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Peter G. Cortessis

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Peter G. Cortessis Obituary
Peter G. Cortessis
Sept. 3, 1931 - Nov. 6, 2013
Resident of Concord
After a prolonged illness, our beloved Papa, Peter George Cortessis, with his family was by his side, passed away peacefully last Wednesday.
Peter was born on the Greek island of Lesvos, in the ancient city of Mytilene, to George and Victoria Cortessis, only 18 years after the Lesvos gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire. When Peter was nine years old, the whole of Greece was conquered by the Axis Powers. Peter was an active member of the Nazi resistance. A brilliant student in high school, Peter came to the USA to attend the University of Miami, Florida in 1949.
Peter earned his Chemical Engineering degree (with honors) from the U of M in 1952 and also met the love of his life, Phoebe Elizabeth Wilson. Together they moved to Indiana, where attended graduate school at Purdue University. After graduation, Peter became the supervisor of Stauffer Chemical Company's plant in Trona, CA. In 1973, he moved his family to the Bay Area and became Stauffer's Chief Engineer. After retirement from Stauffer, Peter managed the design of plants for Teflon, Cultured Stone and Iron Carbide.
Family was always Peter's paramount concern. He emphasized the Greek virtue of balance between the development of the mind and the health of the body He tried to interest his children in his favorite sport, soccer, with little success; so, Peter became baseball, track and football fans, which were his children's preferred sports. To foster the development of his children's social skills, Peter and Betty hosted many dinner parties where their children sat at the table and conversed with the adults. With no Orthodox Church near Trona, he sent his children to the Methodist Church, but he always drove his family hours to the nearest Greek Church for Easter Service. He also served as a Boy Scouts and YMCA Indian Guide leader.
Peter was a devout member of the Greek Orthodox Church. He sang in the choir, served on board and sang as Cantor for the St. Demetrios Church of Concord.
Peter is survived by his wife Phoebe, his sister Maria, of Athens Greece, his four children Victoria (Richard Korf) , George (Nancy Kerlinger), John (Kirstin Lloyd), Pericles (Melinda Bates) and eight grandchildren, Peter, Jonathan, Sumner, Madison, Alex, Regan, Nikolas and Ashley.
Funeral Service will be at St. Demetrios Church, 1955 Kirker Pass Rd, Concord at 12:00PM, Friday, November 15, 2013. Interment will follow in Oakmont Memorial Park.

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Published in Contra Costa Times on Nov. 13, 2013
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