|Peter Dionysios Koutsandreas
KOUTSANDREAS Peter D. Koutsandreas Celebrating a Life of Service Peter D.
Koutsandreas, former NASA Manned Flight Project Leader and Board Director of Saint
Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, passed away on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at
the age of 93.
Pete Koutsandreas was a proud father with a huge heart who gave a lifetime of service
to his church, his country, and his community.
Born in 1926 in Greece and brought to America as a baby, Pete grew up in
Washington, DC. Following Eastern High School 1944), he graduated from The
George Washington University with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering
and stayed on to achieve a Juris Doctor degree.
Pete embodied the values of duty, integrity, hard work, and humility that characterize the
"Greatest Generation." Upon meeting the love of his life, Calliope "Cleo" Norris, they
married and raised their family in Bethesda, Maryland. Promoted to the rank of corporal
in the U.S. Army, Pete served during WWII. Stationed at the University of Maine, he
worked on industrial and mechanical engineering solutions. He continued his service for
the Department of the Army's Chief of Ordnance Office in Alabama until 1962, working
on guided missile systems. Following the military, Pete led a team supporting the
NASA Manned Space Flight Program. In one of the greatest achievements in human
history, the Apollo Program would land the first men on the Moon and bring them safely
back to Earth. As a project manager, he contributed to the development, performance,
and reliability of a complete aerospace vehicle, including all stages of the Saturn IB and
V Launch Vehicles. His responsibilities included installed subsystems, technological
areas, electronics, structure propulsion, thermal protection, power generation, and
guidance and control systems. After a 16-year career at NASA, he worked managing
grants and contracts at American University, overseeing and negotiating externally
funded, sponsored awards. Pete's commitment to his faith was unrivaled, covering 82
years of service to the church. Starting as an altar boy at the age of 11, he served in a
variety of roles, including President and Board Director of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox
Cathedral. To many, Pete was considered the heart and soul of Saint Sophia and
helped build the church from the ground up. He worked with architect Archie
Protopapas of New York City and the local team to design the church and stood
alongside President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the groundbreaking of Saint Sophia and
the first service celebrated on February 20, 1955.
Pete is survived by his two daughters, Adrienne K. Tiller and Michelle K. Wingate (Paul)
and three grandchildren: Philip Tiller and Slater and Julia Wingate; and brother John
Koutsandreas and sister-in-law, Katherine; as well as nieces and nephews.
A memorial service to celebrate his life is planned for Thursday, January 2, with a
viewing at 10 a.m. and service at 11 a.m. at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral,
2815 36th St. NW, Washington, DC 20007.
Interment at Parklawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Peter Koutsandreas to the fund for
the restoration of St. Sophia.
Arrangements by DeVol Funeral Home Inc.
|Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 1, 2020
PETER D. KOUTSANDREAS
(1926 - 2019)