Dr. George John Vlahakis Jr.Obituary

Dr. Vlahakis, WSPA President, 1993-1994, Passes Away at 76

We at WSPA are sad to report the death of WSPA Past President, Dr. George Vlahakis Jr., on January 29, 2020. Dr. George Vlahakis, 76, died on January 29, 2020, in Yakima, WA after a brief illness. He will be missed by many who knew him. 

Dr. Vlahakis was active in WSPA for some 25 years, and served as President 1993-1994. Dr. Vlahakis served as the WSPA Representative to APA Assembly from 1999 to 2014. He was an effective speaker and representative to Area 7 Council and the Assembly of District Branches, representing well the interests of the over 550 psychiatrists in the WSPA over a 15 year period.

Dr. Vlahakis mentored many young psychiatrists through his role in the WSPA over the years, encouraging them to advance the interests of the profession through activism in the WSPA. 

Dr. Vlahakis grew up in Michigan, the oldest of 5 siblings, with four surviving younger brothers and sisters. He graduated from Univ. of Wisconsin Medical School in 1970. His residency in Psychiatry was completed at the University of Washington in 1975. 

Dr. Vlahakis practiced for over 40 years in Yakima, Washington, where he maintained an outpatient practice with an office overlooking Lake Aspen. He was highly regarded by colleagues and other physicians and gave frequent talks on psychopharmacology and mood depression in the Yakima area. He retired from active practice in 2017. 

Dr. Vlahakis had a lifelong interest in photography inherited from his father. For a number of years he did astronomical photography and spent many a lonely night on the top of mountains in the Cascades. His interest in astronomical photography gave way to an interest in bird photography in the late 1990s. He set very high standards for himself and never would post a picture he had taken unless it was tack-sharp. Dr. Vlahakis traveled across the USA and Latin America for bird photography (often accompanied by friend and fellow WSPA Member and photographer Larry Martin) and has hundreds of superb bird photos posted at pbase.com/photon180. A number of his photos are included in the National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Birds of North America by Edward S. Brinkley. 

Dr. Vlahakis was married for over 50 years to his wife Susan, who survives him along with 2 daughters Meredith of Chicago, IL, and Vanessa of Boston, MA, and a Boston granddaughter (age 4). 

Dr. Vlahakis will be remembered for his dedication to excellence in patient care, his keen intellect, sharp wit, wide-ranging curiosity, a strong sense of humor, and political ability to bridge differences of opinion and perspectives.