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Fr. Panteleimon Fatsis

Born: June 11, 1916
Died: March 12, 2013

Fr. Panteleimon Fatsis fell asleep in Lord on March 12, 2013. He was a true modern day hero who fought for his faith, for his country, for his family and for his Church. He was an unassuming priest who worked in the shadows of the life of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. He was never assigned to any prestigious parish of the Archdiocese, but those parishes that he served were richly blessed by his profound spirituality. May Jesus grant his worthy soul a special place in the eternal Kingdom that has been prepared for all of us who believe in the reality of Jesus Christ.

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 Kalliroe (Batalas) Fatsis. They would have been married fifty 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 moved back to Greece. They first lived in the town of Almyros and then moved 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 for his admittance to 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 1000 horses. However, my beloved mare, Ossa, survived.” In the spring of 1941, Hitler’s army entered Greece with their tanks and their 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 the death camps in Germany. He recalls; “when I reached Volos, I initiated a secret underground mission warning beloved Jewish friends and neighbors of the impending danger and deportation. With God’s help, all the Jewish families of Volos were able to flee to safety. Pantelis, risking his and his family’s life, devised an escape route that would help them avoid the German forces as they entered the city. From 1944 to 1946, Pantelis risked his life numerous times in helping 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 guerillas and the government forces in the city of Athens, the so-called Dekemvriana (events of December). In 1946, having obtained a degree in political science, Pantelis graduated from the Hellenic Military Academy as First Lieutenant and was sent to fight the 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 theological studies and thus obtained his second Bachelors and subsequent Masters Degrees while working as a librarian at Columbia University. In 1963, he met and married Kalliroe while living and working in Manhattan, NY. In 1964, he was ordained a deacon at Sts. Constantine and Helen 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, he served in parishes across the United States, together with his wife and his children, Fr. 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.” Fr. Panteleimon retired in 1994 but remained active and served at the University of Connecticut 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. His survivors are: Wife, Kalliroe, sons, Anastasios P. Fatsis and Nektarios P. Fatsis, Chrysoula P, wife of Stathi Kandianis and Eleni P. Fatsis; two grandsons, Vasilios and Panteleimon Kandianis. Services were held Friday, March 15, 2013 in St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Fr. Panteleimon Fatsis fell asleep in Lord on March 12, 2013.  He was a true modern day hero who fought for his faith, for his country, for his family and for his Church. He was an unassuming priest who worked in the shadows of the life of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. He was never assigned to any prestigious parish of the Archdiocese, but those parishes that he served were richly blessed by his profound spirituality.  May Jesus grant his worthy soul a special place in the eternal Kingdom that has been prepared for all of us who believe in the reality of Jesus Christ.

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 Kalliroe (Batalas) Fatsis.  They would have been married fifty 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 moved back to Greece. They first lived in the town of Almyros and then moved 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 for his admittance to 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 1000 horses. However, my beloved mare, Ossa, survived.” In the spring of 1941, Hitler’s army entered Greece with their tanks and their 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 the death camps in Germany.  He recalls; “when I reached Volos, I initiated a secret underground mission warning beloved Jewish friends and neighbors of the impending danger and deportation.  With God’s help, all the Jewish families of Volos were able to flee to safety.  Pantelis, risking his and his family’s life, devised an escape route that would help them avoid the German forces as they entered the city.  From 1944 to 1946, Pantelis risked his life numerous times in helping 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 guerillas and the government forces in the city of Athens, the so-called Dekemvriana (events of December). In 1946, having obtained a degree in political science, Pantelis graduated from the Hellenic Military Academy as First Lieutenant and was sent to fight the 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 theological studies and thus obtained his second Bachelors and subsequent Masters Degrees while working as a librarian at Columbia University.  In 1963, he met and married Kalliroe while living and working in Manhattan, NY.  In 1964, he was ordained a deacon at Sts. Constantine and Helen 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, he served in parishes across the United States, together with his wife and his children, Fr. 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.” Fr. Panteleimon retired in 1994 but remained active and served at the University of Connecticut 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.  His survivors are: Wife, Kalliroe, sons, Anastasios P. Fatsis and Nektarios P. Fatsis, Chrysoula P, wife of Stathi Kandianis and Eleni P. Fatsis; two grandsons, Vasilios and Panteleimon Kandianis. Services were held Friday, March 15, 2013 in St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.