Paul George Manolis
February 4, 1928 – February 8, 2020

It is with great sadness, yet with hope in the Resurrection, that the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco shares news of the passing of Paul G. Manolis, Archon Mega Hypomnematografos, a distinguished leader, and steward of the Church.

“Paul’s life of 92 years was filled with many accomplishments, but serving the Church was always a priority,” stated His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “When reflecting on his life, you cannot help but notice the vision and clarity he had and how these gifts were useful in his leadership and development of many important initiatives in the Archdiocese. To his family I especially convey my deepest condolences and pray for your peace and comfort during this time of great sadness.”

Paul is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Elene Zahas Manolis, his children Alexandra, George and Damian, and daughters-in-law Monica and Rocio. He was the cherished papou to his grandchildren George, Luna, Dimitri, Julia, Paul, Nico, James and Evan. Paul was predeceased by his son Dimitri, who died in 1985.
His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos will preside at the Trisagion Service which will be held on Wednesday, February 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ascension Cathedral, 4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, CA. The Funeral service will be held on Thursday February 13 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ascension Cathedral. All are invited to join the family immediately after the funeral for the Makaria. 
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ascension Summer Camp Fund, c/o Ascension Cathedral, 4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602.

May his memory be eternal!

Paul George Manolis

Lifelong Historian of the Greek Orthodox Church Passes Away

Paul George Manolis, a much-loved husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully on February 8, 2020 at age 92 in his Piedmont, CA home after a full and creative life. He was born on February 4, 1928 to Vasileki (Kalantsopoulos) and George Manolis, immigrants from Tripolis and Papari, Arcadia, Greece. Paul was raised in the tight-knit Greek community of Sacramento with his sister Helen, and brothers Gus and John.

After graduating from CK McClatchy High School, Paul enlisted in the US Army toward the end of WWII.  Following basic training in Indiana and Texas, he was transferred to the Department of Defense’s Language Institute in Monterey, CA, where he taught courses in Greek to officers in preparation for post-war rebuilding efforts. After his Army service, Paul attended UC Berkeley (proud member of the SAE fraternity) and excelled in classical history, graduating in 1952. Thereafter, he earned his graduate degree in history as a Cutting Fellow at Harvard University. He was then appointed as a Fellow at Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks Institute in Washington, DC.

Paul left academia to become the executive aide to US Senate Majority Leader William F. Knowland. Following the Senator’s last term in DC, Paul returned to California where he was the Executive Editor of the Oakland Tribune, until the paper was sold in 1978. Paul completed his career in the UC Berkeley Development Office. A 55-year resident of Piedmont, he was active in little league, the swim team, Boy Scouts, the historical society and most recently served on the board of the Educational Foundation. A few of Paul’s favorite civic experiences included serving as Vice-Chairman of the California Arts Commission, as a Pulitzer Prize juror, and as a board member of Children’s Hospital and the Oakland Museum.

Paul was very focused on Greek Orthodoxy and the Greek diaspora worldwide, a passion which began in childhood. He led countless initiatives in active leadership positions over 70+ years, was an advisor to numerous archbishops, and served on the executive committee of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. He was the Orthodox representative to the World Council of Churches. As a researcher, writer and speaker on the history of the church, he traveled all over the world, most frequently to Greece, for such purposes. In 2003, he published a three-volume history of the Greek Orthodox Church in America.

During his service to the Archdiocese, he revamped the Orthodox Observer and served as Founder and President of its publishing board. While in Washington, he made arrangements for Archbishop Michael to speak at Eisenhower’s inauguration, worked to have Orthodox listed on “dog tags” and even had St. Connie’s choir sing at an inauguration banquet!

At the Ascension Cathedral, with the help of Father Tom Paris, he created Greek Week and started the trend of mega festivals. He was a member of the Pan-Arcadian Federation and loved his time cooking at Camp Ravencliff.

In 1987 he founded the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley. This fulfilled a lifelong dream to bring the presence of Orthodoxy to a major university campus. The Institute flourished with a library, endowed professorship, lecture series, housing, student fellowship programs and a chapel that Paul and Elene donated in memory of their son Dimitri. Paul remained active and served as an adjunct professor until his early 80s. Paul was honored numerous times by local and international church organizations, the Greek government and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

He was awarded the church’s highest honor as an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He was further decorated as a Knight Crusader of the Holy Sepulchre, Patriarch of Jerusalem, with the Grand Cross of Mount Athos and the Medal of St. Paul from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Even though Paul was involved in so many outside organizations, family was always the priority.  In later years he loved carpooling and attending his grandchildren’s sporting events. He was constantly in the kitchen or sitting in his den by the fire, where he held court, read, watched the Oakland A’s, needlepointed, hosted guests and smoked a few Marlboro Reds.

Paul’s life was an incredible experience. We will miss him deeply. Memory Eternal!