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Peter Thomas Katsiyiannis MD

May 10, 1958 January 31, 2018
Peter  Thomas Katsiyiannis MD
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Obituary for Peter Thomas Katsiyiannis MD

Peter Thomas Katsiyiannis, 59, of Temecula, CA, passed away January 31, 2018, after a two-year courageous battle with kidney cancer at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born May 10, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois to Thomas and Thelma (Petros) Katsiyiannis. Pete was raised in the Chicago area and graduated from Harold L. Richards High School, Oak Lawn, IL in 1976. Growing up you could find him at the local hockey rink, riding his dirt bikes, going to concerts (Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Who to name a few), and driving around in his Trans Am.

Pete was always a man of faith and devoted to his Greek Orthodox upbringing. His old and trusted Bible is inscribed with a commitment that he had written when he was just twenty-two years old, declaring that he would, “read at least one chapter of the Bible each day and every day accept Lord Jesus Christ into my heart and life. Try to better myself in all respects and help my fellow brothers if I can.” It was his selflessness, immense obligation to do right, generosity, and passion for helping those in need that led him to pursue a career in medicine.

Pete majored in Biology at Loyola University in Chicago and later graduated cum laude from Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in December 1987. His residency years were spent at various programs in Chicago and, in 1991, his love for cardiology led him to the Clinical Associate Program at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) Bethesda, MD. While at the NIH, Pete developed a passion for clinical research and was involved in many clinical trials. To further pursue his advancement in the field of cardiology, he accepted a research fellowship position at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, VA followed by a three-year clinical fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at both Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center through Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

In 1994, Pete met his future wife, Karen Leitch at the NIH where they both worked. Pete was a single dad at the time with two small, adorable children, Chrissy and Tommy. He made it very clear “love me, love my kids; we are a package deal.” Karen loved the package and on May 31, 2000, they were married, with just the four of them, in front of the Edgartown Lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard. On September 22, 2001, their family was complete with the birth of their daughter, Beverly.

Pete’s thirty year medical career included everything from working in rural emergency rooms, inner-city trauma departments, local urgent care centers, the US Food and Drug Administration, developing hospital cardiac programs, operating his own private practice, and even serving in volunteer community outreach clinics and as a church camp physician. Pete’s most recent passion was serving as a Co-Director of Manu’a Healthcare Foundation, which is currently developing a cardiac telemedicine program for the underserved island nation of American Samoa.

In his spare time, Pete enjoyed spending time with his family, listening to rock music, attending concerts, and watching his favorite television shows or movies with his children. Always a kid at heart, Pete was known for being the “fun” dad; as he could be found initiating water gun battles or snowball fights with the neighborhood kids. His family will miss the comforting sounds of their favorite night owl—watching Seinfeld, or his favorite lineup of action movies, and rummaging in the fridge and pantry to snack on his favorite things: cheese, Twizzlers, Coca-Cola, chips and salsa, and frozen Cheez-Its. The regularity of these sounds echoing from downstairs—the blaring T.V., squeaking pantry door, the way our fridge slams when it closes, and checking that our doors were locked—was always reassurance that we were safe and that he was there. These were some of his favorite things and some of our favorite memories of him. In fact, everything that he was, while he was here, has made us everything that we are now. And though, there is now an absence of these sounds and his physical presence, he has left us so many memories that will take the place in comforting and reminding us that he is and will always be here.

Pete was recently preceded in death by his father, Thomas. He is survived by his wife, Karen; children Chrissy (Jimmy), Tommy and Beverly all of Temecula; mother Thelma of Temecula; brothers Dean (Robyn) of Carlsbad, CA, Bill (Stacy) of Eden Prairie, MN and George (Michelle) of St. Louis, MO and nephews Thomas, Alex, Thanasi, Matthew and Ben and nieces Emily, Sarah, and Linda Katsiyiannis, great-nieces Delilah and Mia Katsiyiannis. Sisters-in-law, Lori Prevost of Huntingtown, MD and Marcia Leitch of Bethesda, MD, brother-in-law John Leitch of Owings, MD, niece, Mallory Reading (Chris) and great-nephew Brady Reading both of Huntingtown, MD. Also surviving is his former wife and mother of Christina and Tommy, Catherine Dowling and his former stepdaughter, Colleen Dooley-Saldez of Illinois.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Pete’s memory to Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Youth Fund 41132 Guava Street, Murrieta, CA 92562

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Previous Events





5:00 PM 2/7/2018 5:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 2/7/2018 8:00:00 PM
England Family Mortuary

27135 Madison Ave
Temecula, CA 92590

Trisagion Service 7:00pm

England Family Mortuary
27135 Madison Ave Temecula 92590 CA
United States





10:00 AM 2/8/2018 10:00:00 AM
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

41132 Guava St
Murrieta, CA 92562

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
41132 Guava St Murrieta 92562 CA
United States





11:00 AM 2/8/2018 11:00:00 AM
Temecula Public Cemetery

41911 C Street
Temecula, CA 92592

Temecula Public Cemetery
41911 C Street Temecula 92592 CA
United States

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