Dr. Harry Louis Pappas, 89, of West Boylston, died Tuesday, March 29 surrounded by his family after a loving, long and fulfilling life. He leaves his beloved children, Maria Pappas of Wilton, CT, Lee Pappas and his wife Xanthe of Stow, MA, Peter Pappas and his wife Lisa of Bellingham, MA, and Aris Pappas and his wife Erin of Natick, MA; ten grandchildren - Harry, Christopher, Calli, Chelsea, Catherine, Lexi, Jenna, Lee, Sam, and Catherine; his partner, Jeanne (Walker) Doyle of Worcester; brother-in-law Steve Giano and his wife Anna; sister-in-law Agnes; and many nieces, nephews, godchildren, and their families. He also left a great many loving and lifetime friends.
Born in New York, NY, son of Louis and Mary Pappas, he graduated from Loyola University (New Orleans) and Hahnemann Medical College. Harry served 2 years in the Air Force beginning June, 1945. In 1950 Harry met Catherine Gianopoulos for the first time; and knew right away, that he would marry her – which they did in 1954. Happily married until she passed away in 2010, he was always "the love of her life". After completing his residency at Hartford Hospital, Harry began a long and dedicated medical career as an anesthesiologist spanning over 5 decades. He moved his family to Worcester in 1963 in order to take over as head of anesthesia at Fairlawn Hospital; eventually becoming President of the medical staff. He subsequently practiced at St. Vincent Hospital before retiring. His passion for medicine remained so strong that later he came out of retirement and practiced at Heywood Hospital in Gardner before finally hanging up his stethoscope for good at the age of 80. His approach to medicine was the personification of the ideal physician – wise, caring, and compassionate. He was someone who would spend time every night visiting with patients to answer questions. His exemplary practice of caring reached well beyond the Worcester community. Spanning over a decade, Harry worked with Doctors Without Borders in Guatemala – bringing much needed care and compassion to impoverished villages.
Harry was all about family. He was the quintessential role model to his children and grandchildren; a devoted and loving family man. He taught them that the importance of a loving family is the foundation with which to live their lives. Harry expressed his love to his family and friends each and every day and made sure that they knew they were and always will be "the love of his life". This love and support extended beyond his family to his many long-time dear friends.
Harry was a true Renaissance man; not only was he a gifted physician, but also an accomplished pilot, avid sailor, world traveler, and cross-country skier. He was also fluent in Greek and Spanish, and a "do it all handy man". Harry's depth of intellect and knowledge earned him a spot on the television show, "Who wants to be a Millionaire" at the age of 80. His affinity for music and passion for Opera reflected the world he visited – from all 50 states to his native Greece, to China, India and Europe.
An active member of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Harry served as parish council president in 1971. He lived every day to the fullest and with the utmost of integrity. His quick wit never wavered. Now in heaven, Harry reunites with his wife, Catherine, his brothers, John, Thales and Aris, and his brother and sisters-in-law, Sam, Dorothy, and Debbie. In the end, it is not how long we live that defines us, but how we live!
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Harry's life by gathering for calling hours at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors ~ The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts on Sunday, April 3rd from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. A Trisagion service will be held at 4:15 pm at the funeral home. His Funeral Service will be Monday, April 4th in St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 102 Russell Street, Worcester, at 1:30 p.m. Burial with military honors will follow at Hope Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral Building Fund, 102 Russell Street, Worcester, 01609 or St. Vincent Cancer & Wellness Center, 1 Eaton Place, Worcester, MA 01608.