Presvytera moved to San Diego, CA to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Father enjoyed dancing, listening to music (loudly) and he loved spending time with his immediate and extended family. He enjoyed dessert and would sneak chocolate to his grandkids. No matter who you were, what you believed in, or where you were from, he would accept and love you with open arms. His laugh was bigger than life, his smile so bright, and the twinkle in his eyes was a delight.

Father Elias is survived by his wife Mary, his daughter Margo and her husband Samesh, his son Thomas and his wife Jean, his grandchildren Clayton, Sonia, Reena and Fiona, and those who fondly called him Uncle Elias.

Axios, Father Elias. May your memory be eternal.