Obituary of John Hadjilogiou
Dr. John Hadjilogiou, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Florida Institute of Technology, fell asleep in the Lord quietly on March 11, 2023 with his family by his side.
Born on August 30, 1938 in Alexandria, Egypt of Greek parents, Savas and Helen. John sponsored by his sister Mary, arrived in America on a student visa in the early 1960s. He began his studies at RCA Institutes, where he graduated first of his class. RCA hired him immediately as a research assistant at the RCA Research Center in Princeton, New Jersey. While there, he was greatly influenced and encouraged by the many PHDs with whom he worked to get a college degree. At that time, he was dating Fran and married her on September 11, 1966. Soon he enrolled at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now known as Polytechnic Institute of New York) where he earned his B.S.EE, M.S.EE and a Ph.D.EE through scholarships and fellowships. Upon graduation in 1970, while vacationing in Florida, he was offered a position as a professor at Florida Institute of Technology.
Since day one at Florida Tech, his mission was to elevate the quality of engineering education for his students by creating new courses and new teaching methods using his own manuals. At the peak of his career, during the 12 years as Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Hadjilogiou’s revolutionary work was recognized by the US Department of Defense with a Grant. This required him to organize and lead the first ever pilot program to disseminate this vision to representatives from engineering departments at universities from across the country.
Because of the success of this program, John was honored at the Pentagon with the Minuteman plaque for his efforts in advancing quality design in undergraduate engineering education. This plaque is normally awarded to high-ranking military personnel and very seldom awarded to members of academic institutions. He also was designated a Fulbright scholar to promote American engineering education by traveling to Greece, Cyprus and Egypt.
Dr. “Hadji” as his students lovingly referred to him was more than just a professor. He became a mentor and many times a father figure especially for students who were away from home and family. He felt a responsibility to help them succeed not only as engineers, but also as caring and giving individuals.
John had a happy family environment at home with his wife Fran and their two wonderful sons, Alex and Steve who were his jewels. He was a devoted father and enjoyed watching them growth into successful adults. He was present throughout their lives from sports, their school activities, and major milestones. In recent years, his two grandsons, John (12 years old) and Christian (10 years old), who called him Papou (Grandpa in Greek) brought him so much happiness. They enjoyed his surprise holiday gifts that included peanut butter and jelly jars and other fun items he picked from his pantry. He loved taking them to shopping sprees at Ross and letting them buy whatever they wanted.
When people came to his home the “whole refrigerator” came out. John encouraged everyone to EAT! A friend to all, he loved to make people laugh with his jokes and stories. He greeted and welcomed everyone with a smile. John was a positive person who brought joy to his family and everyone around him. Extremely generous and giving, he cared for people even when they took advantage.
Besides his successful career, the Orthodox Church became a major part of his family life. For many years, John was elected President of St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Melbourne. Along with other families from the original Greek Orthodox Community Center, he helped establish the current permanent parish under the direction of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. At the invitation of Metropolitan Alexios, he served at the Atlanta Diocesan Council. John, along with his wife Fran provided the leadership that organized the first ever Greek Festival at St. Katherine’s on a Sunday in 1972 planned for 800 guests. Today, this annual three-day festival is well known throughout Brevard and enjoyed by thousands. In 1993, Rev. Father Michael Eaccarino, Diocese Youth Director, convinced John and Fran to serve as camp counselors at the first St Stephen’s Summer Camp held in South Carolina. For six consecutive years, this became the favorite family summer tradition.
As the Parish grew and expanded, a permanent Priest was assigned. With the hard work of many devoted parishioners, the dream of a new Church building became a reality while he was part of the Parish council. On the national level, he and his family are members of Leadership 100. It provides grants to Orthodox parishes across the country, supports summer youth camps, Orthodox Internet Ministries, Hellenic traditions and much more.
John enjoyed the Florida outdoor lifestyle including the beach, fishing and shrimping. He had fond memories from his youth playing soccer. He loved going to the GYM, and twice running the Disney marathon. He was a fantastic dancer who loved ballroom dancing. One of his favorites past times was the game of Backgammon which he enjoyed playing with his friends. He especially loved teaching his grandsons his “secret little tricks” of the game.
He is survived by his loving wife Fran of 56 years, his devoted son Steve, caring daughter In-law Amy, beautiful grandsons John and Christian and many cousins. He will be laid to rest beside his beloved son Alex. John will be deeply missed and never forgotten by his family and those whose lives he touched.
The funeral will be held at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Melbourne on April 1, 2023 at 11:00am followed by burial at Florida Memorial Gardens. Following, a traditional luncheon will be held at the Chart House in Melbourne.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Hadjilogiou, please visit Tribute Store