Dr. Loucas Constantine Tzanis, a mainstay of the Harrisburg medical and Greek Orthodox communities for nearly half a century, died early Thursday morning in Harrisburg Hospital - the same hospital in which he first began his medical residency in 1962. He would have been 74 on Wednesday, October 20.
Dr. Tzanis, who specialized in internal medicine, had a long and distinguished career, in which he cared for thousands of local residents and served both as a doctor and clinical professor. He also had a lifelong interest in folk music and the study of the Greek Orthodox faith, classical literature, and the art and history of his profession.
Born in the village of Agios Loucas on the island of Evia in Greece, Dr. Tzanis graduated with honors from the University of Athens medical school. He met and married his wife Helen in Greece in 1958 before emigrating to the U.S. and settling in Harrisburg, drawn by the city’s strong Greek Orthodox community, the quality of local medical institutions, and his feeling that the Susquehanna resembled a river in his homeland.
In addition to his practice on State Street in Harrisburg and his long tenure on staff at the Harrisburg Hospital, Dr. Tzanis was an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the Milton S. Hershey Medical School, served as the Medical Director of the Camp Hill Nursing Home, was a member of the Hellenic Medical Society, and practiced in many other medical institutions in the greater Harrisburg area.
A gifted diagnostician who believed that medicine was more a calling than an occupation, Dr. Tzanis maintained a practice with a level of care and attention more common in an earlier era—getting to know his patients and their families, making house calls, and treating entire generations of families. He practiced up to the day he was hospitalized.
Dr. Tzanis was a devout member of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Camp Hill, where he frequently participated in services as a cantor. An avid musician, he could often be found playing the bouzouki at Greek cultural events as part of the Latchmere Trio.
Dr. Tzanis is survived by his wife of 45 years, Helen; son Constantine and his wife Jackie Corcoran; daughter Joanne and her husband George Hunka; son Dr. George Tzanis and his wife Laurie Zierer; son Evangelos and his wife Dr. Nia Tatsis; a brother Vasilli of Athens, Greece; a sister Chrisanthi Vraka of Evia, Greece; and grandchildren Zoe, Loucas, and Alexander.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral or to the Pinnacle Health Foundation, Loucas C. Tzanis, M.D. Memorial Fund, which will bestow an award for excellence in medicine for training physicians.