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John M. Burdusi, retired Esskay worker and gardener, dies

John M. Burdusi worked as a meatpacker for 35 years at the Esskay plant on East Baltimore Street in Highlandtown.
John M. Burdusi worked as a meatpacker for 35 years at the Esskay plant on East Baltimore Street in Highlandtown.

John M. Burdusi, a retired Esskay meatpacker and Boy Scout leader, died of heart failure March 23 at UM Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace. The Bel Air resident was 92.

Mr. Burdusi was born in Lipsos, Greece, and came to the United States when he was 18. He initially lived with family members in Washington and Pennsylvania and later moved to Baltimore.

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He served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Berlin in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Mr. Burdusi worked as a meatpacker for 35 years at the Esskay plant in Highlandtown on East Baltimore Street.

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He met his future wife, Lamona Kootsouradis, in the choir of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Highlandtown. They were married at a double ceremony Sept. 6, 1959. His brother, Christodoulos Glavaris and his wife, Anne, stood alongside Mr. Burdusi and his wife.

“It was the first double wedding at the parish, which was then only 6 years old,” said his son, the Rev. Father Manuel J. Burdusi, a Greek Orthodox priest. “It was the talk of the Greek community.”

He was later scoutmaster at St. Nicholas and saw Troop 199 grow from eight boys to 50 scouts.

Mr. Burdusi lived with his family on Bonsal Street and moved to Bel Air in 1973. An energetic gardener, he raised grapes he made into homemade wine.

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“My father was a man who could fix anything,” said his son, Father Burdusi. “If he didn’t know how to do something, he taught himself. He was a plumber, electrician and concrete worker. He did it all.”

He was also an avid Ravens fan.

He retired in 1990 and was a devout Orthodox Christian and followed his son’s ministry to his three parishes — in Baltimore, Bel Air and Lanham.

A funeral will be held at noon Wednesday at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at 520 S. Ponca St.

In addition to his son, the pastor of Saint Theodore Greek Orthodox Church in Lanham, survivors include another son, Michael J. Burdusi of Dover, Delaware; two grandchildren; and a great-grandson. His wife, Lamona Kootsouradis, a senior clerk typist and Greek language interrupter at the old Baltimore City Hospitals, died in 2006.

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