Stefan E. Pambuccian, M.D., 63

Mentor to pathologists worldwide

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Stefan Eduard Pambuccian, M.D., passed away suddenly and completely unexpectedly on Dec. 23, 2020, at his home in Riverside, Illinois. 

He was born in Romania on Sept. 30, 1957 to Armenian parents, Krikor and Sona Pambuccian and grew up in a loving family, very close to his sister, Alice-Marie and his brother Victor-Vasken. 

He was admired and loved by family, friends and colleagues. He followed in his father's footsteps and attended the University of Bucharest Medical School (Universitatea de Medicin%u0103 %u0219i Farmacie "Carol Davila") between 1977 and 1983 and graduated at the very top of his class. He married his wife Corina a fellow medical student in 1985, and in 1989 they immigrated to U.S.A. and had a son, Felix, in 1990. 

Stefan completed his residency in pathology at the Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and after training, he started his first academic position at the University of Minnesota in 1996, where he directed the cytopathology section and the cytopathology fellowship program. 

He was dearly loved at the University of Minnesota, and in fact, as a parting gift, the residents and fellows gave him a plaque "Top 10 reasons why Dr. Pambuccian rocks!" He joined Loyola University Medical Center in 2012, and in a very short time he became the go-to person for difficult cases, quality assurance issues, and research projects. 

He held various leadership roles in the department, including the director of surgical pathology and of anatomic pathology, vice-chair of scholarly activities and faculty advancement and vice-chair for research. He was revered and loved by all in the department. Truly dedicated to education, he received the Educator of the Year award four times -- twice at the University of Minnesota and twice at Loyola University.

An avid reader, he also explored non-medical topics and had a particular interest in history. His uncanny humor, knowledge about everything under the sun, his ability to truly listen to others, and warm personality made him uniquely charismatic, interesting, and lovable. 

Stefan was incredibly kind, gentle, and selfless. He did not want to take credit, even though it was well deserved. Despite having a pile of work, he would stop to help others and even take on extra tasks just to make everyone else's life easier. 

He had hundreds of scientific publications, and was a mentor to generations of young pathologists spread all over the world. Upon his passing, the Department of Pathology at Loyola University posted: "A beloved teacher, mentor, colleague and friend, he was the heart of Anatomic Pathology in our department and will be forever missed."

Since moving to U.S.A. in 1989, the center of his life was his small family. He was the heart and soul of it, full of life, a gentle soul with a booming voice, an enchanting smile, and the kindest heart imaginable. Once he entered the door, you heard the childlike joy and excitement with which he called his wife or his son's name. 

His friends would linger forever on their visits, enchanted by his exuberance, his vast music collection and his original jokes. Stefan brought spice, imagination and originality to everything. He was in love with his wife until the end and anybody could see it; he loved to be pampered and spoiled by her. On Dec. 25, 2020, Christmas Day, they would have been married for 35 happy years. His loss is so more devastating because his presence was so bright. 

Stefan is survived by his beloved wife, Corina Alice Pambuccian, his cherished son Felix Stepan Pambuccian, his sister Alice-Marie Grigorian and brother Victor Vasken Pambuccian, his cousins Varujan Pambuccian and Carolyn Atamian Papanicolaou, his aunt Felicia Atamian, his brothers in-law Aram Grigorian and Calin Pavel, sisters-in-law Christine Sturm and Antoaneta Pavel, his nieces Carine Grigorian and Maria Sturm, his nephew Mihai Pavel,  his grandnieces Nanee and Ani Grigorian, his grandnephew Jonathan Sturm, his mother-in-law Georgeta Pavel and father-in-law Stefan Pavel. He leaves behind his Loyola family and many friends and colleagues.

Stefan loved animals so in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a wildlife charity or sanctuary of your choice. 

We will remember and miss him for as long as we live. Rest in peace Stefan, despite the pain of losing you, we are thankful that you touched our lives! Multumesc, dragul nostru!

Visitation is on Wednesday, Dec. 30 from 9 a.m. until time of services at 10:30 a.m. at Ivins/Moravecek Funeral Home, 80 E. Burlington St., Riverside.

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