Fokion ‘Fo’ Lafionatis, 88, School Superintendent, Municipal Leader

Fokion ‘Fo’ Lafionatis, 88, passed away Monday, April 27, in Bedford, N.H. where he was residing at the time of his death.

He was the husband of Cleo (Giakas) Lafionatis. Born in Haverhill, in 1926, he was the son of the late George and Coula (Kalivas) Lafionatis. Fo was educated in Haverhill, MA schools and began his career as an educator in the Haverhill public school system. Lafionatis received his undergraduate degree at the University of New Hampshire, his masters of education from the State Teachers College, Fitchburg, and his Certificate for Advanced Graduate Studies in School Administration from Boston University. He married Cleo in 1950 and they shared 64 years of marriage together. Moving his family to Lebanon, N.H. in 1969, he was assistant superintendent of schools for Supervisory Union 32 and then became superintendent of schools for Supervisory Union 18. He also helped to organize a new Supervisory Union 59 in the Winnisquam Regional School District and was its first superintendent. He owned and operated a Sears catalog store in Plymouth, N.H. for several years from 1984 to 1988 and was the interim city manager in Franklin, N.H. in 1988. After that, he served as superintendent of schools for the Franklin and Hill School Districts as well as served as interim superintendent for a number of the school districts until his retirement. He was also selected as City of Franklin, N.H. Citizen of the Year in 1989. He was a long time member and former President of the Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church in Haverhill and instrumental in the construction of its community center.

In addition to his wife, Cleo, he is survived by daughter, Kathryn of Nashua, N.H.; and sons, Arthur Lafionatis and his wife, Kathleen (Kitsie), of Chevy Chase, Md., and Mark Lafionatis and his wife, Bemely Gomtes of Reno, Nevada. He is also survived by two grandchildren, James Lafionatis and Melissa Lafionatis, and several nieces, nephews and godchildren. He was predeceased by his brothers, Thomas and William and sister, Terpsi.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the visitation on Thursday, April 30, from 10 to 10:45 a.m. followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. at the Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, 154-156 Winter St. Haverhill. Interment will follow in the Linwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to the Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, 154-156 Winter St Haverhill, MA 01830.