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Military honors during funeral for deceased shipowner, philanthropist Tsounis

A funeral service will be held on Monday for nonagenarian shipowner and philanthropist Iakovos Tsounis, who was honored widely in his native Greece over the recent period for gifting his entire fortune to the country’s armed forces.

Tsounis, who will be interred in an Athens cemetery, will receive a military funeral and honors bestowed to an active major general.

“Greece bids farewell to a worthy offspring. We all bow with respect to the memory of this true gentleman, Iakovos Tsounis,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a statement.

Two months ago, the 97-year-old shipowner announced that he would donate practically all of his fortune to Greece’s armed forces, saying he wants to exit life in the manner in which he arrived, namely, “barefoot”.

Tsounis, veteran of WWII, declared that he will leave 23 million euros for Greece’s defense, along with 60 new amphibious special forces vessels.

He was born in the western port city of Patras and was a descendant of fighters of the Greek War of Independence between 1821 and 1829. He himself fought at the age of 16 on the Albanian front against Mussolini’s invading Italian army in 1940.

For his overall contributions, he was honored in by Greek military in April 2020, following a recommendation by Greece’s defense minister, and was also elevated to the rank of honorary major general.