John K. Kapuranis, age 96, passed peacefully from this life on Thursday, July 15, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born on December 25, 1924, in the village of Nizepoli, near the city of Bitola, in what is now the Republic of North Macedonia. He was the son of Kosta Kapuranis, his father, and Eleni Kapuranis, his mother. Growing up in the area where he was born, then Yugoslavia, he was thrust into civil unrest and World War II as a teenager, having been recruited as a partisan freedom fighter, fighting occupation forces while roaming the regional mountainous terrain. Tragically, his father became a victim of the war, having been executed at the age of 47. More tragedy followed, as he lost his mother to illness shortly thereafter. At some point, John was able to distance himself from the war by crossing into Greece, where he worked at a refugee camp for 3 years. Following that, he was transferred to concentration camps in Italy as a displaced person. It was from there that his uncle, Frank Kapuranis, after numerous attempts, finally sponsored him, his uncle Tom Kapuranis, and his cousin Bill Kapuranis, for entry into the United States, where they started a new life in Hobbs, New Mexico.
After working in the oil fields for a few years, the threesome of John, Tom and Bill decided to move to Roswell, New Mexico, where they became business partners, as owners and operators of the Capitol Café. While working as a restauranteur, John also worked toward and successfully became a naturalized U.S. citizen. Having done that, John made his way back to Greece where he found the love of his life, Fula. They returned to Roswell, where they worked hard together and started a family, having two children, daughter Helen and son Jimmy. In 1975, as the children approached adulthood, John retired as a restauranteur and they made the decision to move to Albuquerque, in order to have more access to the roots of their Greek culture and religion as offered by Albuquerque's St. George Greek Orthodox community, and to provide expanded opportunities for their children. The family has lived, grown and prospered in Albuquerque ever since.
John is preceded in death by his father Kosta, mother Eleni, and his brother Vangeli. He is survived by his wife Fula, his sister Hrisa, his daughter Helen and son-in-law Dino, his son Jimmy and daughter-in-law Diane, eight grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
Trisagion service will take place on Sunday, July 18, 2021, 5:00 p.m. at FRENCH - Lomas. Funeral service will be Monday July 19, 2021, 10:00 a.m. at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, with interment to follow immediately at Fairview Cemetery. A Makaria mercy-meal will follow in the St. George Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 308 High Street SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102. (www.stgeorgenm.org).
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