John Spiro Demian

john demian

October 6, 1926 ~ October 28, 2023

Born in: Latakia, Syria
Resided in: Great Falls, Virginia

John Spiro Demian (October 6, 1926 – October 28, 2023)

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of John Spiro Demian, who departed from this world on October 28, 2023, at the age of 97. His life is a testament to resilience, love, and unwavering devotion to family.

John lived a rich life, filled with profound meaning and cherished moments. An exceptionally cultured, intellectual, and emotionally brilliant man, he was always eager to share his wealth of knowledge with the world, and often revered as a human encyclopedia. A former diplomat, journalist, linguist and educator, John graduated from University of Damascus top of his class, earning a PhD on scholarship from University of Paris, La Sorbonne, where he later became a Professor of Educational Psychology, Theology, Philosophy, and the Arabic language. John also held lecture series at American University of Beirut, with former Presidents and high-ranking military officials in attendance. His work with the United Nations, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, as well as his articles penned while Editor-in-Chief of Lisan Al-Hal, a Lebanese newspaper, and his family lectures, which they will miss tremendously, are just a glimpse into John’s legacy.

A beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, relative and friend, John’s legacy of love, strength, and family values will be cherished for generations to come. He is survived by his devoted wife of 68 years, Tatiana Demian, who shared a lifetime of love and countless memories with him. Their enduring partnership was a source of inspiration for all who knew them.

In addition to his loving wife, John leaves behind a beautiful family: his four daughters, Layla, Mona, Nada, and Lina, who were the pride and joy of his life, and his dear sister Hind. His guidance, wisdom, and unwavering support have shaped them into remarkable individuals, a reflection of his character and values.

John was a doting grandfather to six grandchildren: Sandra, Natalia, Michael, Vanessa, Christopher, and Tamara. He was a constant presence in their lives, offering guidance, love, and encouragement as they pursued their dreams and aspirations. Always a loving brother to his dearly departed brother Elias, dearly departed sisters Khatoun and Layla, and his dearly departed nephew Samir Kassir. John remained a loving uncle to Sleiman Kassir, Walid Kassir, Ziad Demian, Marie Demian, and Spiro Demian until his final moments.

John’s legacy of love extends to his cherished son-in-laws: Gary Gray, Ken Susskind and Bassel Haidar, who were not only family by marriage but by heart. Often expressing their “thanks for the girls”, their bonds of respect and affection with John enriched the family’s close-knit relationships.

John’s life was marked by his passion for family, his dedication to his loved ones, and his ability to find joy in the simplest of moments. He will be remembered for his warm smile, his profound wisdom, kindness, and the light and love that he shared with all who had the privilege of knowing him.

His memory will forever live on in the hearts of those he leaves behind, a testament to a life well-lived and a love that endures beyond the boundaries of time. Though he has departed from this world, his spirit and legacy will continue to inspire and guide his family and friends for generations to come. John will be profoundly missed and lovingly remembered by all who had the privilege of knowing him. May his soul rest in eternal peace and light.

Visitation will be held at Saints Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, 10620 River Rd, Potomac, MD on Saturday, November 4 from 10:00am until the time of funeral services at 11:00am with a reception to follow. Interment will be at National Memorial Park at 2:00pm. For those unable to join in person the service will be livestreamed via the link

Donations in his memory be made to St. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church either by mailing a check or through the church’s secure online donation portal ( (Choose “Health & Memorials”).


Visitation: November 4, 2023 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church
10620 River Road
Potomac, MD 20854


Divine Liturgy: November 4, 2023 11:00 am

Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church
10620 River Road
Potomac, MD 20854


Graveside Service: November 4, 2023 2:00 pm

National Memorial Park
7482 Lee Highway
Falls Church, VA 22042


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The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in John Spiro Demian 's name.

Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church

10620 River Road



Memories Timeline


  1. Jeddo Hanna, as I addressed him, is leaving behind one great family which is the result of his amazing bond with his one of a kind wife Tatiana. I had many meals with Hanna and my last was at my birthday 2 years ago. He is brilliant, well informed and has the kindest gentle yes, I say “is” because to me, he will never be gone, he is everywhere, this is how profound and grandiose he is. I wish the entire family patience and faith as he transitions, but rest assured he will be around you all the time. My hubby loved every minute spent in your presence and is in awe at your superb knowledge and memory. Hanna, I love you, keep watching over your loved ones.
    Suze 2023

  2. My sincerest condolences to beloved Tatiana and the entire family
    You have lived a full rich life surrounded by a tremendous wonderful family filled with love and affection
    You will surely leave a huge void in everyone’s heart
    May you rest in peace

  3. My beloved uncle, you were a kind, caring, loving, respectful and distinguished man for all of your family and for every person who knew you. We are always proud of you. Your fragrant memory and your honorable history will remain forever with God and on earth You will remain with us and in our hearts so that your soul may rest in peace with the Almighty Lord. We love you so much Maryam, the name you like to call me and I will never forget you. My beloved uncle Jean Spiro Damien, you are an example of a humane, respectable and cultured man of clear wisdom, full of compassion.

