From Herald Community Newspapers on November 10, 2022:
Michael Jacovides was considered a Renaissance man by the many people that knew the 36-year resident of Valley Stream who taught social studies at Lawrence High School for three decades.
Jacovides died peacefully in his sleep, his family said on Oct 20, 2022. He was 91. Jacovides was in memory care and had battled advanced dementia due to vascular disease with Lewy body syndrome. He was living in Belmont, Mass.
A graduate of Stuyvesant High School, an academically rigorous public school in New York City, Jacovides attained a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a master’s degree from NYU in history and another from Columbia University Teachers’ College.
He served in the military during the Korean War and played a role in history. Stationed in Pusan when the three-year war ended, Jacovides was assigned to the dock from which he signed the paperwork that sent the U.S. troops home.
A history scholar, he was well read and had a “wide-ranging knowledge and a keen sense of humor,” family members said. Born to Greek immigrants in Manhattan, Jacovides spoke three languages. He learned Greek at home. “No one understands me,” he complained to his mother after his first day of kindergarten, his family recalled. He learned English quickly and fluently, and later Spanish.
After his retirement from teaching in 1988, Jacovides enjoyed traveling the world with his wife, Martha, whom he consistently entertained with his extensive historical knowledge. “And over there,” he would point out, “was the battle of whatever,” his family recounted. Then he would re-enact the battle and similarly add his vast reservoir of information with the stories behind the paintings hanging in museums and the sculptures on exhibit.
Jacovides is survived by Martha with whom he was married 61 years. Two daughters, Melina Jacovides and her husband, Mark Wagner, of Belmont, Mass.; Mary Beth Jacovides of Cambridge, Mass,; and three grandchildren, Justin, Evan and Adeline Wagner.