Fr. Paul K. Koutoukas
Born: June 4, 1937
Died: May 26, 2008
Very Rev. Archmandrite Paul K. Koutoukas fell asleep in the Lord on Memorial Day, May 26, 2008. Father Paul was born June 4, 1937 in Endicott, N.Y., the son of the late Harry P. Koutoukas and the late Agnes Rita Dailey Koutoukas. He attended Endicott public schools and was graduated from Union Endicott High School in 1955. His college career began at Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary, Brookline, Mass. and continued at the University of Athens, Greece, where he studied for five years, receiving a licentiate in Sacred Orthodox Theology. As a student he was the recipient of the Taylor Scholarship awarded by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. During the summers of his Greece sojourn, he resided at the monasteries of Mt. Athos and Patmos, the site of the origin of the books of Revelation. The summer monastic interludes provided the setting for the study of Orthodox monastic life and traditions.
Upon returning to the United States, Father took monastic vows and was ordained a deacon at Saint Nicholas Church, Newburgh, N.Y., November 13, 1966 by His Excellency the late Metropolitan Silas of N.J. On Thanksgiving Day, November 24, the same year, Metropolitan Germanos of Hierapolis ordained him to the priesthood at Father Koutoukas’ native parish, Church of the Annunciation, Endicott. His Eminence, the late Metropolitan Anthony of San Francisco, Calif., elevated him on September 13, 1980, the eve of the Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross, to the rank of Archmandrite. This rank is the highest order a celibate priest of the Greek Orthodox Church may receive. His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I awarded him the Cross of St. Sophia in 2001. The Cross of St. Mark was presented to him by the Pope and Patriarch Shamoud of the Coptic Church of Alexandria and all Africa in recognition of Father’s ministry with the U.S. Coptic community.
Following priestly ordination, Father Paul served his church throughout the United States. Initially, as pastor of Saint Mary’s Church, Minot, N.D. Then he organized Saint George’s Parish, DeKalb, Ill. Following a pastorate at Saint Demetrious Church, Tucson, Ariz., he was the founding pastor of Saint Nectarious Church, Covina, Calif. Subsequently, he served at Saint Spyridon Church, San Diego, Calif. and Saint Nicholas Church, Tacoma, Wash.
Returning to the east coast, he became the pastor of the Church of the Annunciation, Jersey City, N.J. He assumed the pastorate of Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Church, Schenectady, N.Y. in November 1992 where he served until health issues brought retirement in September 2002. Upon retirement, Mayor Albert Jurczynski presented him with a key to the city. Father Paul, in addition to presenting lectures at numerous colleges and universities in the locals where he served, was also active in the pan-orthodox ecumenical movement and the Right to Life organization. For 38 years, he maintained membership in the Order of A.H.E.P.A. (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) to which association under the Supreme President Michael Spirotos, he served as national chaplain. In 1989, Hudson Chapter 108, Jersey City, selected him as “Ahepan of the Year” for this group. His zest for life and extensive travels took him frequently to Greece, the Middle East as well as to Western Europe and Russia. Survivors include his twin brother, Harry M. Koutoukas, New York City and sister, Jean Ann Davidson, Endicott; beloved godson, Paul Zimmerman, Las Vegas, Nev.; his friend who was like a brother, Antonios Symionidis, Athens, Greece; a close childhood friend, His Eminence Athenagoros Anesti, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean; dear friend of His Eminence Epiphanios Perialas, former Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Spain and Portugal; two nephews, two nieces including Julie Anne Davidson, Seattle, Wash. and numerous cousins in the United States and Greece. He was predeceased by one brother, Robert Ogden.
The Trisagion Service and the Orthros was celebrated by the Fr. Paul Panos at St. George’s Church. A hierarchical funeral service followed, officiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico and other area Greek Orthodox priests. Committal took place in Riverhurst Cemetery, Endicott New York.