Joseph Samuel Lakis

Lakis, Joseph Samuel passed with peace and grace to heaven on October 28th after an amazing 95 years of faith, family, and country. Joe was a devout Catholic, a dedicated husband, father and brother, a decorated WWII Army Air Force aviator, and a passionate fan of the NY Yankees. A native New Yorker, he was a proud Fordham graduate with an MBA from NYU. Joe joyfully spent the last year of his life in Florida surrounded by love and incredible support from his son and daughter-in-law Lawrence and Shannan Lakis. Joe will be best remembered for his abiding motto "It's a great life if you don't weaken!" Joe touched lives around the globe and spanned generations with his influence. A child of the Depression years, Joe always found the silver lining and reminded each of us to live in the joy of seeing it for ourselves. True to his Syrian heritage, he was ever the happy host welcoming all into his home and his heart. There was always hummus, grapes, cantaloupe, string cheese, olives, and pita bread for the weary traveler or the visiting cousin, the fellow Fordham alum, or well-loved grandchild. Joe sang with gusto and was often regaling family, friends, and perfect strangers with a quick round of "When the Moon Hits Your EyeThat's Amore" or the infamous "Cuckoo Song," or "The Caissons Go Rolling Along." He enjoyed a half-century career in the textiles industry, specializing in large carpeting installations for government and commercial projects and historic reproductions. His children still pay attention to the carpet from which the annual State of the Union speech is delivered, and no matter who was delivering that important speech, Joe always relished the fact that "That carpet still looks good!" Until recently, he was a daily Communicant at Our Lady of Mercy in Hicksville, his home parish for almost 60 years. He also served as an Extraordinary Minister, bringing Communion to the residents at Central Island Nursing Home. With a ready smile and a click of his heels he would greet each and every one of them, whether they were "on his list" or not. Joe served his country during World War II in the United States Army's 10th Air Force 3rd Combat Cargo Squadron and earned the rank of Staff Sergeant. Despite his humble nature, he could not completely contain his solemn pride when sharing stories from his 537 combat missions in the China-Burma-India Theatre. He was a three-time recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, and a four-time recipient of the Air Medal, in addition to several other awards and honors. In 2015, in celebration of his 91st birthday and service to our Nation, Joe flew in his customary seat of a C-47 once again, in an honor flight out of the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale. Joe leaves behind his wife, Margaret, his sister Josephine Patane, and his loving children, Mary (Lakis) Farley & husband, Shaun Farley, Joseph Lakis Jr. & wife Tricia, Lawrence Lakis & wife Shannan, and Gregory Lakis & wife Jennifer. He also leaves behind 6 treasured grandchildren, Olivia, Ethan, Abigail, Amelia, Isabella, and Christian, and nieces, nephews and Godchildren, all of whom were touched by Joe's zest for life and unwavering faith in God. Calling hours are Friday, Nov 8th at Park Funeral Chapels from 2-4pm and 7-9pm. The funeral home is located at 2175 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:45am on Saturday, Nov 9th at Our Lady of Mercy Church 500 South Oyster Bay Road, Hicksville.