April 1, 1933 - April 15, 2018

Newburgh, NY

Peter Paul Matthews of Newburgh, New York passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 15, 2018, at St. Luke's-Cornwall Hospital after having recently celebrated his 85th birthday.

Peter was born in Skoura, Sparta, Greece, on April 1, 1933, the son of the late Paul and Joanne Matthews.

Before coming to his beloved new homeland, Peter described hiding from Nazis in a tree trunk as they invaded his small village. Despite losing most of his hearing at a very young age, Peter would walk approximately ten miles to attend school in Sparta where he was an avid student of history and ancient Greek literature, until he had to stop school and help his family by laboring in his family's growing fields. He survived the Greek Civil War, but experienced the murder of his beloved oldest brother, which left a profound affect and setting him on a course toward a new life.

One of nine children, he immigrated to the United States in 1951, brought here by his Uncle George Striphas and Aunt Agatha Patsalos, to also join his Aunt Vasiliki Pliotis. He in turn helped bring five of his siblings to the United States and Canada, by laboring in the construction industry in the greater Hudson Valley. He proudly became a United States citizen 61 years ago on April 12, 1957.

A long time member of the greater Newburgh Greek community and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, he is survived by his wife of almost 54 years, Demetra Matthews, his son Paul Matthews and his wife Zoe Matthews, his daughter Joanne Forbes and her husband Richard Forbes, his grandchildren Matthew, Peter, Jamie and John, all of Newburgh, New York. He is also survived by two of his sisters, Evangelia Panageas of Long Island, and Anna Kagioulis of Montreal, Canada, many nieces and nephews, cousins, and countless friends.

He was predeceased by his siblings Spiro Matheos and Demetra Lambrinakos, who remained in Greece, George Matheos of Montreal Canada, Paraskevi Karagiannis, Areti Koumourdas, and Evangelos Matheos, all of Long Island.

Peter will be remembered as a story teller, a patriotic American, a zealous sports fan, a beloved and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend. Having been deprived of the opportunity himself, he emphasized education and athletics to his children and grandchildren. He loved young people, and could be found on Sundays gathering "the kids" to play a little baseball, or to take them to see his beloved Yankees or for ice cream. He enjoyed being given the name "the Great Man" by his children's friends, and was honored that his grandchildren and their many friends also called him "the Greatest", as well as "Papou", which is grandfather in Greek. He was an avid fan of the NFA Goldbacks, and could be found, at every game, on the fifty yard line, at the swim pool or in the gym, cheering on his grandchildren and many of his "adopted" grandchildren. While his health still permitted, you could find him every Saturday morning at the Downtown Bagel Shop of Newburgh, discussing politics and the "good old days" in the classic Greek Cafe tradition, with many of his beloved friends. He spent much of his retirement writing a family history, enjoying watching his sports teams, and spending time with his family.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., with a Trisagion Service at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 19 at Brooks Funeral Home, 481 Gidney Avenue, Newburgh, NY. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 20th at St.

Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Newburgh, with entombment following in Cedar Hill Mausoleum, Newburgh. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church or to the Peter "the Great" Matthews Memorial Scholarship Fund. To send a personal condolence, please visit www.Brooksfh.com or call 845-561-8300.