RICHMOND – Longtime Port of Richmond executive director Jim Matzorkis, 68, died at his Oakland home on Dec. 20 from complications due to a COVID-19 infection. He held his post at the port for 18 years and was just 11 days shy of retiring when he died.

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said Matzorkis’ premier accomplishment as port executive director was completing the Honda Port of Entry project in 2010, which expanded and improved the port’s existing automobile and processing facilities.

Jim MatzorkisJim Matzorkis. 

Matzorkis was born Dec. 11, 1952, in Chicago to the late Gus and Frances Matzorkis, and the family moved to California during his childhood. He married his high school sweetheart, Beverly.

He loved his ancestral homeland, Greece, and took his family on many trips to Crete, Greece, to stay connected with his relatives there. He was a tequila aficionado and loved to travel in Mexico. He also had a love for music and worked for a concert promoter, Bill Graham Productions, in his early career during which time he forged many enduring lifelong friendships.

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Jim had a colorful career in his younger days that he liked to tell stories about,” Mayor Tom Butt wrote in an email tribute. “He worked security as a roadie in the rock and roll industry.”

Matzorkis is survived by his wife of 39 years, Beverly; daughters Melanie and Ileana; sisters JoAnn and Stacie; brother Nick; and brother-in-law Bob; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He wanted to be buried in Cleveland near his parents and other relatives. There will be a private graveside service at St. Theodosius Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations may be sent to the Cretan Club of Cleveland, 3853 W 168th St, Cleveland, OH 44111.

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