Thomas C. “Tommy” Kyrus, 91, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, successful businessman, friend to many and devoted philanthropist supporting the communities and people he loved around the world, died peacefully Monday, Jan. 20, 2020.
He was a resident of Virginia Beach, and Naples, Florida. His family and friends will miss his warm personality, wonderful stories and unwavering commitment and support.
Tommy is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Elaine; sons, Nick and Chris ( Eva); grandchildren, Tommy and Christy; sister, Titsa Xystros of Chesapeake; brother, Nick (Soula) of Richmond; as well as many nieces and nephews who loved him dearly and sought his advice and counsel. He was preceded in death by his brother Paul Kyriakides. His devotion to his family and friends was the center of his life, and he dedicated himself to helping those in need, especially those impacted by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
Tommy was born in 1929 in Morphou, Cyprus to Christos and Evridiki Kyriakides. He immigrated to the United States in 1947 seeking the American Dream. He served in the U.S army in 1951 to 1953 and graduated from Norfolk College with a degree in business administration in 1956.
Tommy entered the real estate brokerage and development business in 1956 and specialized in commercial and industrial properties, building and development. He was the founder and CEO of Kyrus Realty until his retirement in 1988. In addition, Tommy and his son Chris were the owners of the Lynnhaven Fish House Restaurant, a landmark in Hampton Roads from 1979 through 2017.
His success in business can be attributed to his acute ability to recognize an opportunity and his ability to build strong and lasting trusted relationships with those around him.
Tommy was a leader in the growth of the City of Virginia Beach and served in multiple business and civic leadership roles, including as director of Virginia Beach Board of Realtors, chairman of the Virginia Beach Kidney Foundation, director and vice chair of the Virginia Beach Resort Area Advisory Commission, director of the Virginia Beach Foundation, trustee of Westminster Canterbury of Virginia Beach, director of Central Fidelity Bank, Director of the Bank of Virginia Beach, director of Bank of Tidewater and countless others.
Tommy was recognized as Realtor of the Year in 1985 by the Tidewater Board of Realtors, was the 1982 recipient of the Citation of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in Hampton Roads, and the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1988, an award given to immigrants who have made significant contributions to America.
Tommy loved and supported his adopted country but never forgot his roots and was passionate about his Greek and Cypriot heritage. He was a leader in the Greek American community and a supporter of numerous causes on behalf of his beloved native Cyprus. He served as past chairman and president of the Cyprus Children’s Fund, an organization with a mission of supporting underprivileged Cypriot youth, and a director of the Makarios/Lappas Scholarship Fund, awarding scholarships annually to Greek-Cypriot students studying in the United States. He also served as honorary consul of the Republic of Cyprus.
Tommy was a member and past president of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Norfolk; a founder and first president of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Virginia Beach; and a member of the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Church of North America from 1974 to 1985. He was an archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, an honor among the laity due to their service to the Eastern Orthodox Church. He was a member of The Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Fund, an organization supporting the National Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in advancement of Orthodoxy and Hellenism.
A Trisagion service will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 22, at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments, 2002 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach. A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 7220 Granby St., Norfolk, followed by interment in Forest Lawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hellenic Women’s Club Scholarship Fund, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 7220 Granby St., Norfolk, VA 23505; or to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
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