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Monday, 21 April 2014 10:07

Peter G. Goutos

By | Obituaries

SCOTIA — Peter G. Goutos, 90, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on April 17 in Saratoga Springs.

Born in 1923 in Lynn, Massachusetts, Peter was four days shy of his 91st birthday and passed on the day of his own father’s death.

Peter’s parents, Theodore and Zogrufia Thesalonikcos Goutos, emigrated from Mytilene, Greece and relocated to Schenectady to raise Peter and his brother Christopher. A lifelong resident of Scotia, Peter proudly lived in the home he had bought with his wife of 30 years, Joan Cornelia Burns, who passed unexpectedly in 1983. Joan was an exceptionally loving wife and mother and her memory was ever-present in Peter’s life.

Peter was a World War II veteran serving in the Asian-Pacific Theater on board slow moving troop and beach assault vehicle transport ships such as the Tank Landing Ship LST 681. He was an enginemen and gunner who engaged hostile forces in the Lingayen Gulf and Okinawa in 1945. Peter kept the ship running and defended it in times of action. Sustaining battle damages, his ship survived and earned two battle stars. Following his honorable discharge, Peter reentered the U.S. Navy as a reservist, attaining the rank of Senior Master Chief Petty Officer. Through his 20 years of reserve service, Peter was deployed to various national military locations. He fondly recalled innumerable stories, the most memorable being his flight off the deck of the aircraft carrier Intrepid. 

Professionally, his work history was a tribute to his dedication to maintaining the strength of his beloved country’s defense. A past employee of ALCO Locomotive, Peter trained veteran steam locomotive engineers in the operation of new diesel powered locomotives. After a brief stint at General Electric’s Schenectady operations, Peter joined the Voorheesville Army Depot, inspecting and maintaining military vehicles. Upon closure of the Depot, Peter was proud to have been selected to join the Watervliet Arsenal as a Mechanical Engineering Technician where he earned the grade of GS-11. Peter was a recognized expert in large and small-bore artillery and cannon. He proudly worked in the Quality Assurance Directorate where he contributed and often personally solved problems identified with systems under his responsibility. Peter retired after a combined service accrual of over 45 years.

Educationally, Peter’s resume is an inspiration to all who are lifelong learners. He was a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School in Schenectady. Following his service obligation, he attended the University of Missouri, Union College, RPI, and the University of Connecticut. His list of post-college military courses took him to educational venues throughout the country. If he did not know it, he researched it and learned it. 

Peter was an active member of the Capital Area Chief Petty Officers Association, Guan Ho Ha Fish and Game Club, and the New York Penn Military Vehicle Collectors Association. He contributed to the restoration of the USS Slater and the construction and maintenance of the Half Moon replica ship. He volunteered as an auxiliary police officer in the Village of Scotia for over 15 years.

Peter was a passionate outdoorsman. His hunting and fishing stories were repeated often and all were true.  He shared this passion with his grandchildren and friends. Countless children learned the sport of fishing from him, and with it the responsibly to sustain our environment. Peter was dedicated to the conservation practice, ensuring the enjoyment of nature for generations to come.

In addition to his wife Joan, Peter was predeceased by his parents, Theodore and Zogrufia Goutos. A lover of animals, he cherished his motorcycle-riding cocker spaniel Princess. 

His loving family, who miss him oh so much, survives Peter. Left to cherish his memory are his son, Peter Christopher Goutos; daughter-in-law, Cheryl A. Smith; and four exceptional grandchildren, Christine Joan, Nicholas Edward, Demetri Peter, and Cassandra Zoë, who were the love of his life.

In addition, Peter is survived by his older brother Christopher Goutos and his wife, Anita, as well as their four children who fondly remember their Uncle Dyke.

Peter touched the lives of so many friends in Scotia, who laughed, supported and cared for him as a friend, adopted father, and grandfather.

Peter’s actions and expressions instilled a sense of commitment to his family, friends and country. His organizational skills and attention to detail were inspirational. His character built character in others. He was dedicated to his country and was a crusader for peace through leadership with a strong defense. Peter was an example of what made the United States what it is; let us never forget our Veterans of WWII.

Peter’s family extends their deepest admiration and thanks to the Stratton Veterans Hospital physician and nursing staff. Always a Veterans advocate, Peter felt the most confidence in the presence of his colleagues at the VA. In the last chapter of his life, Peter was extended the loving comfort of the professional team at the Wesley Community in Saratoga Springs. The thoughtfulness and attention of the Hathorn Building team was repaid in small measure through Peter’s whimsical anecdotes, meant to convey a smile to his group of angels.

Friends may call Monday, April 21 from 6-8 p.m. at the William J. Burke & Sons/Bussing & Cunniff Funeral Homes, 628 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, (518) 584-5373.

A funeral service will be conducted at 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 22 at the funeral home with Father Paul J. Borowski, C.Ss.R., officiating.  Burial with military honors will follow in Maplewood Cemetery, South Corinth.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Peter’s memory to the Camp Colby program of the Guan Ho Ha Fish and Game Club 1451 Rector Road, Scotia, NY 12302.

Online remembrances may be made at burkefuneralhome.com.

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