Obituary of Peter N. Matsoukas

May 22, 2023

Peter Nicholas Matsoukas died peacefully in his sleep on May 22, 2023 following a long illness.  He was 79 years old.  Peter was born on May 16, 1944 in Jersey City, New Jersey to Edmund and Aspasia Matsoukas.  He graduated from Rutgers University in 1966 and received his law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1969.  It was at Fordham that he met his wife Amelia, who remained his dedicated and cherished companion throughout their 52-year marriage.  After serving in the National Guard, Peter joined the Legal Aid Society of New York as an attorney, first in the Harlem Civil Division and later in the Manhattan Criminal Defense Division. He was regarded as an excellent trial attorney by his peers, loved to recount stories from the courtroom and was featured in the New York Magazine article "The Last of the Liberals."  Following his time in public service, he continued his criminal defense work in private practice until teaming with his wife Amelia to practice real estate law until their retirement.  Peter was a lifelong fan of the New York Rangers (including as a season ticket holder for over 30 years) and loved anything in the "Great American Songbook" canon.  Above all else, Peter was devoted to his family.  His happiest times were spent with his children and grandchildren at the beach or the family's home in the Catskills.  Peter is survived by his wife Amelia; his sons Peter (Katie) and Gregory (Agnes) Matsoukas, his grandsons John, Leo, and Monte; his brother George; and countless family members and friends.  Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joan of Arc Catholic School via mail to 4217 Central Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46205 or online at  Visitation will be held on May 30, 2023 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the Greenwich Village Funeral Home, 199 Bleecker St., New York.  The funeral mass will be held on May 31, 2023 at 11:30 a.m. at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, 337 E. 74th St., New York, with burial to follow.

Funeral Services


May 30, 2023

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Greenwich Village Funeral Home

199 Bleecker Street

New York, NY 10012

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Funeral Mass

May 31, 2023

11:30am to 12:30pm

Greek Cathedral of Holy Trinity

337 East 74th Street

New York, New York 10021

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May 31, 2023

1:15pm to 1:45pm

St. John's Cemetery

80-01 Metropolitan Avenue

Middle Village, New York 11379

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Share a Memory

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Many are the moments that we shared experiences with Peter, from “war stories” as Legal Aid colleagues, to births and then weddings. Our friendship has been passed down , especially between Greg and our son from before their days together at Poly Prep. But perhaps the greatest impact is the day Peter asked me “does your girl friend like hockey”. Led to her first game, our sharing season tickets and our son following a career in sports journalism. When I emailed an old Legal Aid colleague about Peter’s passing he remarked about the great smile Peter always gave people. Let us always remember that smile, and the wonderful person behind it

Posted by: Greg Cooper - New York, New York - Friend May 24, 2023

Peter is remembered as a conscientious and serious individual. His passion was his family. His soulmate for fifty four years is Amelia. She took extraordinary care of him during his declining years. His legacy is his sons Peter and Gregory and their wives Katie and Agnes and hdi grandchildren John,Leo and Monte. He enjoyed playing golf. He was an avid baseball,hockey,football fan. He and Amelia made a difference in the life of the community as advocates of the preservation of the Legal Aid Society when it was threatened by political leadership in the 1980's. He was a compassionate attorney defending the most vulnerable members of the community. He lived a full and exemplary life. May his memory be eternal.

Posted by: George Matsoukss - West Palm Beach, Florida - Family May 25, 2023


Posted by: CONNIE BILELLO - HOBE SOUND, FLORIDA - Family May 26, 2023

Peter was always there with legal advice for the family and general advice as a friend and relative. He will be missed. Peter has a great family that will really miss him.

Posted by: anthony morgano - nyc, ny - Family May 26, 2023

Peter was a terrific lawyer, and used his wonderful sense of humor in the courtroom before the Judges to help his clients. He was a devoted husband and father as he and Amelia were always doing things together. I remeber a case that Peter helped me with; ideas for some cross examination. My heart goes out to Amelia and his family. Just seeing his name brought back a smile. A life well lived

Posted by: Dawn Cardi - New York, New York - Coworker May 26, 2023

What sad news. He was a great attorney and always made me smile

Posted by: Allen Farbman - New York, New York - Coworker May 26, 2023

Peter was great and had such a great sense of humor. He was so helpful to me when I was starting out. I remember a particularly difficult case he had and he put so much effort into helping his client. Good memories of a great person and lawyer

