Dr. Paul Zettas

Date of Birth

November 7, 1927

Date of Death

June 18, 2020

Dr. Paul Zettas, a retired orthopedic surgeon, passed away peacefully at the age of 92 in his home on June 18th, 2020, surrounded by his loving family.

Dr. Zettas was born on September 7, 1927 in Chicago, IL, to Lillian and Gust Zettas. From the age of seven, he knew he wanted to become a doctor.  After one year of college, he was called to serve with the U.S. Army in occupied Japan, just after WWII. He returned to finish college, and then graduated from the University of Illinois Medical School Chicago in 1953. He completed his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Towards the end of his training, he met and married Eugenia (Jenny) Demos, the love of his life.  They moved from Chicago to Boston to California to complete his residency training in Orthopedic Surgery.  While Paul would have loved to have stayed in California, they moved back to Illinois to start their family.  Together, they had three daughters; Carol, Pamela and Christine, and were happily married for 65 years.

In 1977 Dr. Zettas decided to return to California and join his brother, the late James Zettas, M.D.  There, they practiced Orthopedic medicine together, until Paul and Jenny moved to their present home in Santa Barbara to “retire” and truly enjoy California living.  In retirement, Paul had time to pursue his many interests: music, gardening, tennis, bridge, reading, and closely following the stock market.  But within the year, he came out of retirement and joined the orthopedic team at the Sansum Clinic until he retired again in 2004.

Paul’s true passion became tending to his orchard and nurturing his carefully chosen varieties of flowers, plants and fruit trees.  When he wasn’t in the garden, he was likely to be found on the tennis courts at Cathedral Oaks with his group of friends, affectionately called “the Grumpy Old Men.” He played tennis with great enthusiasm until the age of 91. Most evenings, he played the piano and sang a beautiful tune.


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