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Obituaries

Peter W. Strumbos
Peter W. Strumbos

March 16, 1954 - February 24, 2020
Born in Detroit, Michigan
Resided in Birmingham, Michigan
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Obituary

Peter William Strumbos was born March 16, 1954, the third son of Christine and George Strumbos.

Peter was a curious and industrious child, and was the only child with a pet of his own-a hamster named Shakespeare. He loved cars and worked at the local gas station during high school. When not at work or school, he could usually be found tinkering with timing or some other fix under the hood of a car. After graduating from Groves High School, he attended Michigan State University through sophomore year, when he was hospitalized and subsequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The family and Peter rarely disclosed his illness due to the stigma attached to mental illness. All Peter wanted, as did his parents and family, was to live the fullest and most normal life possible.

Peter loved the arts and film in particular. In 1986, he graduated from New York University’s undergraduate film program. Afterwards, he worked as a producer’s assistant in New York, but decided he didn’t care for the industry. He then took a position as a commissioned stock broker trainee, and obtained his Series 7 license. A setback with his illness, however, necessitated his return to Michigan so he could be closer to family. After his return to Michigan, Peter took a position with the family’s automotive supply business where he worked for several years.

When his father George suffered a debilitating stroke in 1998, it was devastating to the family. As George’s condition deteriorated over the years, Peter chose to become a constant companion to his mother Christine, and to help her care for George until George’s death in 2012. After Christine’s stroke in 2013, Peter faithfully supported Christine through her recovery, and eventually took on managing her care and caregivers until Christine’s death in 2017.

Peter enjoyed lifelong learning and continued to take many courses over the years at Oakland Community College, including poetry, screenwriting, and photography. He loved classic movies and could meticulously retell countless plots and incorporate timely references seamlessly into conversation. A self-taught and accomplished painter, he understood the medium and viewed art from the perspective of a practicing artist. He greatly admired Mark Rothko of all painters. Despite his affinity for the visual arts, he loved the piano most and took seriously his practice as a pianist. It was, at the end of his life, his passion.

His interest in business and the stock market was continuous and he faithfully read The Value Investor and Barron’s, in addition to watching the evening business news. He had the unique gift of understanding people, character and motivation. With his quirky sense of humor, he often found humor in the eccentricities of people and life. He would chortle as much as chuckle. He knew that what mattered most, however, is giving generously of one’s time. And that, during times of sadness, sorrow or uncertainty, just being there is what matters most.

He is preceded in death by his brothers George and Nicholas and his parents George and Christine Strumbos, and is survived by his sister Catherine Strumbos (Thomas “Dozer” Strangway), nephew John Strumbos, nieces Diana Strumbos (Pat Culhane), Jean Strumbos (Dan Burhans), Lucy Strumbos, and Chrystyna Strumbos. Debbie Lessien, who Peter met as a caregiver to Christine, gave him the space to be who he was unadulterated. Peter spoke of Debbie as the love of his life. We are so happy Peter knew this love before his passing. He chose the words for his headstone in anticipation of his final day. In God’s loving care, “I love my parents, my family, my piano.”

Peter died February 24, 2020 at the age of 65.

Family will receive friends Friday, March 6, 2020 from 4-8pm with a 6:30pm Trisagion at A.J. Desmond & Sons (Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel), 32515 Woodward Ave. (btwn 13-14 Mile), (248) 549-0500.

Funeral Service Saturday, March 7, 2020, 1pm at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 760 W. Wattles Rd., Troy. Visitation at church begins at 12:30pm.

Memorial tributes to the church, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

~Lovingly submitted by the family~

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Services

Visitation
A.J. Desmond & Sons (Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel)
32515 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI US 48073
Friday, March 6, 2020
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Service
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
760 West Wattles Road
Troy, MI US 48098
Saturday, March 7, 2020
1:00 PM

Charities

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
760 West Wattles Rd.
Troy, MI 48098
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI US 48202
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
3711 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI US 48201
Mission Statement:The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a leader in the world of classical music, embraces and inspires individuals, families and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.