Anthony Kales, M.D.
A Founder of Modern Sleep Research and Sleep Disorders Medicine.
September 29, 1934 (Detroit, Michigan) – December 18, 2023, (Plantation, Florida)
Dr. Anthony (Tony) Kales was born in 1934 in Detroit, Michigan – the son of Greek immigrants, Demetrios and Demetra (Partalis) Kales, from the tiny mountainous, Grecophone village of Kato Lesnitsa in Northern Epirus directly on the Greek-Albanian border. His first language was Greek, learning English when he entered kindergarten. His early life was marked by a rich cultural heritage that instilled in him a deep sense of identity and community.
Growing up, he excelled in school and also was very active in neighborhood sports including football and basketball. When his father became disabled because of a series of small strokes, he took on many responsibilities in the family, assisting his mother who took over as partner in the family business, Pete’s Bar, and worked in a variety of jobs prior to entering college at Wayne State University in the Pre-Medical program.
During his undergraduate years, Anthony was actively involved with the ROTC program participating in training drills and military discipline. In 1961, he joined the Air Force Reserves as a first lieutenant in the Medical Corps. During the next four years, he attained the rank of Captain serving with distinction as a psychiatric physician. He was honorably discharged in 1965.
Anthony received his BS degree in 1956 with Highest Distinction and induction into Phi Beta Kappa, and his M.D. in 1959. While at Wayne State, he met his future wife, Joyce Danielski, a Pharmacy student whom he encouraged to study Medicine. The couple were married in 1960, a partnership which lasted for 63 years. In 1960, he entered the residency training program in psychiatry at UCLA. In 1962, while still a resident physician, he began research that would form the basis of establishing the Sleep Disorders Clinic and Sleep Laboratory at UCLA, the first such clinically integrated program in the world. Through his pioneering sleep research, he rapidly rose to the rank of Full Professor at UCLA. In 1971, Dr. Kales, his wife and three children moved to Hershey, PA where Dr. Anthony became the founding Chairman of Psychiatry at the Penn State University College of Medicine and continued leading the Sleep Research and Treatment Program for a period of 28 years.
During his career, Dr. Kales was internationally recognized in Sleep Research, Psychiatric Education and Community Psychiatry. His honors include: Distinguished Alumnus Award from Wayne State University School of Medicine and Distinguished Physician of the Year from the New York Hellenic Medical Society. In 2003, he was recognized as one of the Founders of Modern Sleep Research. In 2007, he received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Athens School of Medicine. He authored or co-authored over 300 scientific articles, multiple book chapters and six books. His reputation as a Psychiatric Educator relates to his founding one of the premier departments of psychiatry in the country at Penn State. In sleep research, Dr. Anthony co-authored with Allan Rechtschaffen, PhD, A Manual of Standardized Terminology, Techniques and Scoring System for Sleep Stages of Human Subjects, which was one of the most widely referenced publications in sleep research. One of his highest honors was being recognized as one of a handful of “founders of Sleep Disorders Medicine”, worldwide, a new medical specialty. Dr. Anthony retired as Professor Emeritus at Penn State with an endowed chair in Sleep Disorders Medicine named in his honor.
He strongly identified with the Greek-American community and was dedicated to the preservation of Hellenism and the value of learning the Greek language. In order to further honor his parents and his Northern Epirotic roots, he obtained Greek citizenship. Although he formally studied the Greek language for only one year (his Greek school was curtailed due to World War II), he loved teaching his grandchildren the Greek language and assisting with their Greek school homework. He found great joy helping them to discover the “Greek roots” of common words in English.
After their retirements, the Drs. Kales spent summers and autumns in Ann Arbor, Michigan and were active in attending University of Michigan football games, and grandparenting their seven beloved grandchildren. They maintained their primary residence in Plantation Florida, a favorite spot for the children and grandchildren. In Florida and Michigan, they remained active in several Greek Orthodox churches, the AHEPA organization and other Greek-American community affairs.
Dr. Kales was noted for his generous spirit, offering his time, advice and financial support to countless individuals and family members. He embodied the spirit of the Greek concept of filotimo literally meaning ‘friend of honor’ but capturing the concepts of dignity, respect, pride, hospitality and warmth. At its core, filotimo is about selflessness, a force that drives individuals to think about others and the world around them, to give of themselves, expecting little in return, and making a huge impact. Dr. Kales exemplified filotimo in all of his actions, most obviously through his philanthropy and mentoring, but also in warmly connecting with everyone he met. His children and grandchildren remember with fondness his ability to talk to anyone, from people at the grocery store to storied leaders. This is truly one of his greatest legacies as it allowed him to instill his advice and wisdom into everyone he met and taught his family the strength of human connection.
He was an inveterate sports fan, especially of the University of Michigan teams. While football was his passion and he had season tickets to Wolverines football for more than 20 years, he also followed basketball (with frequent John Wooden quotes), hockey (his first date with Joyce was a Detroit Red Wings game), women’s softball and whatever team his grandkids were on. Dr. Kales loved sharing his season tickets as a way to connect with friends and relatives including his grandchildren. It is especially wonderful that the Wolverines are Big 10 Champions this year during Dr. Kales’ “last season”.
Dr. Kales was fond of music, art and had an extensive vocabulary. One of his favorite gifts to any of the young people he was mentoring was “30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary”. His sense of humor was keen and sharp and many of his “Pappou-isms” will live on in his grandchildren. Dr. Kales was also known to give out “Pappou bucks" to his grandchildren and others he considered close to the family.
He was dedicated to philanthropy. He and his wife endowed the Three Hierarchs Scholarship Programs at three different Greek Orthodox Churches: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Camp Hill, PA; St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Ann Arbor, MI; and, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. Their strong commitment to the revitalization of Detroit has been demonstrated through their support of Wayne State University, as members of the Anthony Wayne Society, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In addition to those at Wayne State University, they have supported multiple endowment programs at Penn State University School of Medicine, and at the University of Michigan. In 2009, Dr. Anthony Kales received the Hellenic Heritage Award for his dedication to the advancement of the Greek-American community and broader community at large in the greater Detroit area.
Dr. Kales was predeceased by his parents and his elder brother, Nicholas. He leaves his wife, Dr. Joyce Danielski Kales and children, Dr. Stefanos Nicholas Kales (Ana), Dr. Helen Christine Kales and James (Dimitri) Kales, MPP and 7 grandchildren: Stefania and Arianna Kales, Anastasia, Sophia and Theodore Gibson, and Alexandra and Zoë Kales.
Visitation will be held December 27, 2023, 6 PM-9 PM with Trisagion services held 7:30 PM at TM Ralph Funeral Home 7001 NW 4th Street, Plantation, Florida. Funeral services will be held at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 820 NE 14th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 10 AM on December 28th, 2023. Burial will be at Lauderdale Memorial Park. A memorial/remembrance of life will be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan in February/March.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan, or Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
Arrangements entrusted to TM Ralph Plantation Funeral Home, (954) 587-6888 www.tmralph.com