Born in Baltimore and raised in Hamilton on Sefton Avenue, he was the son of Lee Gounaris, a North Broadway restaurateur. His mother, Helen, was a homemaker.
He was a 1961 graduate of City College, where he was the soccer team's goalie. He earned a bachelor's degree from the College of Agriculture at the University of Maryland, College Park. He then received a law degree from the University of Baltimore and later earned a master's degree in business administration from what is now Loyola University Maryland.
Mr. Gounaris was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army and was assigned to a post at Curtis Bay.
He became a salesman for veterinarians' drugs and supplies at Haver Locart and later at A.J. Buck. He traveled throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
In 1989 he became a corporate counsel for Kirschner Medical. In 1995 he became a vice president and divisional general counsel to EBI, a Biomet Inc. company. He then lived in Mendham, N.J., before returning to Maryland in 2002. He retired the next year.
Mr. Gounaris served two terms, including a chairmanship, on the Harford Community College board of trustees.
He was an active member of Grace English Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lutherville.
He enjoyed reading history and spending time with his sons and grandsons.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.
Survivors include his wife of 48 years, the former Joanne Smith; three sons, Nicholas L. Gounaris Jr. of Hampstead, Daniel R. Gounaris of Eldersburg and Jarrett L. Gounaris of Baltimore; a brother, Thomas Lee Gounaris of Bowley's Quarters; and four grandsons.