CLEARWTER, FL – V. Rev. Fr. Petros Kopsahilis 80, of Clearwater, fell asleep in the Lord, on October 15. Born in Letohoro, Greece to Ioannis and Poulheria, he completed his studies at the Ecclesiastical School of St. Anastasia and served in the Greek army.
He immigrated to the United States in 1961 to attend Hellenic College and Holy Cross Graduated School of Theology (HCHC), and continued his studies at Boston University with a master’s and PhD in Religious Education.
He married Christine Pliakas in 1968, and was ordained a Greek Orthodox priest that same year. Assigned to the parish in Casper, WY, tragedy would later take the 11-month-old daughter in a car accident and leave him paralyzed.
Battling the odds of walking, 17 surgeries were performed in Boston and he regained his mobility and walked. He was appointed Admissions Director, Register and Assistant to the President at HCHC. Wanting to return to a parish, he served in Oklahoma City for eight years and was instrumental in building a new church.
He was transferred to Portland, ME and, later, appointed Chancellor of the Atlanta Metropolis where he served for 14 years before retiring to Rhode Island, to be near HCHC and family. The couple moved to Clearwater, FL a year later to be near his wife’s sister, husband, and nephews.
Fr. Kopsahilis was well respected and admired. A man of great faith, he never gave up, but fought the good fight. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, the V. Rev. Fr. James and Vasiliki (Pliakas) Rousakis, nieces and nephews in the United States and Greece and is proceeded by his parents and sisters, Vasiliki, Paraskevi, Constantina and Katerina of Greece.
A Trisagion was held on October 24 at the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Tarpon Springs followed by a funeral the next day officiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta and local clergy. Interment took place at Curlew Hills Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Holy Trinity Building Fund of Clearwater, HCHC, or The Suncoast Hospice.