Sophia Paivanas

Sophia Paivanas (Drapanas)

Friday, April 8th, 1932 - Friday, September 18th, 2020
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PAIVANAS - Sophia (nee Drapanas)

Beloved mother, yiayia, great yiayia, passed away peacefully on September 18, 2020, in Fort Myers, FL, surrounded by her family. She was 88.

Sophia was born April 8, 1932 in Buffalo, NY to Anastasia Tsiros and Thomas Drapanas. She married John Paivanas, PhD in May of 1952, in Buffalo, NY. Sophia led an adventurous, fearless and very full life. She was known for her effervescent personality and gracious social skills; appearing to effortlessly host celebrations and parties at times with little or no advanced notice.

While raising four sons in Hyde Park, NY, she created and hosted a multifaceted cable television show. The Sophia Show was a broad ranging variety and talk show that was on the air from 1968 to 1982. It had several long-running thematic series covering contemporary medical topics, legal issues as well as numerous fashion and entertainment interviews. The Sophia Show won numerous awards for original television content just as cable TV was just coming out of its infancy.

In addition, she was a Vassar College preceptor for television production internships. Her one-hour variety program emphasized elegance, ethnic diversity, and showcased talent from around the country. Some of her notable guests included: Joan Rivers, Dionne Warwick, Franklin Roosevelt Jr, Floyd Paterson, Joe Frazier, Steve Allen, Ed McMahon, and Dr. Herman Tarnower.

In addition to her television endeavors she also produced several radio shows including “The Hellenic Voice” with the Reverend Father James Dukas, and “From Greece with Love” with her husband Dr. John Paivanas, 1960-1975.

Sophia was described as an ambassador for the “extended Greek community promoting classical Greek values, language, music, history and the treasure of the Greek Orthodox faith and traditions” (Bishop Timothy of Detroit 1/17/1991).

After her first husband’s death she was married to Richard Rausch until his death in 1998 traveling the world while splitting their time between Williamsville, NY, and Fort Myers, FL.

Sophia is survived by four sons, Thomas Paivanas, of Annandale, VA, John Paivanas, of Manitowoc, WI, Evan Paivanas, of Buffalo, NY and Gregory Paivanas, of Buffalo, NY; a sister, Photine (Tulla) Drapanas, of Miami, FL; two grandchildren, Nicholas and Tessa Paivanas; and two great grandchildren, Alexander and Samuel Paivanas.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Anastasia Tsiros and Thomas Drapanas, her first husband, John Paivanas, her second husband, Richard Rausch, and her siblings Theodore Drapanas, MD, Alexander Drapanas and Jorja Drapanas.

Services will be held privately at the convenience of the family due to public health restrictions. Entombment will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Sophia's memory to either Hope Hospice, Fort Myers, FL, or Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY.

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Service Details

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    Kolano Funeral Home
    396 Amherst St.
    BUFFALO, NY 14207
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Funeral Services are being held privately at the convenience of the family.


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Yvette Cathers

Posted at 06:07pm
May God grant her rest where all the saints repose. Memory eternal.

Penny Bellas

Posted at 04:26pm
A pleasure to know Sophia and be in her company. Eternal be her memory!

Ellene and Tom Jousma

Posted at 08:09am
We are honored and blessed to have known Sophia. The always smiling always supportive Sophia will be greatly missed. Condolences to the bereaved family. My tears are flowing for a friend, a talented gracious loving lady...God rest her soul in peace.

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