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Nicholas  Karnakis

Memorial for Nicholas Karnakis

Born in Astoria, NY on Feb. 21, 1932
Departed on Mar. 8, 2017 and resided in Vienna, VA.
Service: Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2017
Cemetery: Arlington National Cemetery
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

Nicholas Karnakis
Commander, USN (Retired)
February 21, 1932 – March 8, 2017

Nicholas Karnakis died peacefully on March 8, 2017 in INOVA Fairfax Hospital of multiple simultaneous organ failure. His wife Nancy and his brother Andrew were at his side and they played a chorus of Anchors Away to send him on his way. He was 85 years young, lived his life on his terms the way he wanted, and had his physical and mental faculties right up until the end. He was only sick the last two weeks of his life—not a bad deal.

He served in the Air Force Reserves while he was in college. Upon graduation in 1956 he joined the Navy and became a Naval Flight Officer. He was a navy man to his core. He served in both navy and joint service commands. His naval career enabled him to travel around the world a couple of times, retrieve some of the first astronauts after they splashed down, defend his country with pride and honor, and have enough adventures to enable him to tell "war stories" for hours. He retired from the Navy in 1983 with the rank of Commander. Following his retirement from the Navy, he was a marketing director for Grumman Data Systems, focusing on Navy and Marine Corps Command and Control systems.

He was born in Astoria, New York, where he attended grammar and middle schools. His family moved to Winthrop, Massachusetts where he finished high school at Winthrop High School. He attended Northeastern University in Boston under the co-op program, graduating in 1956 with a degree in Business Administration. He earned his master's degree from Central Michigan University in 1976, while stationed in Hawaii.

He loved Cape Cod and spending time at the beach house on the Outerbanks of North Carolina. He treasured his church and his cats. He was a Shriner and a Mason, beginning with DeMolay when was in high school. He was a member of the Military Officers Association of America, the National Rifle Association, Isaak Walton League, and Sneakers and Speakers mall walking group. He was loyal and, once you were his friend, he was your friend for life. He maintained contact with friends and relatives

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