23 Mar Peter Leonidas Flangas
Peter Leonidas Flangas
June 1, 1924 – March 17, 2021
On Wednesday, March 17, 2021, shortly before sunrise and after a very long and fulfilled life at age 96, Peter quietly passed away with his beloved wife by his side. Approximately 10 days prior to his passing, Peter recognized the final coming and prepared himself with his family.
Born on June 1, 1924, Peter was the second of four children born to Leonidas G. and Theodora Flangas. He was born in Magna Utah, a town near Salt Lake City. Born to Greek immigrants Peter’s father came to America at the age of 16 years and mother who left during the Great War (WW I), they instilled upon Peter the immigrant creed to fight to succeed, traits that served him and his siblings well as they faced the struggles and hardships through the Great Depression and into the second war (WW II).
From all these ancient forces that seem completely foreign to the world we now live in, brewed and sprung a great and one-of-a-kind man. To put words to describe him in terms of Greek Mythology – a Titan was born.
Peter along with his three siblings, Alice, Arthur and George, were motivated to excel in their lives, through education and perseverance. In high school and at a young age during the advent of WW II, Peter ran away with his close friends to enlist with the merchant marines in San Francisco, but luckily was turned back by the organization. Peter returned and graduated from Cyprus High School in 1943. After graduating, Peter served his country by enlisting in the United States Army Air Core which is now known as the U.S. Air Force and he was honorably discharged in 1947. He went on to attend college at the University of Utah and received a B.A. in Philosophy; for the rest of his life, he used his philosophical understanding to bring meaning to everyday occurrences of life. Peter took a hiatus from his undergraduate schooling for almost two years hitch hiking across the United States where he would pick up work wherever he found it traveling throughout the South. He eventually made his way to the North East, ending up in Boston before he came back home to Salt Lake City.
Peter attended law school for one year at the University of Boulder Colorado and then transferred to and graduated from the University of Utah in 1955. Peter became a member of the Nevada Bar Association in 1958 and has maintained an office in Clark County since that time. Peter also was elected as a District Attorney of Lyons County from 1962 to 1966. Peter practiced law here in Las Vegas and was well known. His love for the law was readily apparent as he practiced law into his late 80s; he tried his last case approximately 10 years ago in Utah.
Peter was one of the founders of the first Greek Orthodox Church in Las Vegas and along with other founders was able to purchase and establish St. John’s the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. He was one of the founders and past president of the local AHEPA Society which is a Greek National Philanthropic Association.
On November 2, 1959, with pure luck by his side, Peter met Wanda Mae Whipple who was a nurse anesthetist at Sunrise Hospital. They married on New Year’s Eve in 1964 and had a church wedding on May 8, 1967 in Athens, Greece. They had three children – Leo, Jason and Vanessa.
It is undisputed throughout Peter’s life that he was clearly a fighter whether in the arena of law or life itself. He never backed down and always said what he thought which is a rare quality, especially nowadays. Yet more importantly, as undisputed as his tenacity in life was, equally undisputed and prevalent was his compassion for those in need. Peter was extremely compassionate and giving. He truly believed that his purpose in life was to help people. Throughout his life, he gave his time, energy and money to family, friends and even strangers in need with no thought of leaving a reserve for himself. This all-encompassing attribute of his was truly remarkable. He was a champion of the downtrodden and would travel all over Nevada, Utah and other states using his legal skills to fight for them.
Peter lived for his passions in life – family, law, flying, whiskey and cigars – with importance in that order. Peter took his children everywhere and any free time was spent with his wife and children. His passion for law consumed him and kept him active until his late 80s. The age old saying was true with Peter, “the law was his mistress”. Like a captain who loves the sea, Peter loved to fly and he did so every chance he got. Peter’s companion in flight was his single engine 180 Cessna named Charlie and he flew the plane for 50 years into his mid-80s. Finally, after the end of the day from being consumed with his first three passions, he liked his whiskey and cigars and drew great pleasure from them as he philosophized about life and the law.
Peter is survived by his beloved and wonderful wife of over 56 years, Wanda Flangas and their two sons, Leo and Jason, and their daughter, Vanessa; Leo’s wife Yelena Flangas and their three children Peter, Maximos and Ellie; Jason’s sons John and Luke and their mother Lindsey Flangas; Vanessa’s husband Marco Rizzo and their children Alessandra, Olivia and Julia; Peter’s prior daughters Paulene Faber and Shirlene Charon and their children and grandchildren; his sister-in-law Nola Dee Flangas; his nephews Tom Praggastis, Lee Praggastis, Steve Cozakos, Arthur Flangas and Troy Flangas and niece Theodora Flangas along with great nephews and nieces; Peter was predeceased in death by his parents Leonidas G. and Theodora Lekas Flangas, by two brothers Arthur L. and George L. Flangas and his sister Alice Cozakos.
Although Peter lived and devoted his life here in Las Vegas, he grew up in Salt Lake City and his father was one of the founders of and cantor for the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Salt Lake City. This was his original home and it was decided his services will be held there and he will be laid to rest next to his parents, brothers and sister.
An Orthodox Trisagion prayer service will be held on March 25, 2021, at City View mortuary 1001 E. 11th Ave., Salt Lake City, Utah where friends may come to call from 6:00 to 8:00 pm with a short service at 7:00 pm, 2021. The funeral service will be held on March 26, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 279 South 300 West, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101. The interment will be open to those wishing to attend immediately after services at approximately 12:15 pm including a short graveside service at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 1350 East on 500 South, Salt Lake City, Utah.
In memory of Peter, please remember and practice that the most meaningful gift of life is the gift of your time and self to your loved ones and those in need.
Video tribute: https://www.tributeslides.com/tributes/show/KJ7TK6P578QKQ8BX