BROOKPARK, Ohio (WJW) — Family and friends are sending birthday wishes to a 101-year-old man with a drive-by parade today at noon, where he is sitting outside waving.
John A. Karras was born in Nafpaktos Greece on March 7, 1920 where he lived until he came to the United States in September of 1955.
He was a veteran of the Greek Air Force and fought against the Germans during World War II.
Karras married his wife, Ismini, in Athens, Greece on July 31, 1955 before coming to the U.S. when they both received tutoring lessons in order to become United States citizens as soon as they were eligible.
They settled in the Cleveland area since the mid-50s and moved to Brook Park in 1974 where they still live today together independently with each other.
They have three children, Vaso Karras Stefanos (Joseph), Liza Bosinger (Pete), Adam Karras (Jackie) as well as six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, all of who live in the greater Cleveland area.
Karras is a member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church on West 14th where served as president, vice president, treasurer and on the council.
Family says he was instrumental in starting the Greek school program at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church where he also served as chairman of the Greek school for a number of years.
Karras made sure that his children were always active in church and that they attend Greek school where they learned to speak, read and write Greek and learn about their heritage, according to his family.
Since 1968, he is still the proprietor of Karras Barbershop in Parma and currently holds an active barbers license. He cut hair until he was 95 years old.
Family says he has loved being a citizen of the United States and lives by the phrase “God Bless America.”