Dr. Peter Scamagas, Archon Aktouarios
June 24, 1927 – February 20, 2019

It is with sadness, yet with hope in the Resurrection, that the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco announces the passing of Dr. Peter Scamagas, Archon Aktouarios, who fell asleep in the Lord on February 20, 2019. He is survived by his devoted wife of 57 years, Katina, and their two children: Marianthy (Jim) Grover, and Jimmy (Terry) Scamagas. He was blessed with four adoring grandchildren, and also leaves behind extended family and friends who admired and loved Peter for his goodness, sincerity of heart, and compassion for mankind.

“Dr. Scamagas was a man of great integrity. He focused on serving others through his service in the US Army, as a respected medical professional, researcher, Sunday School teacher, and true steward of the Church,” remarked His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “Every time I would see him, he was always eager to help in whatever way he could for the betterment of the Church. I convey my deepest sympathies to his family, and all those who are mourning the passing of Peter, who has now entered into the Gates of Paradise with the Lord whom he faithfully served.”

The Trisagion will be held on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 6:00 p.m., and the funeral will be held on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco will preside at both services which will be held at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, 2219 N. Orchard Avenue, Fresno, CA 93703.

May his memory be eternal!

Obituary for Dr. Peter Scamagas

Peter James Scamagas, M.D., was born June 24, 1927, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Mary and Demetrios Scamagas of Asia Minor. The family, including Peter’s younger sister Melpa, moved to the island of Chios, Greece, in 1931 and were still there in 1941, when the Nazis occupied Greece.  The war years brought many hardships to the civilian population of Greece, and many died from starvation and illness. Many of those who survived the war and came to America, however, not only thrived, but, like Peter, became shining stars, using their subsequent and hard-earned blessings to bless others.

Peter was an outstanding student, and graduated from high school with honors. In 1946, at the conclusion of the war, Peter and Melpa, as teenagers, repatriated to America.  Peter worked in his uncle’s restaurant until he was drafted in the US Army and deployed to the Philippines. Upon completion of his military service, Peter was accepted to the honors chemistry program and then medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, earning his medical degree in 1956. A residency and subsequent fellowship in allergy and immunology brought Peter to Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco. Peter spent his entire career with Kaiser Permanente, and was chief of the Allergy Departments in Santa Clara and Fresno. Peter believed that that good medicine involved holistic treatment, so he conducted research and developed programs through the NIH and American Lung Association to develop patient education programs for people suffering from asthma. Passionate and focused, Peter’s obsessions were family, faith, philanthropy and education. While Peter was fully committed to his career and research, his devotion to his family was unparalleled.  He met his beautiful bride Katina in San Francisco where they wed in 1961 and remained married for 57 years. His daughter Marianthy was born in 1962 and son Jimmy was born in 1971; the family was complete, until the next generation arrived!

As an active member of the Greek Orthodox Church, Peter worshiped in San Francisco, San Jose (a founding member of St. Basil,) and Fresno. He was most fond of his years as a Sunday School teacher and youth group leader. As an elder, he was bestowed the honor of Archon. He also was a long-time participant of Bible Study Fellowship.

Peter was fully committed to improving the lives of people near and far. He helped many achieve a college education, for not only his family as well as perfect strangers. While the charities he supported are too many to mention, in “retirement,"  Peter donated his time to teaching residents at the Fresno Rescue Mission. When he was 84, he traveled to Uganda to offer his medical services to several communities there. Peter’s love of learning stayed with him always; he would pour over textbooks of math, science and history, taking notes as if he were still in school. He would often advise children, grandchildren and friends to master the subjects taught in class. Peter loved soccer almost as much as learning and was proud he played on soccer teams well into his sixties.

Peter was the recipient of many honors and awards from his academics, career, church, and the philanthropic organizations he supported. He seldom discussed the accolades, preferring to celebrate the successes of his grandchildren, friends and loved ones instead.

On February 20, 2019, Peter reposed to the Lord. He is survived by his loving wife Katina, without whom he could not have achieved so much; daughter Marianthy (Jim), grandsons Nick, Jack and Dennis Grover of Pasadena; son Jimmy (Terry) and granddaughter daughter Chloe Scamagas of Oceanside; nephews Jim and Ted Surdis and their families, brother-in-law Petros with his wife Georgia, niece Athina and nephew Jimmy Panagiotacos and their families and many devoted relatives and friends in California and Greece.

Viewing will be held on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, at St. George Greek Orthodox Church from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM followed by the Trisagion at 6:00 PM.

Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at 10:00 AM., at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 2219 N. Orchard Avenue, Fresno, CA 93703. Interment will follow at Belmont Memorial Park at 1:00 PM.

Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the St. George Greek Orthodox Church Scholarship Fund (which he founded), The Monastery of the Holy Theotokos the Life Giving Spring in Dunlap, California, or the Fresno Rescue Mission.