Dr. Elaine Demetroulis, 52, passed away on Thursday, April 28, 2022 in Kansas City after a short, but courageous battle with Cancer. Elaine was born on February 12, 1970 in Sioux City, Iowa. She was the daughter of Constantinos “Gus” and Vasiliki “Koula” (Diavastis) Demetroulis.
As a young girl, Elaine was active and excelled in many different sports. When she was a young teenager, a family friend introduced her to the game of tennis and her love for the game began immediately. Elaine quickly developed her talents and traveled throughout the Midwest playing in numerous tournaments. Her parents and brother traveled with her and cheered her on to one success after another.
Elaine was an excellent student. As a daughter of Greek immigrants, education was a top priority and she not only realized, but took full advantage of the opportunities her parents gave her by coming to the United States. Her eagerness to learn and drive to succeed started early in her life. She skipped the second grade and continued to excel throughout her teen years. In High School, she achieved a perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average and was the Valedictorian of her graduating class. Elaine earned full academic and athletic scholarships to several Division 1 university tennis programs and ultimately chose the University of Wisconsin on “the strength of its great academic reputation, the strength and competitive level of the tennis program and the quality of coaching”.
Elaine had a very decorated college career, both academically and athletically. Some of her accomplishments include: Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Big Ten Sportswoman of the Year, First-Team All-Big Ten for four consecutive years, Big Ten Athlete of the Month, Academic All-Big Ten for four consecutive years, Big Ten Medal of Honor, three-time Athletic Board Scholar for highest GPA in her respective sport, four-time Badger Advantage Club Scholar Athlete exemplifying athletic and academic excellence. Her college tennis career culminated in a Big 10 singles championship her senior year. She finished her tennis career as a champion, just as she did in her life as a physician.
After completing her undergraduate degree, Elaine moved on to medical school at the University of Iowa. There she completed her residency and fellowship and became an Interventional Cardiologist. She spent 25 years studying and in service to that institution prior to moving to Kansas City in 2019. Over 25 years, she dedicated her professional career to the betterment of patient-care and had a constant drive to create efficiency in the delivery of life saving techniques. Among many professional awards and accomplishments, Elaine developed the radial access program for the University of Iowa Health Care cardiology Cath Lab. She was very proud of this accomplishment and in 2008, won the Excellence in Program Development Award for those efforts. There are other awards and published articles that are too numerous to list. However, her most cherished takeaway from her time in Iowa City was the formation of lifelong friendships she made through work and Church.
Elaine was never satisfied with the status quo. She approached all aspects of her life feeling as though she never knew enough. It drove her to learn constantly and she expected others to do the same. Elaine and her brother Chris adopted a well-known mantra with each other that became a professional staple. “Prepare like you’ve never won…perform like you’ve never lost”. It helped them drive each other in their careers. There are not many people that prepared for any situation like Elaine did. She wanted to know as much as possible about every topic or scenario in order to execute whenever the time came.
In 2019, Elaine moved to Kansas City to be near family and continue her career. She had just embarked on a new partnership at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission and was excited to continue her work in service to the Kansas City community. Although Elaine was only in the Kansas City area for three short years, she was a leader, teacher and a friend to many and left a lasting impact until her untimely passing.
Elaine enjoyed cooking authentic Greek dishes with her mother, heartfelt conversations with her sister-in-law Tamara and “talking shop” with her niece Mikaila who is a Cath Lab nurse. She loved to play golf and after joining a nearby club, she would play weekly with her brother Chris and her nephew Joseph. She also befriended a group of lady golfers that were not only lovers of the game, but a wonderful group that really supported each other. There was an instant bond and they all spent many wonderful times together. During Elaine’s fight with Cancer, the support from her close friends and family was frequent and unwavering. It was a true comfort to her during her sickness.
Elaine was a very private person. Most people knew her primarily for her professional career. There was a very small group of family and friends that she let into her world. Those included her immediate family, her Godchildren, her best friend and her boys, who all became part of our extended family. This small group saw Elaine’s gentle, kind, caring, loyal and generous heart.
Elaine had many hobbies and was diligent about challenging herself to learn new things. Besides sports, as a child, she played the clarinet and piano. As a young adult, she was active in service to St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church in Cedar Rapids, IA. She taught herself Byzantine chant and would dedicate a full week’s vacation to serving as a chanter during Holy Week services. She was a humble person that never necessarily thought she deserved credit for her accomplishment. She would refer to herself as a “simple country Doctor” and we would all chuckle.
As for our family, we are devastated by her early departure from our lives. After many years, we were finally in one city and that togetherness really blossomed over these last three years. We had many plans for the future, but God had other plans for her. We wish we could all just gather again for Sunday family dinner, watch a sporting event, or sit around her fire pit with a glass of wine and tell jokes. Those were the times where Elaine showed her true self and we will miss those times the most.
Elaine is survived by her mother Vasiliki (Koula) Demetroulis, her brother Chris Demetroulis and sister-in-law Tamara of Lenexa, KS, her niece Mikaila (Michael) Soot of Overland Park, KS, her nephew Joseph Demetroulis of Kansas City, MO, as well as several aunts, uncles, cousins and Godchildren. She was preceded in death by her father Constantinos (Gus) Demetroulis and her sister Ann Demetroulis.
All services will be held at St. Dionysios Greek Orthodox Church, 8100 West 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66212. Visitation will be Wednesday May 4, 2022 from 5pm – 8pm with a Trisagion service at 7pm. Funeral services will be Thursday May 5, 2022 at 10am, followed by interment at Mt. Moriah Cemetery, 10507 Holmes Rd., Kansas City, MO 64131. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the EMD Fund (Excellence in Medical Disciplines), a fund that is marked by her initials and has been founded by Elaine’s family in her honor. This fund will recognize various individuals who excel in their practice and service to the medical profession, as well as organizations that benefit the less fortunate. Donations to the fund can be made here: EMD Fund (Excellence in Medical Disciplines)Service Information:
All services will be held at St. Dionysios Greek Orthodox Church, 8100 West 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66212. Visitation will be Wednesday May 4, 2022 from 5pm – 8pm with a Trisagion service at 7pm. Funeral services will be Thursday May 5, 2022 at 10am, followed by interment at Mt. Moriah Cemetery, 10507 Holmes Rd., Kansas City, MO 64131. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the EMD Fund (Excellence in Medical Disciplines), a fund that is marked by her initials and has been founded by Elaine’s family in her honor. This fund will recognize various individuals who excel in their practice and service to the medical profession, as well as organizations that benefit the less fortunate. Donations to the fund can be made here: EMD Fund (Excellence in Medical Disciplines)