SUMMIT, NJ - Nicholas J. Bouras passed away December 22 at his residence in Summit. Bouras was 93.
Bouras enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in 1942. By the end of 1945, he attained the rank of Major and flew forty-four combat missions in the European theater as the lead navigator and bombardier of thirty-six B-26 bomber aircraft. In 1946, the President of the United States awarded Bouras the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters. His assignments included the Headquarters 9th Air Force, 386th Bomb Group and the Headquarters 9th Air Division, 552nd Bomb Squadron.
After his honorable discharge from the military, Mr. Bouras returned to his position with the U.S. Steel Corporation, where he remained for twenty years. In 1960, he and his late wife, Anna K. Bouras, embarked on an entrepreneurial career that led to the creation of one of America’s leading manufacturers of fabricated steel components for the commercial real estate industry. For nearly 40 years, his privately owned company supplied steel to contractors who helped transform New York’s skyline. In 1970, this impact on the skyline began with the construction of World Trade Center Tower 4 and was followed by the construction of headquarter buildings for Hearst, Bloomberg, Bear Sterns, and Goldman Sachs, as well as the Time Warner Center. His company also supplied steel for the construction of professional sports stadiums and arenas, which included the Yankees, Giants, Patriots, Ravens, Redskins, Celtics, 76ers, Wizards, and the Devils. In 2007, Bouras Industries ceased operations with the sale of four companies and over 700 employees.
Bouras’ business achievements enabled him to positively impact the lives of thousands of people in need, including those in pursuit of higher education, as well as numerous non-profit institutions throughout the world. He exhibited extraordinary commitment to his local parish, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, which he helped found and served on the Parish Council for over 40 years. His support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Hellenic College, Orthodox Christian Mission Center, and numerous philanthropic causes typified his enduring generosity for humanitarian projects. A 25-year member of the Archdiocesan Council and National Council of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archon Vice Commander Bouras was central to expanding initiatives of these important institutions. His philanthropy empowered the Order of St. Andrew to develop a multifaceted domestic and international strategic plan to secure religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the spiritual center of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians located in Istanbul, Turkey.
Bouras is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Hellenic College, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Alpha Omega Council Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award from the American Hellenic Institute, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst and Young, the Humanitarian Philanthropic Award from the Cyprus Federation of America, the Athenagoras Human Rights Award from the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, and the Republican Senatorial Medal of Freedom, the highest honor the Republican members of the U.S. Senate can bestow.
Born in Pontiac, MI, and raised in Chicago, IL, Mr. Bouras was an alumnus of Northwestern University. He is survived by his sister-in-law Tina Kariotis and brother-in-law John Mathrusse; nieces Susan Tseng (Greg), Pamela Kariotis (James), Elizabeth Smejda (Karolus), and Georgeane Valos (John); nephews James Mathrusse (Jiemin) and Robert Kariotis; grandnieces Katie and Emma; and grandnephews Matt, Brian, Andrew, and Rocco.
Funeral services will be held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield as follows: Viewing will take place on Friday, December 27, 2013, 2 p.m. - 8 p.m., with Trisagion (Memorial) services every hour with Hierarchical Trisagion at 7 p.m. Funeral services will take place on Saturday, December 28, 2013, at 9 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church in Flemington, and or Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield.