George Panagakis

George Panagakis

MAHOMET — Dr. George H. Panagakis, 51, of Mahomet passed away Tuesday, June 25, 2019, at home.

Visitation was 4 to 8 p.m. June 28 at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, Champaign. Private graveside services were held June 29 at Riverside Cemetery, Mahomet.

His sister-in-law, Cindie Baker-King, and former brother-in-law, Bryan Baker, of the Hagi & Baker Funeral Home, Streator, are in charge of the arrangements.

Dr. George was born Sept. 8, 1967, in Oak Lawn, to Harry and Dina (Athanasopoulos) Panagakis. He married the former Connie Russow, formerly of Ancona, on Nov. 1, 2003, in Oak Lawn. She survives.

He is also survived by his children, whom he adored more than anything, Michael, Corbin, Carter and Madyson, all at home; mother, Dina Panagakis of Palos Heights; siblings, Speros (Melody) Panagakis of Orland Park, Kathy (Marc) August of Studio City, Calif., and Carrie (Ed) Bharucha of Singapore; in-laws, Gary and Irene Russow of Ancona; brothers-in-law, Todd (Kim) Russow and Eric (Cara) Russow; sisters-in-law, Melissa (Shawn) Murphy and Cindie (Gerry King) Baker-King; numerous nieces and nephews; and cousins, Spiro and Demitra Panagakis.

He was preceded in death by his father.

Born and raised in the Chicago metropolitan area, he graduated from Morgan Park Academy where he received the Chicago Medical Society Science Achievement award for outstanding academic accomplishment in the field of science. He then left for Washington University in St. Louis for his bachelor’s degree. He returned for a master’s degree at the University of Illinois Graduate School and received his medical degree from Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Panagakis also trained at the Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Lancaster Course in Ophthalmology during his residency.

He received his medical degree from Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and was in practice over 20 years. He did his residency at Wayne State University School of Medicine for Ophthalmology, where he served as chief resident. He did his internal medicine internship at John H. Stoger Hospital of Cook County. He attended and graduated from Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. He received many honors and awards from these institutions.

Dr. George was a clinical assistant professor, clinical faculty adviser and clerkship director at the University of Medicine in Urbana-Champaign. He was also a member of the faculty for the Carle Foundation Hospital Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Residence and Family Medicine Residence Programs and he served on the College of Medicine committee to select those deserving of the annual clinical Faculty Recognition Awards, which consist of the Teaching Excellence Award and the Innovation in Education Award.

He participated in the Maintenance of Certification through the American Board of Ophthalmology. In 2015, Dr. Panagakis was one of three finalists for Physician of the Year at Carle Physician Group. This group consists of 400 physicians practicing in 80 specialties in 14 communities and serving a patient base of over 1.5 million.

He participated in numerous professional societies and organizations including: the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Board of Medical Specialties, American Board of Ophthalmology, American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Chicago Ophthalmological Society, Illinois Association of Ophthalmology and Internal Society of Refractive Surgery. He was an American Academy of Ophthalmology fellow and was certified in ophthalmology with the American Board of Ophthalmology. He was the recipient of the Golden Apple Award by the UI College of Medicine.

He was one of the first and few ophthalmologists in the country who was residency-trained in refractive surgery. He was also one of the first to perform LASIK surgery on a cornea transplant surgery. He was employed by Carle as a physician.

He loved his kids and family more than anything.

His video tribute may be seen and online condolences left for the family at In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may be directed to his family for a fund set up for his children.