formerly of haverhill — John Petrou of Rockport died peacefully on Friday, January 11, 2013 at the Seacoast Skilled Nursing Facility in Gloucester.
Born in 1918, he was a World War II veteran having served in the North Atlantic on the destroyer escort, USS Eisner. John was an honors graduate of Bentley College.
John was one of the principal founding partners of Psychiatric Institutes of America, the largest chain of private mental healthcare facilities in the country at the time of its sale in 1982 to California-based National Medical Enterprises. He felt his most important achievement in mental health care was convincing the insurance industry to increase care to 28 days in-patient -up from the standard five-day stay.
John and his wife, Patricia, enjoyed playing tennis, golf and travelling. He was an excellent amateur photographer for which he won several awards. His main passion, however, was enjoying frequent gatherings with immediate and extended family and friends. His Foundation's major contributions were to education, young peoples' causes, and to the disadvantaged, all of which were most dear to him.
He is predeceased by his parents, James and Sophie Petrou, two sisters, Bessie Grant and Elizabeth (Lucy) Karekos all of Haverhill, MA and his wife of 41 years, Bebe Koch. He is survived by his wife Patricia of 23 years, two children, Rebecca Lloyd of Rockville, MD, her husband Stuart, his son, David Petrou of Washington, DC, two grandchildren, Adam Lloyd and Jennifer Lizondo, her husband Rob, and three great-grandchildren, Gabriella, Anna and Max Lizondo. He is also survived by three beloved siblings, Arthur, Rita Thompson and Mary Brostek all of Haverhill. Additionally he is survived by two stepsons, Evan and Trevor Burns, his wife Mimi, and 4 step grandchildren, Abigail, Garrett, Emily and Cooper, by whom he was consider a true father and grandfather. John is also survived by many cousins, nephews and nieces.