Demetrios “Jim” Panourakis
July 24, 1920 – May 11, 2019
He was preceded in death by his parents, Emmanuel and Dorothea Panourakis; brothers, George and Constantine; and wife, Antonia. Survived by daughters, Angie Vossos and husband Pete, Dora Bitsos and husband Paul; grandchildren: Harlan Vossos and wife, Shannon, Jimmy Vossos and wife, Sheri, Anthony Vossos, Chrisann Lambert and husband, Rich, Tara Kosmides and husband Paul, and Annie Kosel; great-grandchildren: Elizabeth, Peyton, Lucas and Justin Vossos, Matthew and Evan Lambert, Lea, Dorie and Dimitri Kosmides, and Mia, Demi and Nathan Kosel.
The family will receive friends on Friday, May 17th from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by TRISAGION (Prayer Service) at 7pm. SERVICES: Saturday, May 18th at 10am, St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 602 Park Ave. Interment, Evergreen Memorial Park. Memorials to American Cancer Society, St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, or All Holy Spirit Greek Orthodox Church.
Demetrios (also called Jim by his friends) Panourakis was born in Mitilini, Samos, July 24, 1920 to Emanuel and Dorothea Panourakis. He was the third of six siblings. He knew early in life that he did not want to farm tobacco and grapes and trained to become a tailor. In 1945 he married the love of his life Antonia Evmorfoutsikou and had two daughters, Angie and Dora. He opened his own tailor- shop and was well respected and supported in his hometown. He passed on the torch by training and sharing his trade with many young men who also became master tailors, good friends and kept in contact until the end of his life.
When the economy in Greece started declining and many young people were leaving the country, his business started to suffer, and he himself sought to emigrate. His occupation and beautiful chanting opened the door to his new life. A Samoan immigrant, Gus Stratton, visiting his hometown was moved by his beautiful chanting, befriended him and promised him when returned to America he would initiate the work visa and help him move. He moved to Sioux Falls in 1961 and managed Weatherwax’s Tailor Shop bringing 3 talented tailors that had apprenticed with him. During his 40-year stay in Sioux Falls, he established himself in the community and was well respected. After retirement, he moved to Omaha in 2001 to be close with his daughter and son in law. He was an incredibly caring husband, father and a wonderful role model not only for his family but everyone that had the opportunity to meet him. Memory Eternal our dearest Father, Papou and Big Papou.