Dr. Evans S. Voultepsis, 80, delivered thousands of babies

July 19, 2004|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

Dr. Evans S. Voultepsis, who delivered more than 3,000 babies during a medical career that spanned a half-century, died Thursday of multiple myeloma at Franklin Square Hospital Center. The Timonium resident was 80.

Dr. Voultepsis was the epitome of the old-fashioned doctor -- one who could give a patient a diagnosis merely through sight and touch, family members said.

He loved delivering babies and would head to the hospital quickly after learning that a patient was about to give birth -- often spending hours with the women and tending to their needs, the family said.

"It was definitely a passion for him. He loved to deliver babies," said his daughter, Tina Graf of Forest Hill in Harford County. "We teased him: He loved bringing life into the world, but he wouldn't change [his grandchildren's] diapers."

Dr. Voultepsis didn't let a patient's inability to pay get in the way of needed medical care, said his daughter-in-law, Roann Voultepsis of Lutherville, noting that a man once fixed his garage door as payment.

Born and educated in Athens, Greece, Dr. Voultepsis lost both of his parents by the time he was 21. He earned his medical degree from the National University of Athens in 1953 and moved to the United States two years later.

He entertained the idea of becoming a nephrologist -- his mother had died of kidney disease -- but turned instead to obstetrics and gynecology, his daughter-in-law said.

"He always said he liked deliveries because he was the first person to hold the baby," she said. "When he stopped delivering, he really missed it."

He had residencies in New York, Illinois and Virginia before moving to the Baltimore area in the early 1960s. While in Manhattan, he met his future wife, the former Teresa Lepore, who was working in the same hospital.

He built a practice in Bel Air and at Franklin Square that eventually attracted more than 15,000 patients, according to his resume.

He gave up delivering babies about 10 years ago at age 70, according to Mrs. Graf.

"He was a family member to a lot of people -- a very comfortable doctor for them to be with," she said.

In his last years of practice, he shared space at Franklin Square with a colleague, Dr. Michael Magan. Dr. Voultepsis would see patients until they were due to give birth or needed surgery, then refer them to Dr. Magan or another obstetrician.

"He was supposed to retire, but he couldn't retire, so he continued to see patients in my office," Dr. Magan said. "He's going to be missed terribly by the Greek community. He delivered a lot of their babies."

Dr. Voultepsis finally retired at the end of February.

He was a "wonderful father," and very organized -- known by family members for his incessant vacuuming, Mrs. Graf said.

At home, he indulged his passion for trains in his basement, building a multi-tiered train garden, complete with miniature trees, buildings and people, and smoke coming from the trains, family members said.

Dr. Voultepsis also was an avid Baltimore Ravens fan and had a keen interest in modern Greek history. He and longtime friend Efthymios G. Ponticas, who met as immigrants about four decades ago, would talk about their service in the Greek army during their country's civil conflict from 1946 to 1949 and share books on the topic.

Dr. Voultepsis and some friends, including Dr. Magan, were planning a September visit to Greece so Dr. Voultepsis could show off his native country.

Dr. Magan said the group will "complete the trip he originated."

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, Maryland Avenue and Preston Street in Baltimore.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Dr. Voultepsis is survived by a son, Alex Voultepsis of Lutherville; another daughter, Lisa Milstead of Timonium; and four grandchildren.

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