Polydoros “Paul” Petrou, 78, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on December 22, 2021 at Rhode Island Hospital. He was born in Askas, Cyprus on January 15, 1943 to Petros Polydorou and Sophia Christofi. He was married to Liza (Bournakis) Petrou.
Paul grew up in the small mountain village of Askas in Cyprus and lived a simple life with his parents and siblings. At age 12, Paul entered the Technical Institute of Cyprus in Nicosia and then in 1958 he won a scholarship from the Greek government and attended technical school in Athens, graduating in 1962. While in Athens he met his wife, Liza, and they were married in 1965. They moved back to Cyprus for a short time where Paul worked for Electricity Authority of Cyprus and when an opportunity arose to emigrate, they moved to Canada.
While in Canada, Paul and Liza welcomed their first two children, Demetrios “Jimmy” and Sophia. They lived there for 3 years where Paul worked as an electrician. Opportunity knocked again and this time they immigrated to Rhode Island where Liza’s sister lived. In Rhode Island, their third child, Petros, was born. Paul worked again as an electrician for 5 years until he ventured out and started his own business. He provided electrical, refrigeration and air conditioning services and served most of the Greek restaurants in Rhode Island. Paul was a hard worker and always went the extra mile to make sure to his customers were happy and treated fairly. In addition to his business, Paul and Liza spent 18 years running the seasonal concession stands at some of the local RI beaches.
One of the most important aspects of Paul’s life revolved around the church and his Orthodox faith and Greek heritage. He and Liza and their children were active members of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Cranston. As hard as Paul worked during the week, he always made sure that his family was in church every Sunday. He was heavily involved in the life of the church and served on the Parish Council, Greek School committee, Stewardship committee and Greek Festival committee. He was also a member of AHEPA, Hellenic Cultural Society, American Hellenic Institute, and Hellenic Society Paideia. Paul’s love of Cyprus was manifested with the invasion that occurred in 1974. He became the Treasurer of the Archdiocese Cyprus Relief Fund in RI and collected funds and raised awareness for which he was honored by the Cyprus Ministry of Defense.
The name Polydoros means “many gifts” in Greek. Paul was a truly generous man and shared his many gifts freely. He was philanthropic toward many causes and those in need. Paul and Liza’s home was always open, warm and welcoming and offered hospitality to so many. Paul even started his own special drive at Christmas to assist parishioners in need. He was also generous in donating his time and services to the Annunciation parish by installing and maintaining the A/C units and providing electrical needs at the festival free of charge. All who knew him, knew his generous spirit.
Traveling back to Greece and Cyprus to visit family and friends brought Paul great joy. He and Liza loved to entertain in their “home away from home” and filled it with plenty of good company, food and fun. After retirement he was able to spend more time there each year. He cherished his time with his siblings and their families and always looked forward to the next trip.
Paul was very proud of his children and his family. He was married to Liza for over 56 years and loved her very much. She was by his side and supported him through everything in life. He worked very hard to provide a happy home and take care of all their needs. Their children appreciate all of their sacrifices which gave them so many opportunities in life. Paul and Liza were willing to do anything to help their family. If his children brought him great joy, his grandchildren brought him even more. He loved to spend time with them and was so proud of every accomplishment big or small.
He is survived by his wife Liza Petrou, son Demetrios “Jimmy” Polydorou Petrou (and Pilar), daughter Sophia Polydorou Triantafyllou (and Stelios), son Petros Polydorou Petrou (and Anastasia), and 4 grandchildren, Sophia Christina Petrou, Demetri Polydoros Petrou, Liza Triantafyllou and Alkiviadis Triantafyllou. He was preceded in death by his brothers Spiro Petrou and Anastasios Petrou. He is also survived by his sister Maria Mitsidis and brothers Christaki Petrou, Andrikos Petrou and Panayiotis Petrou.
The family will receive visitors on Sunday, December 26, 2021 between 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Woodlawn Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Monday, December 27, 2021 at 10:00 am at Church of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Funeral services will also be live streamed on the Church of the Annunciation website https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCldHg9Yki4s99UaD6Au0DQQ
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Church of the Annunciation Endowment Fund, 175 Oaklawn Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920.
Arrangements are in the care of Woodlawn Funeral Home. www.WoodlawnGattone.com
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Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Endowment Fund
175 Oaklawn Avenue, Cranston RI 02920