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Rev. Fr. Panteleimon Fatsis

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Rev. Fr. Panteleimon Fatsis Obituary
Rev. Fr. Panteleimon Anastasios Fatsis
Rev. Fr. Panteleimon Anastasios Fatsis, beloved husband, father, grandfather and faithful servant of Christ, entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. He was the husband of Kallirroe (Batalas) Fatsis, they would have been married 50 years on May 12. He was born June 11, 1916, in Los Angeles, CA to Anastasios and Chrysoula (Makris) Fatsis and was given the name Pantelis Anastasios. He was the second of four children. Upon the death of his father, the family (Pantelis, his mother and three sisters) settled in the Thessaly region of Greece, first in the town of Almyros and then moving to the port city of Volos. He worked in extreme conditions in his teenage years, first in a brick factory, then laying tar and working in tobacco fields, in order to support his widowed mother and orphaned sisters. Through his faith, he found the will and strength to put himself through night school in order to learn English and French and other disciplines to prepare and successfully be admitted into The Greek Military Academy. In 1938, Pantelis enlisted in the Greek Army in the Cavalry Regiment and within two years he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In 1940, his regiment led a successful campaign pushing the Reggimento Alpini Julia, the elite infantry regiment of the Italian army specializing in mountain combat, up into Albania. He recalls, In this mountainous region, we endured seven days without food and lost 700 out of 1,000 horses. However, my beloved mare, Ossa, survived. In the spring of 1941, Hitlers army entered Greece with their tanks and Stuka airplanes thus scattering Pantelis regiment. As part of the peace treaty with the Germans, the Greek government disarmed its military personnel. Pantelis went back to the city of Volos to join his mother and sisters. As an officer, he was privy to secret military intelligence that the Germans intended to gather individuals of Jewish descent, as they had in Thessalonica, and forcibly deport them to death from Greece. He recalls, When I reached Volos, I initiated a secret underground mission warning beloved friends and neighbors of the impending danger and deportation. With Gods help, all the Jewish families of Volos were able to flee to safety. Pantelis, risking his and his familys life, devised an escape route that would help them avoid the German forces as they entered the city. From 1944 until 1946, Pantelis risked his life numerous times to defeat the Greek Communist uprising. Typically stoic yet gentle, Pantelis often recounted with great sadness and emotion a plethora of intense, gruesome stories of combat and other wartime hardships. In December 1944, Pantelis played a key role in the heavy and deadly urban fighting between Communist guerrillas and the government forces in the city of Athens, the so-called Dekemvriana. In 1946, having already obtained a degree in political science, Pantelis graduated from the Hellenic Military Academy as First Lieutenant and was sent to fight Communists who had begun guerrilla insurgencies all over Greece. Eventually and thankfully the Communists were defeated in 1949. In 1955, having achieved the rank of Captain, he left the army and came back to the land of his birth, the United States of America, to join his family in Bridgeport, CT. Pantelis decided to pursue theology and thus obtained his second Bachelors and subsequent Masters degree while working as a librarian at Columbia University. In 1963, he met and married Kallirroe while living and working in Manhattan, New York. In 1964, he was ordained deacon at Sts. Constantine & Eleni church in Brooklyn, NY. On April 12 of the same year, he was ordained a priest and given the name Panteleimon. During his 30 years as a priest, in parishes across the United States, together with his presvytera (wife) and his children, Rev. Panteleimon taught Greek cultural classes and provided spiritual and emotional support to his community. The brutality of war indelibly left its mark on his consciousness and gave him a wealth of experience in which he utilized in his ministry. He stated, We felt it was important to educate ourselves and others in the rich history, culture, language and mystical faith of our Greek ancestry. Rev. Panteleimon retired in 1994 but remained active and served at the University of Connecticuts Greek Orthodox Chapel. He spent his time reading, writing and mentoring other clergy. In his final years, he enjoyed spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren, helping people and glorifying the Lord. Survivors: Wife, Kallirroe; sons, Anastasios P. Fatsis and Nektarios P. Fatsis; daughters, Chrysoula P. wife of Stathi Kandianis and Eleni P. Fatsis; two grandsons, Vasilios and Panteleimon Kandianis. Services: Friday, March 15, 2013, in St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1607 West Union Blvd., Bethlehem, Orthos at 8 a.m., Liturgy at 9 a.m., followed by a viewing and the Funeral Service will begin at 11 a.m., presided by Bishop Sevastianos. Burial on Saturday, March 16, 2013, at 1 p.m., in Arch Angel Michael Cemetery, St. Nektarios Monastery, 100 Anawanda Lake Road, Roscoe, NY 12776. Funeral arrangements are by the John F. Herron Funeral Home, 458 Center at Market Street, Bethlehem. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1607 W. Union Blvd., Bethlehem, PA 18018.
Published in Morning Call on Mar. 14, 2013
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