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The Life of Demetrios John " Jimmy" Gadonas



Demetrios “Jim” Gadonas, a lifelong
Alexandrian and son of the late “Mr. John”
Gadonas, founder of the landmark Majestic
Café on King Street, died Nov. 22 at Inova
Alexandria Hospital. He was 78.
Born Demetrios John Gadonas on Feb. 26,
1939 at Alexandria Hospital, Gadonas was
the son of John D. Gadonas and Zoe
Gadonas. He attended Alexandria City Public
Schools, graduating from George Washington
High School in 1957. During this
time he was an avid participant in recreational
youth leagues and high school
sports.
“My uncle was a product of old Alexandria,”
said Greg Paspatis, one of two surviving
nephews. “He was a tremendous
sports fan and passed his love of sports
along to me.”
Gadonas attended Columbia Prep School
in Washington D.C. prior to beginning work
as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service.
In the early 1960s, he began a career of over
three decades on Capitol Hill. Around 1961
he became a Capitol Police officer, serving
until early 1976. He then began working
for the Office of the Clerk in the U.S. House
of Representatives, retiring from that position
in 1995.
“He loved politics and how things worked
on Capitol Hill,” Paspatis said of his uncle.
“He never lost his fascination with how government
functioned.”
Gadonas went on to work for about a
decade with the Radisson Hotel in North
Old Town. Previously, he served in the Virginia
Army National Guard from 1962 to
1968. He went to basic training at Fort Jackson,
S.C., and Signal Corps School at Fort
Gordon, Ga.
Gadonas received a bachelor of arts degree
in government from the University of
Maryland in January 1972. For nearly 40
years he made his home in the Waynewood
neighborhood of Fort Hunt. He was an avid
follower of sports, running the gamut from
organized college and pro leagues to golf,
tennis, horse racing and boxing.
“I still remember my uncle piling my
brother and me into his Austin Healey convertible
just to sit outside the sold-out game
at GW High School stadium when Joe
Namath made his NFL debut in a 1965 preseason
game against the Houston Oilers,”
Paspatis said. “In 1969, he brought me to
my first high school football game when
Hammond won a national championship.
He really loved sports, especially the local
teams.”
In addition to his parents, Gadonas was
predeceased by two sisters; Pauline J.
Gadonas and Eugenia “Virginia” J. Gadonas,
both of Alexandria. He is survived by his
two nephews, Gregory G. Paspatis, and John
D. Paspatis, both of Alexandria.
A funeral service will be held Nov. 30 at
noon at Saint Katherine’s Greek Orthodox
Church, 3149 Glen Carlyn Road, in Falls
Church. Interment will follow at Ivy Hill
Cemetery in Alexandria. Arrangements are
being handled by Everly-Wheatley Funeral
Home. www.everlywheatley.com

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Military Service

Branch:
Army