Dr. Nick and Sophia Poulos, who celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary June 22, met when they were students at Angwin’s Pacific Union College, where they fell in love not only with each other, but also with the Napa Valley, said their daughter, Elaine Valles.
Following their marriage in 1947, the couple traveled to postwar Greece, where they served as the first American missionaries for the Greek Mission of Seventh-day Adventist Churches. Nick Poulos was eventually appointed president of the mission. Sophia Poulos worked alongside her husband, organizing children’s Sabbath school and Dorcas (now Community Services), leading a choir, serving as women’s ministries director, as well as teaching free English, piano and music classes. Together, the couple introduced the concept of youth camps and children’s Sabbath schools and sponsored many young people hoping to pursue a college education outside of the struggling country.
They next moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, where Nick Poulos studied medicine and the couple helped organize an English-speaking SDA church.
In 1967, the Pouloses and their two children, Elaine and Nicholas, moved to West Virginia, where, with his wife’s help, Dr. Poulos ran a solo medical practice for 16 years.
By 1982, the Pouloses had returned to the Napa Valley to be closer to an ailing family member. For the next five years, Dr. Poulos served as chief medical officer at the Vacaville Correctional Medical Facility.
Following his retirement in 1990, the couple directed their energies to volunteering and traveling. In addition to their two children, their extended family includes their children’s spouses and eight grandchildren.
Living in St. Helena once again is a dream come true for them, their daughter said: “They say ‘We feel we are home to stay.’”