FRESNO, CA – The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco announced the passing of Dr. Peter Scamagas, Archon Aktouarios of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. 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 grandchildren, and also leaves behind extended family and friends who admired and loved him for his goodness, sincerity of heart, and compassion for mankind.
Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco stated that, “Dr. Scamagas was a man of great integrity. He focused on serving others through his service in the U.S. Army, as a respected medical professional, researcher, Sunday School teacher, and true steward of the Church.”
Gerasimos added that “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.”
Dr. Peter James Scamagas, was born June 24, 1927, in Philadelphia, PA, to Mary and Demetrios Scamagas of Asia Minor.
Peter worked in his uncle’s restaurant until he was drafted into the U.S. Army and deployed to the Philippines. Upon completion of his military service, Peter was accepted by 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. 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. He also was a long-time participant of the 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 members of his family but perfect strangers as well. When he was 84, he traveled to Uganda to offer his medical services to several communities there.