Thomas Pousatis of Mt. Laurel, NJ, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, July 18, 2021, at the age of 91. He was the beloved husband of Koula Pousatis. Thomas was the devoted father of Demetrios (AnnMarie) and Maria (George). He was the loving grandfather of Sheelagh (Jason) and Alannah (Brett), and Chris, Cindy, and Tiffany (Abe). He was the dear brother of Sophia Grivas, the late Anastasios, and the late Antonios. He is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, and godchildren.
Thomas was born in Velventos, Kozani, Greece. He first lived with his maternal uncle, George, in a small town close to Wildwood, NJ.
He immigrated to the United States on July 4, 1956, searching for a better life after the Nazi occupation and the Greek Civil War that followed. He was a hard worker who excelled in any job that he performed as he learned the language and customs of his new country.
While learning the American way of life and appreciating the opportunities that existed, he maintained his love for the Greek culture and community. On the weekends, he and his friends attended many local Greek dances and events. He met his future wife Koula at one of the dances, and they subsequently married in May 1959.
Thomas and Koula worked hard to establish a baking business and start a family. Their baking business was known for delicious Greek pastries throughout the east coast. They sponsored and brought family members to the United States. With the support of their children and the Greek community, they succeeded in creating a life of opportunities for their family. Together, they started a rewarding life in America.
Upon retirement, Thomas turned full-time to volunteer work serving a number of the Greek Orthodox churches in South Jersey and Philadelphia (especially St. Thomas in Cherry Hill and St. George Cathedral in Philadelphia). He enjoyed working together with the ladies of the Philoptochos and Greek restaurant owners, preparing countless numbers of pastries and loaves of bread for the church bake sales and festivals. He shared several of his proprietary recipes for making baklava, galaktoboureko, and tsoureki. In addition, he quietly supported the philanthropic work of several Philoptochos Societies and other outreach ministries of the Orthodox Church.
Thomas valued his Orthodox Christian faith, his family, his many friends, and Greek culture. He was full of life, thoroughly engaged in the community. In addition to his commitment to the church, he offered his services and leadership in many Hellenic organizations, including the Velvendinon Society, Macedonian Society, and AHEPA. In his later years, he was one of the St. Thomas’ senior group organizers called the “kali parea.” Many of the kali parea met daily at the Moorestown Mall to walk, drink a cup of coffee, play backgammon, and enjoy each other’s company. He enjoyed watching sports with family and friends, listening to Greek music, dancing, baking, cooking, and traveling to his hometown of Velventos and Mytilene, the island of Koula’s family, where he had a personal bond with the Monastery of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Eirini.
Family and friends are invited to attend his viewing on Monday, July 26, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church, 615 Mercer St, Cherry Hill, NJ, followed by the funeral service at noon. Interment at Locustwood Memorial Park, Cherry Hill.
In place of flowers, donations in Thomas’ memory may be sent to St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church, 615 Mercer St., Cherry Hill, NJ 08002; St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 256 South 8th St., Philadelphia, PA 19107; and Annunciation/Evangelismos Greek Orthodox Church, 7921 Old York Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027.