Sandy John Sarantinos, a former Southern High School principal, died of leukemia Dec. 5 at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 77 and lived in Monkton.
Born in Chios, Greece, he came to the United States in 1946 and lived with his family in Donora, Pa.
"As a child, he would often spend the day at the movies, watching spaghetti Westerns so that he could learn English," said his daughter, Argiro "Argie" Sarantinos-Perrin of Bel Air.
He worked in a steel mill and attended college in the evening. After he graduated from California State College in California, Pa., he served in the Army and was stationed in Alaska.
Family members said he excelled in mathematics and became a teacher. After moving to Baltimore, he taught algebra for seven years in the city school system. He earned a master's degree in administration and education from what is now Loyola University Maryland and had a doctoral equivalency from the Johns Hopkins University.
He became principal of the Francis Scott Key Elementary/Junior High School and retired in 1989 as principal of Southern High School in Federal Hill. Family members said he was instrumental in getting computer labs installed in the high school.
Mr. Sarantinos also taught English as a second language in the evening. He also took the online Antiochian House of Studies' St. Stephen's religious courses and earned a master's degree in applied orthodox theology.
He and his wife traveled extensively and visited Greece to see family and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2504 Cub Hill Road, where he taught religious studies and was a 36-year member.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 32 years, Leslie Van Newkirk; a son, John Sarantinos of Perry Hall; another daughter, Kathy Lamar of Ellicott City; a sister, Mary Leogas of Belle Vernon, Pa; and seven grandchildren. His first wife of 23 years, Catherine Coumelas, died in 1977.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun