Reverend Father Sarantos Serviou passed away peacefully on Friday April 28, 2023 surrounded by his family.
He was born on March 10, 1939 in the village of Pagondas, Samos, Greece to Emmanuel and
Theofano Serviou. Father’s family immigrated to America post war looking for a better life, and
his family settled in New Brunswick, NJ which is where his love of chanting blossomed and
where he met his beautiful Presvytera Nancy, who he married in 1964. When Father was young,
he dreamed of going to Hollywood to become an actor - driven by the 6’4” height, striking Greek
looks, and beautiful head of hair. His mother said no, and that led him to the Holy Cross
Seminary in Boston. This would be his true calling. His love for liturgics and Byzantine chanting
forged an unforgettable career as an Orthodox priest. Father had an amazing voice that gave
him the opportunity to chant for many Archbishops and Patriarchs over the years. In fact, he had
such an incredible voice that if you were singing next to him off-key or off the beat he would let
you know. Assignments in Duluth, MN and Waukegan, IL started his career, however he missed
his family and asked to be assigned to a parish closer to home. In August 1978, Father moved
his family to Pittsburgh to become the priest at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Oakland. Here is where
he would truly find his home. He became the face of the food festival, working in the food lines,
singing with the band, and just socializing with all of the patrons. It was his favorite week of the
year. He loved being involved in his communities where he took on many youth programs, was
the Orthodox chaplain for the VA hospital in North Chicago, started a weekly radio sermonette
program The Voice of Orthodoxy for the elderly and shut-ins, and even returned to school and
received his Masters in Religious Education from Loyola University, among many other activities
to numerous to list. Father also worked tirelessly with UPMC and patients and families from
Greece and Cypress who needed help with communicating with doctors or just comfort during
difficult times. Father Serviou had a unique talent of somehow meeting celebrities, and ending
up in the background of many, many photos. Father loved to travel to his beloved homeland of
Greece, as well as Jerusalem, where he took yearly tours so that he could share the mystical
beauty of Christ’s life, and bring to life many of the teachings of the Orthodox church. In August
2009, he would memorably retire from St. Nicholas to devote his time to his ailing Presvytera.
He also wanted to be with his grandchildren, attending almost every sporting event they were
playing in. He was an athlete himself playing basketball and soccer in his younger days, and
enjoyed re-living those moments watching the kids play. Father was an incredible cook, and
enjoyed family dinners and grilling, making sure each of us knew which ancestor made each
dish - and when they ate it. Musically talented, Father played the guitar and loved singing -
writing an original song for his late Presvytera as well as a song for his best friends. He had
friends and koumbari in multiple church communities which highlighted his gregarious
personality. He absolutely loved being around people.
Father Serviou is survived by his 3 daughters, Fanya, Lisa (John), and Demetra. He also
leaves behind 2 heartbroken grandchildren Thanna (Dylan) and Johnnie - who were his world.
Having 3 daughters, Father was beyond happy to have his grandson Johnnie serve alongside
him in the altar - taking him to services with him until recently. He is also survived by many
cousins, nieces, and nephews in both America and Greece. Words cannot express the huge
hole he leaves within his family, as well as the community, but we know he is reunited in
paradise with his beloved Presvytera Nancy, who pre-deceased him in 2021, his parents, his
brother Demetrios (2003),sister-in-law Evangelia Serviou (2001) and relatives and koumbari who have been waiting to sing and laugh with him again. We love you dad.
Funeral services are as follows: Viewing on Monday, May 1, 2023 at Holy Trinity Greek
Orthodox Church, 985 Providence Blvd, Pittsburgh 15237 - 2 pm - 8 pm. Divine Liturgy on
Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at 9:00 am - funeral at 11:00 am - Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the church of your choice in his memory. Arrangements by John A. Freyvogel Sons, Inc. (freyvogelfuneralhome.com)
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