John D. Karakitsos MD

July 24, 1936April 28, 2021

John D. Karakitsos, M.D., age 84 of East Lansing, passed away quietly at home on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 surrounded by his family after a long illness. He was born in Mavriki, Arkadia, Greece on July 24, 1936. Dedicated to medicine, he pursued an advanced education which began with his attendance at medical school in Athens, Greece, followed by his service in the Greek Army as a doctor for two years. After leaving his home country, he secured a fellowship in Queens Square, London, and then moved to the U.S. to be closer to family. His education continued at Newark City Hospital, then at Wayne State University, in Detroit, finally completing his medical training in 1973 at the University of Michigan.

John established his private practice in Neurology from 1974 to 2010 in Lansing, Michigan, then conducted Independent Medical exams until his full retirement in 2016. He worked as a Board Certified Neurologist at all local hospitals, including Clinton Memorial and Carson City, and was a member of various medical organizations. He held several teaching positions at Wayne State University Medical School and Michigan State University, as well as at E.W. Sparrow Hospital, St. Lawrence Hospital, and Ingham Medical Center. He helped mentor many young physicians who came to appreciate his extensive medical knowledge and his compassion for his patients.

A beloved doctor who long served the community and was always available, John was ready to counsel friends and family whenever needed and was frequently tapped to provide medical advice to visitors at his home and on family vacations wherever he traveled. From his son's teachers to strangers at restaurants, and even the numerous medical professionals providing his care as his health declined, stories of appreciation for his kindness and skill as a physician continue to be shared with his family.

John met and married his wife of 45 years, Coleen, in New Jersey. They moved to Lansing, Michigan, in January 1975. Together they raised their two sons, Dimitri and Manny. John and Coleen lived in an extended household which at times included his parents, her mother, and various aunts and uncles and cousins, which made for a challenging but enriching family life. The family traveled extensively, but always preferred to visit Greece whenever his schedule allowed, where there are still many close family members and friends.

John didn't have time for many hobbies but liked all sports and played soccer, tennis, and racquetball in his earlier years and always enjoyed watching them as a spectator. He enjoyed music in many genres and was an avid reader, particularly of history. He had a remarkable memory for everything he read as well as all his patients, many who became lifelong friends. He was an active member of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and a member and past president of AHEPA.

John was preceded in death by his brothers, Aristomenes Karakitsos and George Politis, M.D., his parents Demetrios and Vasiliki Karakitsos, and uncle and aunts. He is survived by his wife, Coleen, his sons Dimitrios (Anna) of Chevy Chase, Maryland, Theofanis or Manny, of East Lansing, his Aunt Pota in Greece, and his dear Aunt Efstratia Janis of Port Huron, along with many cousins. He will be deeply missed, and his memory will be cherished by his family and friends as well as the many patients he helped to better health.

Thank you to our fantastic caregivers, Beth Brancel and Jacqueline Day for all their care.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1701 East Saginaw Street, Lansing, MI 48912.

Funeral service at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1701 E. Saginaw St., Lansing, Monday at 11 a.m. Fr. Mark Sietsma presiding. Visitation begins at church at 10 a.m. followed by a Trisagion Service at 10:30 a.m.

Burial will follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Lansing.

Share memories at


  • Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church


  • Visitation

    Monday, May 3, 2021

  • Trisagion Service

    Monday, May 3, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Monday, May 3, 2021


John D. Karakitsos MD

have a memory or condolence to add?

Voula Ioanidis

May 1, 2021

Coleen, Dimitri and Anna, and Manny,
Our deepest condolences for your loss. May his memory be eternal.
Gregory, Voula, Zachary and Alexander Ioanidis

Roger Young

May 1, 2021

My Condolences to the Karakitsos Family

I worked with Many neurologic patients and crossed paths with Dr. Karakitsos, Many Times !
Dr. Karakitsos was the Consummate Professional!

Roger Young
Sparrow Therapeutic Apheresis

Maryjo Cook

April 30, 2021

Dear Coleen and Sons,
Please except my deepest condolences in the loss of your beloved. We have always treasured John and your family and will miss his great smile and wit. May your memories help sustain you in these times.

(Dr Dawdys office)