Viera – John James Macheras passed peacefully at his home, on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, with his family by his side. He was born on March 30, 1928, at their home in Lynchburg, VA, to the late Demetra and James Macheras, the youngest of four sons.
A few years after his birth, Demetra and James moved their family over the mountain, to Lexington, VA, where they opened The Sandwich Shop restaurant, raising their four sons in the apartment above. They worked hard throughout the Depression, and up to it’s closing in the late 50’s, possessed a strong work ethic that was passed down to our father and his brothers. John attended Lexington High School where he played football, basketball, and ran track.
After serving his country as a proud member of the United States Army, he decided to pursue a career in education, obtaining his bachelor’s at Erskine College in South Carolina, and his master’s degree from the University of Indiana. He then returned to the Lexington area to begin his teaching career. He taught at Fairfield High School, and then at Natural Bridge, where he also coached basketball. More importantly, though, it was during this time he met Miss Jo Anne Gibson, whom just this year, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Then, in 1960, John and Jo Anne moved to Florida to continue his teaching career, beginning at the small schoolhouse in Fellsmere. The next year they moved to Brevard County, where he began his career with Brevard Public Schools, continuing until his retirement in 1987. He began teaching Driver’s Ed. at Edgewood Junior High, moving to Audubon to teach P.E., and then to Clearlake Junior High. In 1970 he became a member of the new Cocoa High School’s first faculty, where he taught for the next 17 years. During his last few years, he ran the DECA program, assisting students with finding employment and on the job training.
In the midst of a conversation, John mentioned he never received his high school diploma, and in the summer of 2011, was recognized at a school board meeting in his hometown, receiving his diploma and recognized as the last graduate of the now closed, Lexington High School, coming full circle with his schooling and career in education.
John was preceded in death by his parents and brothers George, Thomas, and Theodore. Surviving are his wife Jo Anne, son Bill (Lynda) Macheras, daughter Julia (James) Glass, grandchildren Alexis Benes, Ethan and Devan Macheras, Matthew and Christina Glass and great-granddaughters Avery Benes and Thea Macheras.
His funeral will be held on Monday, October 8th, at the St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in Melbourne, at 10:00 AM. He will be laid to rest in Lexington, VA, on Saturday, October 13th, at 11:00 AM. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s honor to St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church, 5965 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, FL, 32940.