Salem, MA — James “Jim” John Yeannakopoulos, 87, died peacefully at North Shore Medical Center in Salem on Thursday morning, April 17, 2014. Jim was born in Salem, Mass., and was the son of the late John and Eleni (Eliopoulos) Yeannakopoulos. He a graduated from Salem Classical High School, Class of 1944. After graduation, he attended Boston University for a year before joining the Army. During his time in the service, he worked as a finance clerk in Germany with the 337th Finance and Disbursement Office. Following his discharge, he returned to Boston University and received his degree in liberal arts in 1949. Jim, a lifelong learner, continued his education and received his master’s in education from Boston University in 1956. He then continued at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, where he received a certificate of advanced study in education administration in 1962. Jim, a Fulbright Scholarship recipient in South America, enrolled in the doctoral program at Columbia University Teachers College. Jim began his teaching career in Fairhaven, Mass., at the Anthony School as a social studies teacher. A few years later, he began an international teaching career. He taught many grade levels in Kobe, Japan, and later, as a principal in several schools in France and Germany. Upon returning to the States, he spent time teaching in Brookline, Mass., at both the Edith C. Baker School and Driscoll School. He went on to become administrative assistant to the superintendent of schools within the Nyack Public Schools in Nyack, N.Y. Several years later, and until his retirement, he was the principal of the Alden Terrace School in Elmont, N..Y. After his retirement, Jim continued to remain active as an educator. He spent four years as headmaster at Cathedral School in New York City, and as a social worker at the Hanac-Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee in Bronx, N.Y. In this role, he helped local residents obtain much needed services. Jim was the director of the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria, N.Y. He was very proud of his Greek heritage and was able to arrange lectures, art shows and musical and theater events, all dealing with Greek culture. Jim taught ESL classes at HANAC in Jackson Heights, and served as headmaster at Three Hierarchs School in Brooklyn, N.Y. Jim lived every day to its fullest and was a friend to everybody. He had many friends and was very active in corresponding with them. He was the "family photographer," and was considered the family historian. He was a passionate fan of the opera and was a member of the Committee to Restore the Bell Tower at Saint Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church. Prior to his untimely death, Jim was making arrangements to travel to Greece with his brother and family members. Jim is survived by his sister, Florence Gianakakis of Ipswich; and his brother, Theodore of Salem. He also leaves behind an extensive family including cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and godchildren. He was devoted to his family and friends, and will be greatly missed. He was predeceased by two brothers, Stavros and Anastash “Ernie”; and two sisters, Efrosine and Julia.
ARRANGEMENTS: Mr. Yeannakopoulos’ funeral will be held from the Murphy Funeral Home, 85 Federal St., corner of North St., Salem, on Thursday, April 24, at 9:15 a.m., to be followed by funeral services at Saint Vasilios Church, 5 Paleologos St., Peabody, Mass., at 10 a.m. Visiting hours will be at the funeral home, on Wednesday, from 4 to 8 p.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Interment will be in Greenlawn Cemetery, Salem. For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to Saint Vasilios Church, 5 Paleologos St., Peabody, MA 01960, for a scholarship to be established in his name. For his guest book, or additional information, please call 978-744-0497, or visit www.MurphyFuneralHome.com.