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Offered January 11, 2017
Prefiled January 2, 2017
Celebrating the life of the Honorable Johnny S. Joannou.

Patrons-- Spruill, Barker, Black, Carrico, Chafin, Chase, Cosgrove, Dance, Deeds, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Hanger, Howell, Lewis, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Mason, McClellan, McDougle, McPike, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Peake, Petersen, Reeves, Ruff, Saslaw, Stanley, Stuart, Sturtevant, Suetterlein, Surovell, Vogel, Wagner and Wexton; Delegates: Aird, Bell, John J., Bloxom, Boysko, Campbell, Carr, Cole, Davis, Dudenhefer, Fariss, Filler-Corn, Fowler, Garrett, Greason, Hayes, Heretick, Herring, Hester, Hope, Ingram, James, Knight, Kory, Krizek, Landes, Leftwich, Lindsey, Massie, Minchew, Miyares, Morefield, Mullin, Murphy, O'Bannon, Orrock, Peace, Plum, Poindexter, Price, Rasoul, Simon, Stolle, Torian, Tyler, Ware, Watts, Webert and Yancey

WHEREAS, the Honorable Johnny S. Joannou, a respected member of the Portsmouth community and a consummate public servant who represented the residents of Hampton Roads in both chambers of the General Assembly over the course of three decades, died on May 6, 2016; and

WHEREAS, born in Brooklyn, New York, to a family of immigrants, Johnny Joannou grew up in Portsmouth, forming a bond with the city that would last his entire life; he learned the value of hard work and responsibility from his father, who taught himself English while working as a cook and eventually purchased his own restaurant; and

WHEREAS, after graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School, Johnny Joannou earned a bachelorís degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a law degree from the University of Richmond; and

WHEREAS, Johnny Joannou served the Portsmouth community as an attorney with his private practice, Joannou and Associates, and worked to enhance the lives of his fellow residents as a leader in local civic and service organizations; and

WHEREAS, desirous to be of further service to the Commonwealth, Johnny Joannou ran for and was elected to the House of Delegates in 1975, representing the residents of Portsmouth in the 41st District and later in the 39th District; and

WHEREAS, Johnny Joannou served in the House of Delegates until 1983, when he was elected to the Senate of Virginia, representing the residents of parts of Portsmouth and Suffolk in the 13th District; he returned to the House of Delegates in 1998 and represented the residents of parts of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk in the 79th District until 2016; and

WHEREAS, as a member of the General Assembly, Johnny Joannou introduced and supported numerous important pieces of legislation to benefit all Virginians; he was a champion for blue collar workers and supported initiatives to keep taxes low; and

WHEREAS, Johnny Joannou was a strong proponent of property rights and fought to secure a constitutional amendment guaranteeing just compensation for property taken by eminent domain; and

WHEREAS, over the course of his 34-year career in public service, Johnny Joannou offered his wisdom and expertise to several committees and commissions, including the House Committee on Appropriations, which is responsible for writing the biennial budget; and

WHEREAS, a man of strong character and integrity, Johnny Joannou served the Hampton Roads community and the Commonwealth with dedication and distinction; and

WHEREAS, Johnny Joannou will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by his wife of 49 years, Chris; daughter, Stephanie, and her family; and numerous other family members, friends, and colleagues on both sides of the aisle; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of the Honorable Johnny S. Joannou; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of the Honorable Johnny S. Joannou as an expression of the General Assemblyís respect for his memory.