Peter James Metsopulos passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of May 22, 2021, in his home of 67 years in Florham Park, New Jersey, at the age of 100.
Peter was born in Newark, New Jersey on March 4, 1921. Peter’s mother and father, James and Eugenia Metsopulos, immigrated from Greece through Ellis Island. Peter had a large family and was always proud of his childhood in the largely Greek neighborhood of Newark. Although he lived through the Great Depression, he would recall gratefully that his parents always had food on the table.
Peter led a life of service to his country and his community. He was a decorated war hero serving in World War II in the 95th Infantry Division. Peter bravely fought for the liberation of Metz, France. In serving above and beyond the call of duty, Peter received the Bronze Star, Silver Star, Purple Heart, and the insignia of the French Legion of Honor, thereby distinguished with the title “Chevalier”. While stationed in France, Peter and his unit were surprised by a stealth German patrol who threw a grenade into the basement where they were sleeping. Peter quickly seized his steel helmet and held it over the grenade preventing injury to the unit. As a result, Peter was severely wounded and after spending two months in a hospital overseas was transferred to Crile General Hospital in Cleveland. It was there that Peter met the love of his life and wife of 62 years, Ora Grayce (“Grayce”) Ridings, a second lieutenant in the Army Nurses Corps, who was his attending nurse. Throughout their lifetime of travels and adventures together if ever a debate arose Grayce would never shy away from reminding Peter that she outranked him.
Peter and Grayce were married and built their home in Florham Park where they raised four children. Peter continued his life of service to his country working for the United States Postal Service as a Postal Service Officer for 25 years.
An avid golfer and bowler, Peter earned himself the moniker "left lane Pete" and stayed active on the golf course long enough to see his first hole-in-one come just after turning 90 years old. Peter will also be remembered by those who knew him as a world class crooner and for his encyclopedic knowledge of the silver screen.
Peter was a true gentleman in every sense of the word and leaves behind a legacy of character, loyalty, and humor, which he instilled in all who were lucky enough to know him.
Peter was preceded in death by his siblings Nick, Helen, Charles, John, George, Louis, Martha, Jerry, and by his beloved wife Grayce.
Peter will be deeply missed by his children: Patricia, Peter Jr., Pamela (her husband Gregg), and Cynthia; his grandchildren: James, Jessica, Cynthia, Krystina, Brittany, John, Daniel, and Scott; and his six great grandchildren.
The funeral service will be held on Friday, May 28, 2021, 11:30 a.m. at SS Nicholas, Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Roseland, followed by the internment at Hanover Cemetery in East Hanover.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Disabled American Veterans, see donation box below for details....
Disabled American Veterans
P.O. Box 14301 , Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301,
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