Posted by: Alex Calabrese - New York, New York - Coworker May 26, 2023

A very good guy. A sad day indeed

Posted by: Steve Zeidman - New York, New York - Coworker May 26, 2023

A special relationship is so hard to find. That became a reality when Marilyn and I met Peter and Amelia at a New York Ranger 1980 Hockey game at the end of the season; they were already subscribers and we had just started. Peter and I were very devoted fans. He often took his son Peter who sat directly in front of me. This developed into quite a friendship over the years; nearly 40 years. Besides Golf and Hockey Peter got me involved into enjoying Jazz and also got Marilyn and me to become members of the Roundabout Theater. We would see nearly all their plays/revivals and had dinner first and then the show. We really looked forward to our yearly trips to their cozy home in Roxbury, N.Y. where Peter and I would play several Courses. They were great hosts and we always manage to explore that area and have fulfilling week ends. Peter and Amelia have a lot to be proud of; their sons Peter and Gregory, Daughters-in-law Katie and Agnes and their Grand Children. He would speak about all of them quite often , and we knew he loved and was devoted to his family. Marilyn and I will miss Peter so much; he meant a lot to us. He was an adviser, friend and a person who cared and would help you out. He and Amelia were an extended part of our family. He made me laugh when I needed a laugh. A great sense of humor. The last several months must have been very trying for the Matsoukas family but Peter is in a far better place. May the warmth of his memory be in our hearts forever. Our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to Amelia, Peter, Gregory and the entire Matsoukas family. Love Mariln & Larry May

Posted by: Lawrence May - Westwood,, New Jersy - Friend May 26, 2023

I was deeply saddened by the passing of my fraternity brother, Peter "Pete" Matsoukas. He was always a warm and generous friend and classmate and, along with his sidekick, Bill Scott, and others, taught us a little bit of greek and kept us all laughing! A great man-he will never be forgotten!

Posted by: rick tucker - Oro Valley, AZ - Classmate May 28, 2023

Peter was one of my best friends. He was best man at my wedding more than 50 years ago. My wife Carol and I maintained a close relationship with Peter and Amelia over the past 50 years. We saw each other quite a bit. I will never forget his wit, sense of humor and terrific personality. He made you feel better just being around him. One of my fondest memories will always be the fillabusters he, Bill Scott and I would put on at fraternity meetings. Peter you will be deeply missed. RIP good buddy.

Posted by: Mark Scudiery - North Caldwell, NJ - Friend May 28, 2023

Peter and I were fraternity brothers at Rutgers University and graduates from Fordham Law School. Afterwards we frequently met in the Manhattan Criminal Court Building where we sought to achieve some measure of justice for our respective clients; Peter as a Legal Aid defense lawyer and I as an assistant district attorney. We were never adversaries but always friends and brothers. I’ll always remember his laughter and good cheer.

Posted by: John Fried - Ossining, New York - Friend May 28, 2023

So many wonderful memories from the Rutgers years— the Bishop dorms 1963-1964 with Peter, Bill Scott and Ron Pfister; Phi Sig at 40 Hardenberg St 1964-1966 all the parties, games and high jinks with Peter leading the way for the greatest bunch of brothers; and the later years with Scudiery’s Super Bowl parties and a host of other celebrations and get togethers. So much to be thankful for. Rest in peace my friend.

Posted by: George Pappas - Spring Lake, New Jersey - Friend May 28, 2023

Our son Todd and "little" Peter have been friends since the first grade. Early on they played soccer in the Manhattan Kickers soccer league. One year big Peter and I coached their team. During one game the players on both teams had formed what looked like a rugby scrum . It was at that point that Peter shouted "kick the ball not each other." I thought it hilarious then and no less so now. Deborah joins me in extending our condolences to Amelia, Peter and Greg

Posted by: Fred Rothman - New York, NY - Friend May 29, 2023

Amelia, Peter and Greg, my heart goes out to you and I offer my deepest condolences. “Big Peter” was a great man and big influence on me in my childhood. I will never forget and always cherish my time with him at our weekends in Roxbury, interesting and very fun times at rangers games and nyc driving lessons that will always standout. He was sepulcher a caring and devoted father to his boys and clearly great family man. His countless hours on the ball fields be it for baseball or soccer have always stuck with me as well as the spelling drills at your house. Thank you for sharing him with the rest of us. I am truly so sorry for your loss. Todd

Posted by: Todd Rothman - New York, NY - Family Friend May 30, 2023

I will miss my best bud Peter till the day I die. Wonderful memories growing up together in Jersey City. Peter was loved by all. Class President in Snyder High School , he was my buddy , mentor, pal and Best Man at my wedding. Rest In Peace, brother, veteran, Inspiration to all the people you've met in this world. Till we meet again, in Heaven.

Posted by: George Gikas - Phoenix, AZ - Family May 31, 2023

Peter and I kept in touch after college because of our mutual occupations as attorneys across the Hudson River from each other. If I had clients that needed a New York attorney I would send them to Peter and he would send clients who needed New Jersey representation to me. He was always honest, extremely professional, capable and competent in his representation of my clients. I became a Brother in the Phi Sigma Delta fraternity after Peter and as soon as I started to pledge and then became a brother I immediately realized that Peter Matsoukas was a very important member of the fraternity. He was a mainstay of the brotherhood and a respected, valuable, significant and well-liked member of the fraternity, as was evidenced by the outpouring of condolences, sadness and sorrow for his passing from his fraternity brothers and the sincere expression of their sadness and wonderful memories of Peter.

Posted by: Charles Zisa - WYCKOFF, NJ - Friend May 31, 2023
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