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Peter “Pano” T. Rodis, 55, died on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, at his home in Sharon.
Pano was born on Sept. 1, 1959, son of Themistocles (deceased) and Rose (Simon) Rodis, and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.
He is survived by his wife, Karen Blumlein Rodis; by four children, Leda, Maria, Benjamin, and Sophia; and by his mother and siblings, Costa Rodis, Marian Rodis, Eleni Rodis, and Estelle Rodis Brown.
He moved with his family to the Upper Valley in 1988, when he began lecturing at Dartmouth College. From 1988 to 2014 he taught in the Department of English, Department of Education, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program, Thayer School of Engineering, and Geisel School of Medicine. He earned his Ph.D. in School Psychology and Counseling Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, where he taught courses focused on counseling young people and in systems of psychology (1996-1997). Adept at synthesizing topics often treated separately, he taught on writing, literacy, race, science-and-society, literature, disability, and more. His classroom ideal was to be surrounded by students passionately discussing texts and issues rather than to stand at a lectern while others listened.
From 1996 to 2014 Pano was also a psychotherapist and psychological evaluator in private practice. He worked extensively with young people in area schools as well as with adults, helping hundreds of individuals and families in the Upper Valley.
His academic medical work centered on imbuing medical education and care with practical compassion. As facilitator for Schwartz Center rounds in Massachusetts and at DHMC, he helped participants grasp the deep roots of compassion, teamwork, and meaning in medicine, avoid burnout, and be resilient. In partnership with Joe O’Donnell, Geisel’s Senior Advising Dean, he developed a groundbreaking program extending compassionate-care education to medical students, now a permanent feature, both of Geisel’s curriculum and DHMC’s institutional structure. Since 2012 select medical students—now termed Rodis Fellows—are mentored, with Schwartz Center support, in performing research that furthers compassion-centered medicine.
Pano’s life was deeply shaped by faith in the Friend of Mankind, Christ, in the tradition of the Greek Orthodox Church. [For a number of years, he and his family attended Holy Resurrection church in Claremont, NH.] In private life he was reader, builder, artist, and poet; ebullient songwriter and musician; host of feasts and lover of local woods; kind helper and far seer; above all, beloved husband, father, son, brother, and friend.
In lieu of flowers, Pano’s family requests that donations in his memory be made to Bayada Hospice, PO Box 1590 Norwich, VT.
There were visiting hours on Thursday, Sept. 25, and Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, at the Rand-Wilson Funeral Home in Hanover, NH. A private funeral was held at the St. Jacob of Alaska Orthodox Church in Northfield, Vt. A public memorial service was held at Rollins Chapel on the Dartmouth College campus.
Pano recently expressed his feelings for family and friends: “I am glad and grateful to have known you, saddened that I cannot continue, but entirely hopeful about your own lives and what lovely, brave things you will do with them.”
The death which You have endured, O Lord, is become the harbinger of deathlessness.
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