Fr. Peter George Rexinis, 95, of Charlottesville, Va., fell asleep in the Lord on September 19, 2020. Born in Newark, N.J., he was the son of the late George Demosthenis Rexinis and Eugenia (nee Christakis) Rexinis of Kastorion, Sparta, Greece.
He was preceded in death by Presvytera Theano (nee Tomaras) Rexinis (2007). Spending most of his childhood in Kastorion, he returned to the U.S. in 1946. Shortly thereafter, he enrolled in the School of Theology at Hellenic College Holy Cross then located in Pomfret, Ct., graduating in 1950 from the school’s present location In Brookline, Mass. He moved to Chicago where he met Theano Tomaras, a primary school teacher. They married in December, 1950 at the St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, her home parish. In 1951, he was ordained, both to the Diaconate and the Priesthood by Bishop Gerasimos of Chicago, of blessed memory, during which time he was assigned to the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago (now located in Oak Lawn, Ill.) for eight months. That same year, he was assigned to serve two parishes, the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago Heights, Ill. and the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Kankakee, Ill. on alternating Sundays.
From 1952 to 1966 he was assigned by Archbishop Michael, of blessed memory, to serve as the Greek Orthodox Chaplain of the VA Hospital in Maywood, lll. During those years, he attended to the spiritual needs of the Orthodox veterans, in addition to creating space designated as a small Orthodox Chapel complete with an “Agia Trapeza” from Greece and icons painted in the Byzantine style.
From 1958 to 1966, he was the Proistamenos of the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago, Ill. The church grew and prospered nearing 350 stewards. Improvements were made and remodeling took place, including an addition of a two story educational building that was built to house the Church’s offices below and to accommodate the Sunday School and Greek School classrooms above. However, the most lasting accomplishment was the hand painting of Byzantine icons throughout the Church’s interior by iconographer John Terzis.
During the years of 1966 to 1973, he went on to serve the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Montgomery, Ala., Sts. Markella and Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and the St. Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg, Fla. In 1974, Father Peter was sent by Archbishop Lakovos, of blessed memory, to restore harmony and Christian fellowship to the Church of the Transfiguration in Charlottesville, Va. As a result of his vision during those 25 years, the Church saw a renewed spirit of ownership, engagement, and generosity, becoming a spiritually vibrant, thriving, and growing community.
In 1998, Father Peter retired. In retirement, he served the Greek Orthodox community of St. Peter in Danville, Va. for approximately 15 years. Since then, Fr. could be found helping Fr. Panagioti on Sundays in the altar and reading the day’s Gospel.
Father Rexinis is survived by his daughter, Eugenia (Ron) and granddaughter, Emily Splinter who reside in Chicago, Ill. and relatives in both Texas and Greece. A heartfelt thank you from his family goes out to the many dedicated, devoted and caring friends and neighbors Father Peter had in both Charlottesville and Danville, Va., Chicago, Ill., and Mobile, Ala. They will be forever grateful.
A Graveside Service will be held on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at 1:00 p.m., at Elmwood Cemetery and Mausoleum located at 2905 Thatcher Road in River Grove, IL.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 2701 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, IL 60614. Condolences may be made to the family at www.jgadinamis.com.
May His Memory Be Eternal