    • My heartfelt condolences to all members of the beloved family. You are the best predecessor to the best successor. We love you all.

  4. Uncle John’s legacy will always be remembered. Each one of us has a special memory with him. His daily facetime calls with Spiro were a part of our daily life. We used to overhear the rich cultural and musical discussions. Uncle John was a man of knowledge and wisdom that we should all learn from. We were lucky to have such a great person in our family. You will be deeply missed.

  5. John will always be missed. He was a great and loving human being. May his soul rest in peace.

    Ernst and Camille Mary

  6. I think fondly of John Demian and his kindness from 40 years ago. John’s daughter & my dear friend Mona & I were working for the world bank at the time. John graciously had me join them on their drive home, dropping me off in Arlington on the way. We had many interesting discussions and I was invited to join his beautiful family for the best food and moments of family joy (including dancing by his beautiful wife). I cherish those memories! In sympathy & love, Gayle F Mellegard (Zanini)

  7. Dearest uncle John , miss you already so much . I cannot imagine visiting DC without you being there . You presence , your witt your love to all in the family , your smile , the spark in your eyes will be cherished forever . Marielle , the Samaha and the Kabbouche families

  8. My Dearest Hanna,

    You were for me a 2nd Father, with a big heart full of love and compassion. Always ready to help and advise. You were also my wise man, highly educated and a gold mine of culture and knowledge. Your love for classical music was immense. I will never forget, that we used to listen to it every morning on our way to work in DC. I will miss u a lot in this life time, in the hope to meet you soon one day. May God bless your immaculate soul in heaven till the end of time. I hereby present to Mona, Sandra, Michael, Tatiana, Layla, Nada and Lina and their families my deepest condolences with a broken heart. May God rest your soul in peace forever.
    My Father Hanna, we all loved you a lot in this life time and we will forever. Your memory will stay engraved in our hearts and spirits forever

  9. Dear Hanna,

    You will be truly missed. We will always remember you with your wonderful heart and your beautiful mind. May your soul rest in eternal peace. Our warmest condolences to the family.

    Samir and Michele Chehirey

  10. Our most sincere condolences to Tatiana, daughters and families 🙏🏻
    Hanna , your positiveness, smile, intelligence, calmness , will resonate for ever in our hearts and minds. May you rest in eternal peace 🙏🏻

    Myrna , Johnny , Kareem & Stephanie Malek

  11. Na ine elavri to homa pu se skepazi, we used to talk in Greek, you will be always remembered 🙏🏽, our deepest condolences to all the family ❤️🙏🏽🌹

  12. Our deepest condolences to Tante Tania , Leila , Mona , Nada and Lina .. we are praying 🙏 may Almighty God let him rest in peace. We will remember you uncle John ❤️

  13. Our sincere condolences to the entire family.
    Estez Hanna, as we like to call him at the BDL Translation Office that he founded with a deep sense of commitment and an exceptional professional background, was a highly educated man, loving, caring, and respectful. We are lucky to have known you and worked with you. We are grateful for your unrivalled teaching and wise guidance. Your dedication will always inspire us and your legacy will live on through the whole team!
    May your soul rest in peace!
    The Translation Office

  14. To my dearest Tatiana, Mona, Sandra, Michael and to ALL of the family ❤️

    What a man, what a life he lived surrounded by his beautiful, wife, 4 daughters and grandchildren. Although I haven’t seen Hanna in a while, I can’t help but feel the deep sadness of his loss. Even from a distance, I could sense the love and admiration he had for his family. His absence is undoubtedly a tremendous loss, and I want you to know that my heart goes out to all of you during this challenging time..

    I can only imagine the bond you & the entire family shared with him and the memories that you’ve built together over the years. Those memories are a testament to the love and closeness you shared. It’s clear that he was a remarkable person, and the influence he had on your lives is immeasurable.

    His legacy lives on in the kindness and resilience you carry forward. Hanna’s memory will forever hold a special place in your hearts, and his love will continue to guide you, every step of the way.

    Hanna will forever shine down on you and will always give you the strength to carry on. May he find eternal peace and tranquility.

    Love you all.

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