Peter Christopher Gazes, M.D.

  • Born: October 10, 1921
  • Died: April 2, 2019
  • Location: Charleston, South Carolina

J. Henry Stuhr Downtown Chapel

232 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401

Tel. (843) 723.2524

Tribute & Message From The Family


Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Dr. Gazes by adding your memories and photos.

Peter Christopher Gazes, M.D., 97, husband of Athena Critikos Gazes, passed away peacefully at his home on April 2, 2019. The relatives and friends of Dr. and Mrs. Peter Christopher Gazes are invited to attend his Funeral Service at 12:00 PM, Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity. Interment will follow at Live Oak Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends between 4:00 and 6:00 PM Monday, April 8, 2019, followed by a Trisagion Service, at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity.

Peter Christopher Gazes was born on October 10, 1921 in St. Matthews, South Carolina. He received his primary education in Charleston, SC at Mitchell Elementary School, the High School of Charleston, and the College of Charleston (B.S. degree). He was first honor graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina (M.D. degree) in Charleston, SC in 1944. After a year in the Navy as a Lieutenant JG, he completed an internship in internal medicine at Jersey City Medical Center. He then completed a residency in medicine and a fellowship in cardiology at Philadelphia General Hospital.

In 1949, he became the first board certified cardiologist in South Carolina. In 1961, he left private practice and established the Medical University of South Carolina's first cardiology division. He was known as one of the great pioneers in cardiology, publishing more than 220 articles and 30 book chapters. He authored textbooks, Cardiology Pearls and Clinical Cardiology, as well as his autobiography, Through the Back Door. In addition to training cardiologists, he taught countless medical students, residents, nurses, and attending physicians at the Medical University for over sixty years. In 1980, the Medical University founded the Peter C. Gazes Cardiology Society, which later became known as the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute. In 1982, he was named Distinguished University Professor of Cardiology and Assistant Dean for Alumni Affairs.

He was a fellow in the American College of Cardiology and received one of its highest honors, the Gifted Teacher Award in 1997. He was also a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Council on Clinical Cardiology of the American Heart Association. He received many honors and awards from both civic, academic, and professional societies. An endowed chair was named in his honor by the Medical University. He received The Order of the Palmetto presented by Gov. David M. Beasley and The Order of the Silver Crescent by Gov. Jim Hodges.

He was a devoted member of the Greek Orthodox Church. He served as a member of the Archdiocese Council of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America. He was a member of The Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100. He was an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1990. He received the Plato Award from the American Hellenic Education Progressive in 1988.

He was an avid golfer, affectionately known as "Peter Putter" and a member of the Country Club of Charleston for over 60 years. He will be remembered for his quick wit and endless repertoire of stories and jokes.

His life message to his family, especially his children and grandchildren was three-fold: Faith in God, Motivation, and Persistence. The family expresses their appreciation to Hospice of Charleston (nurse Cynthia) and to the caregivers of Bishop Gadsden Connections.

Dr. Gazes is survived by his wife of 71 years, Athena, and their three daughters, Hope Gazes Grayson (Michael) of Charleston, Catherine Gazes Cline (Ty) of Charleston, and Joanne Gazes Ellison (Blount) of Mt. Pleasant; 11 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity (New Building Fund), 30 Race Street, Charleston, SC 29403 or Drawing Near to God Ministry, PO Box 1274, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465.