Tributes & Stories

Find an Obituary

The obituary news listed on this page is provided by newspapers and from funeral homes only:


Obituary (VA): George Nicholas Tzavaras '69

Posted on 04/06/2018

George Nicholas Tzavaras  (September 6, 1947 - April 4, 2018)

George N. Tzavaras Captain, CEC, USN (Ret), born 6 Sept 1947 in NYC to Nicholas and Kiki Tzavaras and raised in Fort Lee, NJ, died on 4 April 2018.  He graduated from Fort Lee High School June 1965 and reported to the US Naval Academy 2 days later.  Graduating with Distinction in June 1969 he was commissioned ensign, Civil Engineer Corps.  He reported to his first SEABEE battalion in Chu Lai, Vietnam on Thanksgiving Day 1969.  Following his tour in Vietnam, he completed a Masters in Civil Engineering at MIT.  Subsequent duties took him to: Davisville, RI; Hawaii; Newport, RI; Nea Makri, Greece; Port Hueneme, CA; Guam; Spain; Puerto Rico; New Orleans, LA; Washington, DC; and finally Norfolk, VA as Deputy Fleet Civil Engineer.

Predeceased by his parents, and survived by his wife Elaine L.Tzavaras Commander, MSC, USN (Ret) and three sons: Nicholas Tzavaras, cellist for the Shanghai Quartet and Artist in Residence at Montclair State University, married to Sophia Anastasia, DMA; Dr. Alexander Tzavaras, medical director for Montefiore Astor Ave Pediatric Clinic, married to Dr. Mougeh Yasai; Dr. Theodore Tzavaras, emergency medicine resident at Eastern Virginia Medical School, married to Jennifer Tzavaras.  And six grandchildren Eleni, Daphne, George, Lily, Sabina, and Efthimia.

As he reflected on his life, he felt fulfilled.  In his final days he said, “I’ve never written a book, designed a building, or created some tangible object.  What I have to look back on is ‘you guys and your families.’  A musician, and two physicians that share healing and beauty.  That’s a greater legacy than riches or fame.”

George has been blessed to have felt boundless compassion and kindness from everyone along his journey.  He thanks Dr. Hughes, Dr. Cross, and the 4K Surgery Staff at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for their professional and warm care.  He thanks the caregivers with Westminster-Canterbury at Home, especially Janet and Candy, for their sincere and loving approach.  He thanks Matt, manager of MWR Navy Getaways, for being a catalyst in securing a beautiful place to spend his last days.  He thanks the “Gym Buddies:” Al, Andy, Dave, Doug, Jon, Mike and Steve, who have helped George through this difficult time with distracting conversation, camaraderie, and friendship.  He thanks everyone who touched his life, who has shown him kindness, and who made his brief battle easier.  He was comforted in his belief that, even in today’s turmoil and controversy, kindness still exists and will prevail at making the world a better place.

In his memory, please consider a gift to one of George’s favorite charities.  The EVMS Tzavaras Family Scholarship, to help a future physician learn not only the basics of being a doctor but to understand the healing power of compassion.  Make checks payable to the EVMS Foundation and mail to PO Box 5, Norfolk, VA 23501 and note “Tzavaras” somewhere on the check, or online at and make the gift “In Memory of” George Tzavaras at the bottom of the page.  Or, The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Capital Campaign so that more of today’s youth can be guided in spiritual and compassionate works in the proper environment.  Make checks payable to the St. Nicholas Capital Campaign and mail to 621 First Colonial Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.

The funeral service, presided by Fr. John Manuel, will be held at 11:00 AM on 9 April 2018 at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 621 First Colonial, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.  He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Arrangements under the care of Altmeyer Funeral Home.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
621 First Colonial Rd.
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451