James T. Smyrnioudis, grocer, ship supplier

March 20, 1995|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

James T. Smyrnioudis, a grocer and merchant who supplied ships in the port of Baltimore, died Friday of a heart attack at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 83.

Born on the Greek island of Chios, Mr. Smyrnioudis operated a travel agency in his homeland for several years after graduating from high school.

In 1938, he immigrated to the United States and opened a grocery store on South Broadway in Baltimore. He was drafted into the Army during World War II.

"He closed the store and sold everything he had," said Nick Smyrnioudis, who joined his brother in Baltimore after the war.

After his discharge from the Army for health reasons, Mr. Smyrnioudis opened a second grocery, which stocked Italian and Greek foods, at Pratt and Exeter streets. Crews from merchant marine ships were among his customers.

"He would get ships anything they wanted, from food to repair parts," said his brother. "If somebody was sick, he got them to a doctor.

"His business was known to ship owners all over the world, but especially in Greece and England," the brother said. "He was a successful businessman at whatever he tried."

When development at the Inner Harbor forced that business to move, he opened the New Star Ship Supply Co. on Boston Street in Fells Point. Phemis Smyrnioudis, his nephew, operates the business there today.

Mr. Smyrnioudis, a Towson resident, was a member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation and AHEPA, a Hellenic benevolent organization.

Services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at the cathedral, on Maryland Avenue at Preston Street in Baltimore, to which the family suggested memorial donations be sent.

Besides his brother, he is survived by his wife, the former Rodopi Handras, and a sister, Roula Papoutsidakis of Katrini, Greece.

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